Sunday, June 22, 2008

Edwin Emmanuel Bradford and the Missed Illustration


The first thing I ever published was a short story by the Rev'd Edwin Emmanuel Bradford about a romantic friendship between two Edwardian boys, called 'Boris Orloff'. It was a distastrous edition in as much as I had a computer breakdown before it was finished and only a very few were ever printed and sold. The story was set in St Petersburg where Bradford was the assistant English chaplain for a while, so when, a couple of years later, I found a second story by Bradford set in St Petersburg, 'The Fete at Peterhof', I thought it would be a good way to reissue Boris too by putting both stories into a new publication, which I did and titled it St Petersburg Boys.

When I find stories or articles in Victorian magazines which I want to reprint, I'm always hoping that there will be some illustrations to go with it. Unfortunately, Rev'd Bradford's stories are never normally quite the most important stories in the magazine and so they don't tend to be illustrated. Or so I thought! It was only yesterday, when I was doing to some more work on Bradford's biography that I happened to glance at the bound volume of
Sunday Readings for the Young, which contains 'The Fete at Peterhof' and, blow me, if the story wasn't illustrated on the front page of the edition in which it appears - I hadn't noticed before because it simply never occured to me that a Bradford story might get the front page treatment. So, admittedly it's not the most exciting illustration in the world but, in the spirit of better late than never... here it is.

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