Quidditch Through the Ages is a book written, hand-lettered and illustrated by J. K. Rowling for the Comic Relief U.K. charity in 2001. Written under the pseudonym Kennilworthy Whisp, it is meant to be a copy of the in-universe book Quidditch Through the Ages. On 15 March 2018, an audiobook was released, narrated by Andrew Lincoln.
The premise is that the book has been released to the Muggle world to help raise money for needy causes. It features a blurb and a foreword by Albus Dumbledore, in which he stresses the only way he was able to take it from Irma Pince—Librarian of the Hogwarts Library—was to "prise her fingers individually from the spine."
The first page is meant to look like a library borrowing log, which features the names of many Hogwarts Quidditch players. The name H. Granger appears near the bottom, as she took it out in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, before the first broom riding lesson. The other names are O. Wood, B. Dunstan, M. Flint, C. Diggory, A. Johnson, E. Macmillan, T. Boot, S. Fawcett, K. Bundy, K. Bell, C. Warrington, J. Dorny, T. Nott, S. Capper, M. Bulstrode, F. Weasley, and H. Potter. The list of dates is problematic, since they seem to indicate that students check out the book during the summer. However, in the 2009 UK edition, these dates are changed and names are listed in the library borrowing log, in this order: R. Weasley, N. Longbottom, S. Bones, H. Granger, Padma Patil, E. Macmillan, M. Bulstrode, H. Granger (again), and Draco Malfoy.
The copyright page features Praise for Quidditch Through the Ages, with commentary by wizarding celebrities Bathilda Bagshot, Brutus Scrimgeour, Gilderoy Lockhart, Ludo Bagman, Rita Skeeter, and the Editor of Which Broomstick.
- The Evolution of the Flying Broomstick
- Ancient Broom Games
- The Game from Queerditch Marsh
- The Arrival of the Golden Snitch
- Anti-Muggle Precautions
- Changes in Quidditch since the Fourteenth Century
- Quidditch Teams of Britain and Ireland
- The Spread of Quidditch Worldwide
- The Development of the Racing Broom
- Quidditch Today
Behind the scenes
- A discrepancy in the in-universe book is that although Harry had the book in his first year (1991-1992), there is an event listed that occurred in 1994. It is, however, possible, that the "real" edition was updated. (Although this is unlikely, as the Nimbus 2000 and 2001 brooms were launched in 1991 and 1992 respectively, and the most recent Nimbus broom mentioned in the book is the 1700.)
- This book is available in the Muggle world (which would appear to be a breach to the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy even if Dumbledore writes that everything is "fictional"), for the purpose of raising money for charity.
- There are seven illustrations throughout the text (labelled Fig. A to Fig. G) by Rowling, in addition to an illustration of a flying Quidditch ball at the end of the text (from the ‘Whizz Hard Books’ logo) by Polly Napper.
- The American editions of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Quidditch Through the Ages were not Americanized. The publisher Arthur A. Levine stated ‘… those are exactly the same – we didn’t have time or anything… Did I change the spellings? I might have… I might not have… Because, of course, the conceit is that it’s a British school book anyway. It’s not narrated…’ A note about Comic Relief by Rowling is unique to the American edition and the text of the ‘Foreword’ has also been changed slightly to identify the charity as ‘Comic Relief U.K.’
- The French edition contains a glossary with the translation of the originally British Quidditch terms into French "created by the Académie française des sorciers."
- In 2017, Bloomsbury Publishing released a new edition of the book featuring interior illustrations by Tomislav Tomic.
- On 15 March 2018, an audiobook with bonus content was released via Audible. The Audible edition is the first ever narration of the book and the bonus content, over two hours long, is content written by J.K. Rowling for Pottermore regarding the 2014 Quidditch World Cup.
- In celebration of the Illustrated Edition release in October 2020, eleven towns throughout the UK with ties to known Quidditch teams, including Holyhead and Ballycastle, were honoured with decorative Quidditch hoops and banners that included their team's name and crest.
Notes and references
- News: "Andrew Lincoln will narrate new digital audiobook of Quidditch Through the Ages" at Pottermore
- News: "Watch Andrew Lincoln discuss his Quidditch Through the Ages audiobook" at Pottermore
- Updated library borrowing log page (see this image)
- J.K. Rowling: A Bibliography 1997-2013
- Quidditch towns honoured to mark new Harry Potter book at Youtube
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