Author’s Original Sketches to Accompany 25th-Anniversary Edition of “Philosopher’s Stone” from Bloomsbury

It has been announced that author J.K. Rowling’s original sketches will appear in print for the first time alongside Bloomsbury’s upcoming reprint of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone for the 25th anniversary of the book’s publication. The Guardian reports that Rowling’s sketches aren’t the only striking addition to the reprint of Philosopher’s Stone; the cover art will be that of Thomas Taylor, the book’s original cover artist.

Taylor, who was interviewed by the Guardian, was 23 and looking to enter the field of illustration at the time that he was commissioned to draw the book’s cover art – including the wizard on the back of the book.

The new hardback will be on sale for a year, and includes an explanation of a mystery that has long baffled the most devoted readers. When Taylor was commissioned at the age of 23, he was asked to provide an extra image of a wizard for the back cover. Stumped for speedy inspiration, he writes, he drew a study of his own ‘magical’ father, Robert, dressed in a pointy hat and smoking a large pipe. ‘”Who is that?,” readers wanted to know. “It’s not Dumbledore, it’s not Quirrell and it’s not Snape”,’ he writes.

Despite (or possibly because of) the rarity of the first edition of Philosopher’s Stone, Taylor reportedly doesn’t have his own copy. His father passed away in 2020.

Rowling’s Harry Potter sketches first appeared on Pottermore in 2016, and some – including a sketch of Severus Snape teaching Potions – are still visible on the revamped Wizarding World Digital. Fans will be able to view more of Rowling’s original artwork when the 25th-anniversary edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books on June 9.

For more details on the new edition, a web page from Bloomsbury in Canada has published some frequently asked questions.


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Mary W.

I am a Slytherin, a lifelong fan of Harry Potter, and a member of MuggleNet staff since 2014. In my Muggle life, I am passionate about human rights, and I love to travel around the world and meet new people.