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J.K. Rowling's Personal Annotated "Philosopher's Stone" to be Auctioned for Charity

Posted by: Catherine
May 19, 2013, 04:34 AM

A very rare copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is going to be put up for auction on Tuesday. The auction is to aid the writers' association, English PEN. The auction will sell numerous novels annotated by their authors, including an incredible first edition (yes, one of the original first-run 500 copies) of Philosopher's Stone annotated by J.K. Rowling. This special annotated copy of Philosopher's Stone includes numerous handwritten comments in the margins, 22 original hand-drawn sketches, as well as a 43-page "second thoughts" segment in which Rowling gave her personal account on writing the novel. The Daily Mail reports:

JK Rowling's personally annotated first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is due to be sold at the Sotheby's in aid of the writers' association English PEN. On the title page she has added: 'changed my life forever', and drew the Hogwarts crest where it went on to appear in later editions. She also questions: 'Perhaps Hufflepuff house would have the respect it deserves from fans if I'd stayed with my original idea of a bear to represent it?'

On another page, Rowling has drawn a picture of a sleeping baby Harry left on the Privet Drive doorstep of the Dursleys, his aunt and uncle, after his parents were killed by Lord Voldemort

On the chapter entitled Quidditch, Rowling's notes explain the sport's origins: 'was invented in a small hotel in Manchester after a row with my then boyfriend. I had been pondering the things that hold a society together, cause it to congregate and signify its particular character and knew I needed a sport. It infuriates men, in my experience (why is the Snitch so valuable etc.), which is quite satisfying given my state of mind when I invented it'

It includes a 43-page 'second thoughts' segment from Rowling, with notes such as, 'I wrote the book ... in snatched hours, in clattering cafes or in the dead of night. 

'For me, the story of how I wrote 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone' is written invisibly on every page, legible only to me ...'

Dr Philip W. Errington, director of printed books and manuscripts at Sotheby's, said: 'This can undoubtedly be regarded as the definitive copy of any Harry Potter book.

'Not only is it a fine copy of a first edition of the first book, but the author has significantly personalised it with numerous written comments and many impressive and evocative illustrations.

'The personality of the author leaps from these pages and we are treated to a remarkable insight into her creative genius.'

The Daily Mail also has posted a few pictures of this annotated Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, which can be seen here.

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444 Points

Wouldn’t it be fantastic, after all these years of reading and discussing the books, to have this particular one? Someone is going to be very lucky. I hope whoever buys it shares some of the information with the rest of us, especially what’s on those 43 pages.

Posted by Eeyore on May 19, 2013, 08:55 PM report to moderator
450 Points

Ugh, if only I could afford such a thing…

Posted by Mad But Happy on May 20, 2013, 12:50 AM report to moderator
940 Points

Oh, how I’d love to have this book! I’m happy the auction money will go to a good cause (isn’t PEN the grant JK received while writing Philosopher’s Stone?).

Posted by PollyC on May 20, 2013, 04:19 AM report to moderator
923 Points

If only the people who sneer at Jo Rowling’s work realised how ridiculous they reveal themselves to be!

Quite apart from the actual readers who benefitted, there are thousands of people who were employed in the subsequent industry which sprang up once the decision to film the series was made.

I only hope that the future owner of that book will love and treasure it.

Posted by Graymayne on May 20, 2013, 08:10 AM report to moderator
80450 Points

Wow! what a treasure…

Posted by Won_Two on May 20, 2013, 09:21 PM report to moderator
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