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15. CHAPTER XV - "THE LAST CHRONICLE OF BARSET"--"LEAVING THE POST OFFICE"--"ST. PAUL'S MAGAZINE" (continued)
I have never written three novels in a year, but by following the plan above described I have written more than as much as three volumes; and by adhering to it over a course of years, I have been enabled to have always on hand,--for some time back now,--one or two or even three unpublished novels in my desk beside me. Were I to die now there are three such besides The Prime Minister, half of which has only yet been issued. One of these has been six years finished, and has never seen the light since it was first tied up in the wrapper which now contains it. I look forward with some grim pleasantry to its publication after another period of six years, and to the declaration of the critics that it has been the work of a period of life at which the power of writing novels had passed from me. Not improbably, however, these pages may be printed first.
In 1866 and 1867 The Last Chronicle of Barset was brought out by George Smith in sixpenny monthly numbers. I do not know that this mode of publication had been tried before, or that it answered very well on this occasion. Indeed the shilling magazines had interfered greatly with the success of novels published in numbers without other accompanying matter. The public finding that so much might be had for a shilling, in which a portion of one or more novels was always included, were unwilling to spend their money on the novel alone. Feeling that this certainly had become the case in reference to novels published in shilling numbers, Mr. Smith and I determined to make the experiment with sixpenny parts. As he paid me œ3000 for the use of my MS., the loss, if any, did not fall upon me. If I remember right the enterprise was not altogether successful.
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