A Letter to My Imaginary Friend



Surviving Copies

Rose Ornament

A Letter to an Imaginarie Friend

transliterated by John Koster

The love letter presented here within these pages first made its appearance in contemporary English in the year 1862, in an obscure little volume transliterated by John Koster from the original colloquial late-Middle English text of his ancestor (see below), which had been printed almost three-and-a-half centuries earlier. With modernized text, yet still retaining the original work’s woodcut illustrations, only three copies of this delightful later edition remain in existence.

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Rose Ornament

Epistyll to ane Imagenarie Frende

by Roanalde Kosterius

Of much greater historical interest, of course, is the original 1523 text of Koster’s forefather. Written in the very colloquial late-Middle English style of spelling (and pronunciation) of that period, the dating of this work presents itself to us as one of the earliest examples of a book printed with moveable type in the English language. Sadly, however, it now exists only in a single, fragmented form — merely loose pages detached from any binding, of which no other copies are known to have survived. This near-incunabulum was itself a translation into English by the venerable alchemist, mystic and scribe known as Roanalde Kosterius (often referred to simply as Kosterius), from letters written by an unknown author, composed to his unknown lover, mysteriously yet again in an unspecified language...

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...or so the legend goes.

Was it all just my — and your — imagination?


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