I'm reading Nine Coaches Waiting, and I have run across some lovely language and some puzzling phrases. This sentences contains one from the heroine, Linda Martin, as she reflects on her loneliness (from the Fawcett Edition of the novel):
"but there are also times when a desperate self-sufficiency doesn't quite suffice, and then the search for the anodyne begins . . . the radio, the dog, the shampoo, the stockings-to-wash, the tin soldier. . . "(74).
The puzzling phrase is that one. I did some research, and I think Urban Dictionary might have pegged it in its entry for "tin soldier." I have left out the obscene parts of the definition:
1. A girl who is inactive during sex.
2. A girl who is hard to get into bed.
That might make sense in light of the context of the heroine's loneliness as an orphan and a woman. I also found a similar reference in a commentary about a Hans Christian Andersen tale called "The Steadfast Tin Soldier." The argument is that the tin soldier stands as a metaphor for sexual repression. Any other ideas, readers?
It makes sense to me, and it's a fascinating tidbit and glimpse into the mind of the heroine in this novel.