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Grant Allen to W.T. Stead

(undated)

The Croft, Hind Head, Haslemere. (Private. Please don't quote.)

My dear Stead,

I am venturing to send you herewith a set of advance proofs of my new book, ‘The Woman Who Did.’ It is the only book, in fiction at least, which I have written throughout wholly and solely to satisfy my own taste and my own conscience. I am extremely anxious that you should do me the favour to read it. You are one of those who have always misunderstood my attitude and my objects. As a rule, I do not mind such misunderstanding, because it comes from the wretched creatures who spend their lives in lounging about the Empire or the Alhambra. With you, I feel it quite otherwise. There is so much alike in our aims, though so little in our means, that I cannot bear to think you so greatly misinterpret me. I believe this book, written straight from my heart, and containing in full my reasoned convictions, will show you we are more in sympathy than you imagine. Anyhow, I want you to read it, because I want you to judge me by what I do feel and believe, not by what I don't. We two alone have realised the horror of prostitution in England; let us try to see eye to eye with one another.

Yours very sincerely,

Grant Allen.

Webmaster's note... My thanks to Peter Morton (PhD) for this contribution. For more on Grant Allen, visit Peter's website here