The manuscripts, entitled ‘Leaves From British Telephone, Electric Lighting and Traction History’, are written in the first person, and the handwriting is presumed to be Bennett’s. They comprise a narrative account of his work in the nascent telephone industry within the UK, and commence in 1877. The writing is fluid and coherent, presumably a fair copy drawn from an earlier draft version. The pagination of the first volume is I to 130, while that for the second is 231 to 285, but there would appear to be no intervening volume as the text stops in mid-sentence in volume I, with the sentence being completed on the opening page of volume II. The period covered by volume I is 1877 to 1887, and for volume II is 1887 to 1891 (February). The writing stops in mid-page, and the remainder of the second volume (just under half) is blank. A date on the first page suggests that Bennett began work on the autobiography in November 1925. A note opposite page 261 of the second volume refers to a report in The Times for 15 April 1926, suggesting that he had written most of the extant text within six months of starting. Noting the three substantial books that Bennett had published in 1924, 1926 and 1927, it would appear that he halted work on the autobiography to concentrate on the latter two books. He died in 1928.


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