We present a pioneering study on machine dating of manuscripts written by an individual. Analysis of handwriting style forms the core of the proposed method. A general framework is presented for automatic time stamping of handwritten manuscripts. Initially, it is hypothesized that a manuscript can be dated, to a certain level of accuracy, by looking at the way it is written. The hypothesis is then verified with real samples of known dates. Experiments on a database containing manuscripts of Gustave Flaubert (1821– 1880), the famous French novelist, reports about 62% accuracy while dating the manuscripts within a range of five calendar years with respect to their exact year of writing.