Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

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J. K. Rowling.


Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.


London: Bloomsbury,




Annotated and illustrated by the author.

Sixteen years after publishing the first of her best-selling novels, J. K. Rowling agreed to record her thoughts as she read through this copy. To over 1,000 words of text she added more than twenty illustrations. These skillfully drawn images depict the author’s personal vision of her story.

The extensive textual annotations range from accounts of author-editor decision-making to commentaries about the significance of events and characters. Rowling even records how her publisher requested that she add a “K.” to her name, which she did in memory of her grandmother Kathleen, “who listened to me making up stories with every appearance of delight & interest.”

I acquired this book in May 2013 at a London charity auction, the proceeds of which went to English PEN and Rowling’s own Lumos Foundation, which works to improve the situations of children in institutions worldwide. Every time I hold this copy and show it to friends, I feel a genuine delight and interest in its special features. The book resides in Edinburgh where much of the story was written.


William Zachs