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Once the supper table was cleared, the dishes washed, and the flowers in the garden watered, my grandparents would set to work on the Novels for You Reading Pleasure and Entertainment series. They worked at the dining table, pulling the ceiling lamp down and reading and editing the manuscripts, the page proofs, and the bound galleys. Sometimes they did some writing as well: they insisted that each volume conclude with a brief didactic essay, and when none was forthcoming they supplied it themselves. They wrote about the importance of toothbrushing, the battle against snoring, the principles of beekeeping, the history of the postal system. They also rewrote passages in the novels when they found them awkward, unbelievable, or immodest or when they felt they could make a better point. The publisher gave them a hand. (From and ACT reading passage)

Is "none" in this case meaning "all volumes were without a brief didactic essay provided” ?

Or is it indicating only occasional volume didn't conclude with a brief didactic essay?

I prefer the former one since I think that's essentially what "none" literally mean. But I ask this because the correct answer of a question approach "none" in the latter way:

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The correct answer is H, but I prefer G instead

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There are a couple of things which should be paid attention to and which, when you do, tell you what the grandparents do with the book and thus make the answer obvious.1

They worked at the dining table, pulling the ceiling lamp down and reading and editing the manuscripts, the page proofs, and the bound galleys.

"Bound galleys", if you don't know, are pre-publication proofs of a book with bound pages in book form. So this sentence clearly tells us that they read and edit the manuscripts and proofs. This is their main responsibility.

Sometimes they did some writing as well

This line further clarifies that they don't do a lot of writing, and writing is secondary to their work. This is evidenced by the phrase "as well". "As well", as I am sure you know, means "too". When someone asks you, "What did you do yesterday?" You tell them: "I came down with a cold, so I slept all day. And I listened to some music as well." Here the music listening comes secondary to what you did primarily yesterday, which is sleeping. When you provide some information with "as well" attached after you have said something else, you are providing it as supplementary information in addition to the main thing.

... they insisted that each volume conclude with a brief didactic essay, and when none was forthcoming they supplied it themselves.

"None" is a reference to that which came immediately before it: brief didactic essays. They want each volume to include a brief didactic essay at the end, but when no essays are available they write one themselves. Therefore it is clear they only write occasional essays when none is available to include in the volume. Hence, H.

1 In case you are wondering about the present simple that this answer is written in, I am using the historical present which is the standard tense in describing fiction.

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