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An Autobiography

quotations, so that I scarcely think any one could detect the same hand in them; but
generally they were different books and different subjects, which I treated. I tried The
Australasian with a short story, "Afloat and Ashore," and with a social article on "Wealth,
Waste, and Want." I contributed to The Melbourne Review, and later to The Victorian
Review, which began by paying well, but filtered out gradually. I found journalism a
better paying business for me than novel writing, and I delighted in the breadth of the
canvas on which I could draw my sketches of books and of life. I believe that my work
on newspapers and reviews is more characteristic of me, and intrinsically better work
than what I have done in fiction; but when I began to wield the pen, the novel was the
line of least resistance. When I was introduced in 1894 to Mrs. Croly, the oldest woman
journalist in the United States, as an Australian journalist, I found that her work, though
good ehough, was essentially woman's work, dress, fashions, functions, with educational
and social outlooks from the feminine point of view. My work might show the bias of
sex, but it dealt with the larger questions which were common to humanity; and when I
recall the causes which I furthered, and which in some instances I started, I feel inclined
to magnify the office of the anonymous contributor to the daily press. And I acknowledge
not only the kindness of friends who put some of the best new books in my way, but the
large-minded tolerance of the Editors of The Register, who gave me such a free hand in
the treatment of books, of men, and of public questions.
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