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What is the meaning of 'all the effect of' and how it used in the following statement? What does it refer by 'they'

In such a life, scenery, inhabitants, costume, and characteristics are so different from those to which the novice has been accustomed in his European home, that they have for him at first all the effect of enchantment.

Forest Life In Ceylon, 1854

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    I suppose 'enchantment' might be analysed as involving excitement, being under a spell, otherness ... . This is saying that the novel 'scenery, inhabitants, costume, and characteristics' experienced are producing to the fullest extent the state of 'excitement, being under a spell, [feelings of] otherness ...' . One could paraphrase: << In such a life, scenery, inhabitants, costume, and characteristics are so different from those to which the novice has been accustomed in his European home, that he at first finds them enchanting. >> Less flowery , but also more prosaic and less emphatic. – Edwin Ashworth Oct 11 '16 at 11:44
  • "all the effect of" is just a fancy way to say "is". The sentence means simply: "... are enchanting". That's all there is to it. – Fattie Oct 11 '16 at 12:19
  • @JoeBlow. It is not just a fancy way of saying it. Putting it in that way, (a well-used idiom) lends nuance, and conveys that it is perhaps something which would not be expected. – WS2 Oct 11 '16 at 12:58
  • Fair enough; but you can say that about every single synonym. Every single choice you make to say "X" has shades of meaning. (So sure, I could have added a qualifier "as with every utterance in English, the many things that mean the same thing each carry their own shades of meaning.") It just seems to be not even an ELL question; just glance in a dictionary? – Fattie Oct 11 '16 at 13:06
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they = scenery, inhabitants, costume, and characteristics

they have all the effect of enchantment = their effect on him is equivalent to the effect a magical enchantment would have

From reading this, I would guess that back in 1854, people took the word enchantment more literally than we do now.

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