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"The Life of Franklin", by James Patron, is a work of much labour and learning which has fallen into unmerited neglect.

Q1) Was this work so difficult to write (by author) or it takes so much labour for a reader to read it?

Q2) What "learning" refers to here?

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    A "work of much labor" literally means that great effort was expended in creating it. But the connotation usually is that a lot of skilled work was expended. "A work of great learning" means a work that demonstrates a deep and thorough knowledge of the subject. So what is meant here is that the work is the result of great and careful effort from someone fully knowledgeable. Feb 5, 2020 at 17:12

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First of all let me state what the 'work' is (or at least how I would interpret it). It's the authors work, -the book.

I think it's trying to express that it took the author's labor as well as the learning-of franklin's life

...work (the book) of (the author's) labour and learning

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