Released in March 2001, Quidditch Through the Ages is charmingly reproduced as if it were a copy from the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry library. It starts with the history of broomsticks, describes the evolution of Quidditch through the generations, and includes the rules of the game as well as a chapter on modern-day play.
When Severus Snape caught Harry outside the school with this book in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, he invented the rule that no library books were allowed outside the school and confiscated it. The chapters in the book cover:
- 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 (Pitch, balls, players, rules, referees)
- Quidditch Teams of Britain and Ireland
- The Spread of Quidditch Worldwide
- The Development of the Racing Broom
- Quidditch Today.
Rowling’s name does not appear on all the covers of the book, depending on the version, the work is being credited under the pseudonym “Kennilworthy Whisp.” In the universe, Kennilworthy Whisp is a Quidditch expert and fanatic who has written many books about the sport. He lives in Nottinghamshire, where he divides his time with “wherever the Wigtown Wanderers are playing this week.” His hobbies include backgammon, vegetarian cookery, and collecting vintage broomsticks. The Firebolt is the best broomstick according to him.
The book benefits the charity Comic Relief. Over 80% of the cover price of each book sold goes directly to poor children in various places around the world. According to Comic Relief, sales from this book and its companion Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them have raised £15.7 million.