I just came across the following sentence on Olaf Stapledon's Star Maker:
They it was who controlled our whole adventure...
I have the impression this a rather archaic, yet valid, construction. A contemporary writer would have favored the more standard:
It was they who controlled our whole adventure...
I have two question regarding this construction:
- Is it valid? Why?
- Can this construction be used with other pronouns or is it restricted to they? E.g., he it was who... Are there other examples of this sentence structure been used by writers? I can't find or recall any.