The True and Authentick History of Amelia and Reginald – by Rudolph Ellenbogen with Illustrations by Tara Bryan (2013) 


The True and Authentick History of Amelia and Reginald was written by Rudolph Ellenbogen in the summer of 2003, when he and his wife, Alane, were travelling in England. They were sending e-mails to their daughter in New York and their son in Calcutta, reporting to them what they thought would be of interest. David, finally, confronted them with “tough love,” writing: “Your e-mails are boring.” 

Thus informed, Rudolph decided to send something he hoped would be more amusing. Inspired by the eighteenth-century house they were staying in, he dashed off an e-mail that became the first chapter of a longer story. Since e-mail makes it easy to send multiple copies of a message, Rudolph also directed it to a few friends. He had no plans for a second chapter, and had not thought about what would follow; then he was asked, “What happened next?” And so, every few days he pounded out another chapter, thinking, even hoping, each one would be the last.

The tale purported to be an 18th-century romance while making no effort to hide its 21st-century origin, especially in the “scholarly apparatus” in which the author became editor flitting between centuries with no apparent difficulty. Fortunately, the vacation ended before Rudolph had to resolve the tale, and he breathed a sigh of relief. However, one of the original recipients, Tara Bryan, suggested she might illustrate the story and make it into a book. Little did either of them suspect that it would be nine years before she completed the project.

The text, edited by Marnie Parsons, is set in Joanna Monotype, cast by Michael Bixler. Tara Bryan’s line drawings were transformed to photopolymer plates by David Morrish, and the. The book was printed on Environment Text paper with using a Vandercook SP-15 at walking bird press with the assistance of Duncan Major, excellent printer’s devil.

100 copies, each with 48 pages, 9 chapters, 8 plates, 7 smaller illustrations, and various typographic ornaments are hand-stitched and bound in Canson Mi-teintes paper, numbered and signed by author and illustrator, with a matching label on the cover. They can be ordered from walking bird press for USD $150 plus applicable taxes and shipping.

$150 plus shipping and tax where applicable.

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