by Duchess
The Duchess "The story of my first novel" My first novel! Alas! for that first story of mine—the raven I sent out of my ark and never see again! Unlike the proverbial curse, it did not come home to roost, it stayed where I had sent it. The only thing I ever heard of it again was a polite letter from the editor in whose office it lay, telling me I could have it back if I enclosed stamps for the amount of twopence halfpenny, otherwise he... more...

I. LETTER-WRITERS. Since old Leisure died, we have come to think ourselves altogether too fine and too busy to cultivate the delightful art of correspondence. Dickens seems to have been almost the last man among us who gave his mind to letter-writing; and his letters contain some of his very best work, for he plunged into his subject with that high-spirited abandonment which we see in "Pickwick," and the full geniality of his mind came out... more...

CHAPTER I ABOUT NOSES AND JAWS A foxhound scents the trail of his game and tracks it straight to a killing. A lapdog lacks this capability. In the same way, there are breeds of would-be writers who never can acquire a "nose for news," and others who, from the first day that they set foot in editorial rooms, are hot on the trail that leads to billboard headlines on the front page of a newspaper or acceptances from the big magazines. Many... more...

by Duchess
To sit down in cold blood and deliberately set to cudgel one's brains with a view to dragging from them a plot wherewith to make a book is (I have been told) the habit of some writers, and those of no small reputation. Happy people! What powers of concentration must be theirs! What a belief in themselves—that most desirable of all beliefs, that sweet propeller toward the temple of fame. Have faith in yourself, and all me, will have faith in... more...

INTRODUCTION A Vindication of the Press is one of Defoe's most characteristic pamphlets and for this reason as well as for its rarity deserves reprinting. Besides the New York Public Library copy, here reproduced, I know of but one copy, which is in the Indiana University Library. Neither the Bodleian nor the British Museum has a copy. Like many items in the Defoe canon, this tract must be assigned to him on the basis of internal evidence; but... more...