IN THE DAYS BEFORE TYPEWRITERS, stenographers, and tape‐recorders, when every word of a book was written by hand, revised by hand, and eventually printed from the handwritten manuscript, the industry required to produce such a history as that of Gibbon is remarkable. How much more remarkable the industry of women writers, in days when authorship for women was not always regarded as a respectable profession. Consider the output of Jane Austen, compelled to write in a corner of the family sitting‐room, and to conceal her papers hastily if a caller arrived, or Mrs Trollope, nursing her dying son by day, and writing all night to support her family.
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