Grant Allen to W.T. Stead
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,