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The way we were: writers take stock

Extracts from memoirs and diaries

By Ian Irvine   December 2018

Virginia Woolf, not looking terribly exercised about her income. Credit: Harvard Theater Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard University

1899. Arnold Bennett writes in his journal and, as was his habit at the end of every year, sums up his working life:

“This year I have written 335,340 words, grand total: 228 articles and stories (including four instalments of a serial called Gates of Wrath of 30,000 words—7,500 words each) have actually been published. Also my book of plays—Polite Farces. I have written six or eight short stories not yet published…

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