Listening to The Incomparable podcast’s episode about The Princess Bride this morning, I made a mental note to look up the book’s Wikipedia page and read more about the strange literary hoax. My memory of the basics was basically correct: William Goldman wrote the book based on stories he told his daughters but claimed that the book was actually cut down from a larger work by “S. Morgenstern.” In reality there was no Morgenstern and no longer book. But I didn’t know about the “reunion scene.” From Wikipedia:
In the novel’s commentary, Goldman writes that he added nothing to the “original” Morgenstern text, although he comments that he did write one original scene, a loving reunion between Buttercup and Westley, but claimed that his publisher objected to this addition. He invited any reader who wanted to read the “Reunion Scene” to write to the publisher (formerly Harcourt Brace Jovanovich; now Random House) and request a copy. Many readers wrote in to the publisher and did receive a letter, but instead of an extra scene, the letter detailed the (obviously fictitious) legal problems that Goldman and his publishers encountered with the Morgenstern estate and its lawyer, Kermit Shog. This letter was revised and updated periodically; the 1987 revision mentioned the movie, while the 25ᵗʰ Anniversary Edition publishes the letter with an addendum about Kermit’s lawyer granddaughter Carly. The 30ᵗʰ Anniversary Edition has a footnote at this point saying that you can now find the three pages of the reunion scene online (www.PrincessBrideBook.com). However, if one goes to the website detailed in the footnote, all they receive via email is the text of the three letters.