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2 Jun 2016

Simplified Chinese (China)
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Question about English (US)

My summary/narration:

The author says the workhouse is very common compared with other public buildings in a certain town, which he neither mentions nor assigns any fictitious name to. A baby, whose name has been already referred to in the title (Treats...Oliver Twist...his birth), to wit, Oliver Twist, was born in this poorhouse. The author doesn't tell us when Oliver Twist was born because he thinks it is not necessary for readers to know the exact date. To sum up, this paragraph tells us where Oliver Twist was born.

Q:
1. Could you briefly tell me what the original paragraph means from the author's perspective? (The author says/said)
2. Does 'The author said' is more natural 'The author says' if I'd like to tell others what the paragraph means?
3. Does my summary above sound natural and accurate?
4. What do 'item' and 'in this stage of the business at all events' here mean?
Thank you.

A selection of Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
Chapter 1
[Treats of the place where Oliver Twist was born, and of the circumstances attending his birth]
'Among other public buildings in a certain town, which for many reasons it will be prudent to refrain from mentioning, and to which I will assign no fictitious name, there is one anciently common to most towns, great or small: to wit, a workhouse; and in this workhouse was born-on a day and date which I need not trouble myself to repeat, inasmuch as in can be of no possible consequence to the reader, in this stage of the business at all events-the item of mortality whose name is prefixed to the head of this chapter.'
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