Sneak Peek At J.K. Rowling’s Annotated ‘Philosopher’s Stone’

Earlier this month it was announced that J.K. Rowling was placing a first edition annotated copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone up for auction.

New photos of the book released today depict some amazing notes written by the author within her debut novel.

The Guardian shared three pages from inside this extremely rare charity item. In addition to the new notes, we also see a sketch of baby Harry in his carriage sitting out front Number Four Privet Drive.

Above each photo is a typed version of what Rowling wrote on the pages, for easier reading.

One particular interesting item within these notes: Hufflepuff’s original house animal was a bear, not a badger. Rowling suggests in the notes that fans would’ve had more respect for Hufflepuff had she kept their animal a bear.

Title page [beneath title] ‘changed my life forever.’

Title page ‘No shield here – crest. I mean all that came in the later editions. This one’s a bit wonky but you get the idea. Perhaps Hufflepuff house would have the respect it deserves from the fans if I’d stayed with my original idea of a bear to represent it?’


p.18 [beneath drawing] ‘Harry Potter rolled over inside his blankets without waking.’


p.133 [beneath ‘Quidditch’] ‘-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.’


Sotheby’s is auctioning off this one-of-a-kind Philosopher’s Stone to raise money for English PEN, who “campaign to defend writers and readers in the UK and around the world whose human right to freedom of expression is at risk.”

This Philosopher’s Stone first edition includes 1,100 handwritten notes and 22 illustrations by Rowling herself. Thanks to The Guardian.

Wish I could bid on it! I expect the auction will exceed 100,000 pounds at the least! (If you have that kind of spare change, please, win this auction and then share the book with the rest of the world!)


About Josephine Hardy

A 26-year-old writer from Melbourne, Australia currently living with her husband in Fayetteville, Arkansas (USA). Content Marketing Producer at Simply Measured, hobby genealogist, cat lover, and world traveler.

Posted on May 18, 2013, in Book News and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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