~fiction written <to order> by poor hacks~

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park sang joon

Senior Member
Korean
The protagonist, Philip moved in with his uncle Mr. Carey, the Vicar of Blackstable after his mother's death.
He goes to the medical school St. Luke's in London.

............................................
She went away and, since at that late hour there was nobody else at her tables, she immersed herself in a novelette. This was before the time of the sixpenny reprints. There was a regular supply of inexpensive fiction written to order by poor hacks for the consumption of the illiterate.
[Of Human Bondage by Somerset Maugham]
I'd like to know what "to order" means here.
Thank you in advance for your help.
 
  • Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    From the WR dictionary, under "order":
    to order, according to the needs or request of the person buying something: The curtains were made to order.

    It implies that publishers would tell struggling writers the sort of story they wanted and those writers would write them as directed.
     
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