J.K. Rowling Bibliography Is Full of Harry Potter Trivia
If you’re looking to earn your doctorate on The Boy Who Lived, you’re in luck. All you’ll need is the Room of Requirement and this: Bloomsbury's new bibliography on J.K. Rowling and the entire Harry Potter series.
It’s not just a reading list – the bibliography provides a treasure trove of trivia. It includes notes from Rowling’s notes to her editors (of The Prisoner of Azkaban, she wrote, “I’ve read this book so much I’m sick of it”), a song for Nearly Headless Nick cut from the original Chamber of Secrets, other possible titles for The Goblet of Fire, and the story of the covert mission to pass a manuscript from Rowling’s literary agent to her publisher. Bloomsbury Chief Executive Nigel Newton recounts how the drop was made in a Fulham pub:
“So I drove to The Pelican, a pub off the Fulham Road not far from Stamford Bridge, in a state of high alert. And I went in and there was a massive Sainsbury’s plastic carrier bag at this feet … he said nothing about that and I said nothing and he just said ‘Drink?’ and I said, ‘a pint, please’. So we stood at the bar and drank our pints and said nothing about Harry Potter. But when we left I walked out with the carrier bag. It was a classic dead letter drop.”
Philip Errington, an author in his own right and Sotheby’s director for children’s books, is responsible for the 544-page bibliography that was five years in the making. He told The Guardian he did it because he wanted to dispel the myths, “There is a lot of incorrect information out there and this is a chance to set the record straight with detailed research.” He added that it might also not be a bad idea to figure out how exactly a book managed to go viral, “This could act as a map for the future … you can see how the Harry Potter series just took off.”
The amount of work that went into this bibliography must have been enormous, because even the author of one of the best-selling book series in history was impressed. Said J.K. Rowling in a statement,
“As someone who respects comprehensive research, I am in awe of the level of detail and amount of time Philip Errington has dedicated to this slavishly thorough and somewhat mind-boggling bibliography.”