Found: Snape’s secret diaries!

Nov 22, 2020

Posted by: Amanda Kirk

Books, Films, News, Rickman

OK, not really, but close: The diaries of Alan Rickman are going to be published, and they include entries from his time working on the Harry Potter films, in which he perfectly embodied the role of Severus Snape.

According to The Guardian, Rickman kept witty, gossipy, and candid handwritten diaries for 25 years, snidely commenting on his life and work in the film industry. The diaries comprise 27 volumes, and he fully intended to publish them. They are now being edited down to one volume, by Scottish Review of Books editor Alan Taylor, which will be published in autumn 2022 by Canongate. To be honest, I am most interested in seeing what did not make it into the published version. What was deemed too snarky or compromising to print? Revelio! The entries that will have been edited out will no doubt be more revealing than what was considered acceptable to print. Nonetheless, it will be fascinating to read his account of his decade on the Potter film sets.

In addition to the role he is best known for by Potter fans, Rickman played heroes, villains, lovers, and fools, sometimes simultaneously, on stage and screen, with great success and acclaim. He was equally adept at making a villain evil or a lover earnest—or incredibly annoying, as in Truly, Madly, Deeply, in which his character was so good at being annoying, the film is practically unwatchable. He had us all rooting for him for his romantic success as the lovesick Colonel Brandon in Sense & Sensibility, and against his cheating husband in Love, Actually.

According to Rickman’s widow, Rima Horton, “The diaries reveal not just Alan Rickman the actor, but the real Alan – his sense of humour, his sharp observation, his craftsmanship and his devotion to the arts.”

Publisher Canongate says: “He wrote his diaries as if chatting with a close friend. They provide pitch-perfect vignettes: short, pithy paragraphs painting big pictures, and offering intriguing insights into himself, his peers and the world around him. They are intimate, perceptive and very funny.”

We cannot wait to read The Diaries of Alan Rickman and envy editor Alan Taylor his work perusing the originals. One hopes the book will contain some images of the diaries’ pages in Rickman’s handwriting. Leaky will follow up with a review when it is published.

The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.