Mowbray Morris, editor of Macmillan’s, wrote to Thomas Hardy in 1886 asking him to save one of his novel characters (partway through serial publication) from too much sexual immorality:

“I have received a Round Robin concerning some offence against morality that had been smelled out in our pages! … Of course it is very annoying to have to reckon for such asses: still, I can’t help it; an Editor must be commercial as well as literary; and theĀ  magazine has scarcely so abundant a sale that I can afford to disregard any section of its readers.”

Quoted in Philip Gaskell’s From Writer to Reader, p. 197