I am reading a letter written by Frances Rolleston on this day, 1840—so not yet 200 years ago—and was struck again by how writing, printing, and publishing have changed over the years.
In her letter she asks to have two sheets of her astronomy book returned to her by post as soon as possible. She also asks for two of her poems, "The Two Harps" and "The Nun" to be returned, or if her friend no longer has them, to tell her who does.
The reason she requests the return of these items is that Frances has "an offer of some fair copies here, and you know how precious such things are." In other words, someone where she is presently located has offered to copy—by hand—some of her work.
Frances likes multiple copies so she can share with friends, and also a "fair copy" is necessary if something is to be printed. The printer must be able to read the work in order to set the type correctly. And Frances' handwriting was notorious (Ch. 39 On Penmanship, in the book).
How thankful I am for my computer!