Dean Stanley's bad handwriting is a matter of common notoriety, and I have often been asked if it was true that the printers refused to set it up. The fact is, that when the "copy" for the "History of the Jewish Church" was sent in the printers reported that they would have to charge a special rate for composition, as no man could set up such manuscript on the ordinary terms. we accordingly had the work copied out by a skillful amanuensis before it was set in type, as this proved to be the least expensive way of meeting the difficulty.
Once he wrote to my father a letter on an important matter, but there were some passages in it which, in spite of every effort, proved undecipherable. My father was consequently compelled to underline these sentences and to return the letter, with a request that they might be rewritten. In due course the dean replied, "If you cannot read my writing, I am sure I cannot do so, but I think I meant to say" so and so, and the sentence was rewritten in a form scarcely more legible than before. — John Murray in Good Words.
Friday, September 5, 2008