A collection of 38 poems by Phillis Wheatley, a slave, was published in the 1770's, the first book by a black woman and only the second published by an American woman.
I just looked up Oxford Learner's Dictionaries and considered the definition 2 of only: used to say that somebody/something is the best and you would not choose any other: She's the only person for the job.
But I felt that the definition was not suitable for the word only here, so I cannot understand the word, even I think only cannot be used here and should be substituted by just.
Is my opinion right?
Thanks a lot!
Last edited by emsr2d2; 12-Apr-2014 at 20:57.
Reason: Tidied up formatting of post (strange short lines)
"Only" is an adverb which emphasizes the fewness here and means "exclusively", i.e. "no one more besides".
It emphasizes the fact that not any other American woman except those two had published any book by then.
And, considering the second line of the paragraph, the first woman whose book got published was a white American writer.