Tim asked:

What a great book. I am reading the Flamingo edition (as illustrated above) and I'm puzzled by the fact that many small sections of the text are enclosed in square brackets. It must be the traces of some editing, but a perfunctory read of the introductory notes sheds no light. Can anyone explain?

Michael Fitzhugh In my edition it is explained that
The words in square brackets are those of the editors where they had to make a best guess/interpret either due to illegibility in the original handwritten text or very occasionally to fix the odd grammatical error.
Linda This might help - http://is.gd/wxZMhx all 1706 handwritten pages of the original novel and some further info. The book was published after Tressell's death and the first publisher slashed 100,000 words as the original had never been edited and was a bit repetitive. There was an ever shorter version printed in 1918 to make it affordable for the workers it wanted to reach. Can't answer your exact question but hope this helps a bit.
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