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The Harry Potter Canon

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I just finished reading through my copy of Tales of Beedle the Bard, and I am absolutely delighted with it. It’s so wonderful to read J.K. Rowling’s storytelling and tongue-in-cheek humour again. The stories are great, but I was particularly happy with the commentary. She gives us even more tantalising tidbits of information about her world, and manages to explain a few fan conundrums along the way, such as the definition of ‘warlock’ and the age of Beatrix Bloxum. This book is a treasure!

Commentary

Pensieve (Comments)

  • The “Such as myself” are the best thing! That made me laugh out loud.

  • I can’t wait to read this book! I’m getting it as a Christmas present, ! ;] yeeaayy!

  • Arithmancer

    Oh, good! I’ve been wondering about the definition of ‘warlock’ for ages!

  • Marco

    So we know now more about the Hogwarts staff in the early 20th century.

    Headmaster – Amando Dippet
    Transfiguration – Albus Dumbledore
    Potions – Horace Slughorn
    Herbology – Herbert Beery
    DADA – Galatea Merrythought
    CoMC – Silvanus Kettleburn
    History – Cuthbert Binns

    It seems, that Kettleburn was even more careless mit dangerous creatures than Hagrid.

  • Reader2

    Just read it, enjoyed it a great deal.

    Indeed, it’s the comments that provided us a sequel to Harry Potter.

    Among other things I was glad to get some info on the story of Nearly Headless Nick.
    Now we know that Lady Greeve who ordered his execution was a muggle, and Nick was indeed a victim of a witch-hunt.

    I hope Lexicon will inlcude the names of all the new character, new info on the old characters and new events on the timeline some soon.

  • I have read it once. I’m in the midst of a massive project right now, but when that’s done I’ll read through Beedle and take notes. Then I’ll be updating the Lexicon website. Hopefully I can get to it by the end of this week.

  • hpboy13

    I agree, this book was just incredible! My favorite part is by far the musical Hogwarts tried to put on – I tihnk I was laughing throughout the whole thing. Though fondling horklumps comes at a close second. Just wondering, does anyone have insights as to whether the aunt in question was on Percival’s or Kendra’s side? I’m inclined to think Percival’s, but have no proof.

  • Reader2

    hpboy13,
    At least according to Muriel, Kendar was supposed to be muggle-born, that puts all the magical relatives on Percival’s side.

    There was a lot of questions about fine-arts at Hogwarts. It’s great that the musical story finally answers some of those.

  • John

    I am so glad she published Beedle. It’s probably the best of the three official companion books to date.

  • Barbara Ilott

    I have seen it suggested somewhere that the character of Mrs Beatrux Bloxam and her “Toadstool Tales” is a satirical reference to the children’s writer Beatrix Potter. Don’t you believe it! While there are some superficial resemblances, Beatrix Potter is a genuine artist and has genuine literary merit. I think if JKR is making a sly dig at any real writer of children’s stories, then her target would be Enid Blyton (1897-1968) a very popular and prolific writer who has been much criticised by educationalists and others for her formulaic stories and her now unacceptable stereotypes of race, class and gender. I think “Toadstool tales” is a dig at “Sunny Stories”.

    BMGI

  • Oryx

    To Marco: At the beginning of the 20th century the headmaster was Phineas Nigellus Black. Dippet probably became headmaster when Black died in 1925.

    Merrythought taught for 50 years according to HBP, that would be 1895 to 1945. She started teaching when Albus Dumbledore was in 4th year and Aberforth in 1st.

    To Barbara Ilott: If Rowling is taking a crack at Blyton she should be careful, as she lives in a house of glass. There are plenty of stereotypes of all sorts in HP, all but one endorsed by her favorite characters.

  • Lucy Lupin

    To Barbara and Oryx: I suspect that the person JKR was parodying in Beatrix Bloxam’s character was Thomas Bowdler, who edited the work of Shakespeare to make it more suitable for women and children. That’s where we get the word ‘bowdlerise’ from.

    Have just finished the book and I have to say that I enjoyed Dumbledore’s commentary pages more than the stories themselves – which is what I was expecting. It’s always good to get a few more facts. While the tales themselves will probably appeal to younger readers, I think older fans will be more delighted by the additions.

  • Josh B.

    What I don’t understand is that in the commentary by Dubmledore on the Tale of the Three Brothers he acts like the three items featured in the story are not real. Yet in the last book all three are shown to be in existance and Dubmledore is quite aware of that fact.

  • Oryx

    Of course he pretends they are not real, and he never saw any of them. He does not want to draw attention to the faact that he has seen all of them and knows where they are.

  • JJB

    How old is the Dumbledore who wrote the comments? Is it the school-age or older Dumbledore who seems not to believe? We know he shared Grindlewald’s obsession by the time of their first meeting DH35 but this book may narrow the timeline between when DD was a skeptic and when he became a believer.

  • kamion

    I thought the booklet a bit high on the moralistic side. Could be because I am an old fart, who was read fairytale at a time it was not in fashion to connect moral clues to bedtime stories.

    And it seems there has to be add another member to the Malfoy family, one Brutus Malfoy, living in the 17th century, again a classic name for a Malfoy.
    wonder which Brutus JKr had in mind:
    Brutus, the evictor of the tyrant king of Rome
    or Brutus, the murderer of Ceasar?

  • Marco

    To JJB:

    According to Introduction Dumbledore had completed his notes arround 18 months before his death, what means arround X-mas 1995.

    To Oryx:

    The Ashwinder incident in Hogwarts must have happened during Tom Riddles time in Hogwarts or at least not long before, but surely not later.

    Dumbledore had considered himself a young transfiguration teacher at that time, but in 1945 he was already 64.

    Prof. Kettleburn was on duty until 1993.

  • Nicola Vojvodic (Y15)

    Can anyone help me to get my copy of Beedle and Lexicon?Its impossible to order them from Serbia so I must find a friend from another country to help me.I must get my copies of books but ordering and payment methods don’t provide Serbia (except cards but my parents don’t own them).So if anyone can help me, I will be very happy…

    Cheers…

  • Oryx

    Marco, the play could have been anytime since Dumbledore started teaching (we still don’t know when) to December 1956 at the very latest (when McGonagall started teaching). My impression was it was well before Riddle’s school days.

  • Reader2

    Did anyone really have trouble understanding Dumbledore on the topic of the Hallows?

    To me it seemed all too obvious.
    Not only is he openly lieing in his commentary to the Tale of Three Brothers, but he is also dropping hints for those who knows that he is lieing.

    The phrase “even I would find it easiest to refuse the Invisibility Cloack” is in fact the account of true events. He did have al three Hallows (just not at once) and the Cloack was the only on he gave up willingly.
    At the time he wrote it he had and was still using the Elder Wand, but still had not seen the Stone of Resurection.
    That should make us see the moment when he does find it and puts on the cursed ring in a whole new light.

    By the way, it’s funny how Malfoys are mentioned twice in his commentary.
    It’s no wonder that they didn’t like “The Wizard and the Hopping Pot” and “The Fountain of Fair Fortune”, but I bet they loved “Rabbit Babbity”.
    Dumbledore neglects to mention that.

  • hpboy13

    Reader2, you think the Malfoys liekd Babbitty Rabbitty? They were more well-disposed toward it than the others no doubt, but the fact that the foolish king is let off so easily probably wouldn’t go by well with them. They probably think the foolish king should at leats have been Crucios for good measure.

  • Ginevra

    “While the tales themselves will probably appeal to younger readers, I think older fans will be more delighted by the additions.”

    Yes, these tales do appeal more to the younger crowd, as fairy tales should. My five-year-old loves them! I can’t wait to share the rest of Potter with her. I think I prefer the tales to the commentary, too, since I love the fantasy yet have never been big on the small stuff.

  • Prl

    Hi Nicola, it is very difficult what you ask…
    Big companies never accept “cash in an envelope”, and moving money to/from Serbia or other countries out of EU is very expensive. Tentatively, I’d be willing to help – but I don’t know how. I could accept money in cash in a letter from you, at your risk, and then use my card to buy the book and have it shipped to you, but that would need you to trust me and especially to trust sending cash in a letter – that is risky.

  • Prl

    For Nicola Vojvodic (Y15) : leave an address so I can contact you.

  • Mikkel

    Nicola Vojvodic: Are there no Serbian bookshops which could order the book for you? It ought to be safer (in principle, no slur on Prl) to order the book through a local shop.

  • Prl

    Nicola Vojvodic, I agree with Mikkel. Sending money in an envelope is not secure. Try what he suggests. If that is a no-go, then we see.

  • Nicola Vojvodic (15)

    Firtst at all, thanks folks.I have been a bit busy these two days so I didn’t notice your mail.This weekend I was in capital city – Belgrade, In search of these books.The Mercator, shoping center has a very big book shop but they said me that they maybe going to get copies on English but in May of 2009, for Beedle.About Lexicon they don’t belive that they will get it.I asked to they order for me but they suggest that that may be expensive if is about one copy…

  • Nicola Vojvodic (15)

    Firtst at all, thanks folks.I have been a bit busy these two days so I didn’t notice your comment.This weekend I was in capital city – Belgrade, In search of these books.The Mercator, shoping center has a very big book shop but they said me that they maybe going to get copies on English but in May of 2009, for Beedle.About Lexicon they don’t belive that they will get it.I asked to they order for me but they suggest that that may be expensive if is about one copy…

  • Sorry for double posting I don’t know how that happend.I was In some biggest book shops in Belgrade desperatly trying to find Beedle.I talked to Mr. Roger from RDR Books trying to find a way for paying a order of Lexicon.So he recommended me a paypal, but they don’t provide Serbia (Whole Balkan I think) So after so many ideas he said that is the best way to find a friend from another contry that will help me…
    So just click on my name up here, there’s my mail so everyone is free to contact me…

  • Nicola Vojvodic (15)
  • JJB

    Nicola,

    I just emailed you from work so I won’t be back to read any replies until tomorrow. I think I can help solve the book problem so don’t worry–unless you don’t get the email.

  • Nicola Vojvodic (15)

    JJB, thanks on mail, I send you a reply.And of course thanks on help and yeah, for the wonderful school song that we were sing last week.You’re really great.Thank you so much, but more about in mail that I send you.I can’t thank you enough…

    Oh, yes.I forgot to say you:
    MERRY CHRISTMAS!

  • Nicola Vojvodic (15)

    JJB email me when you come to work.Cheers and thanks!

  • hpboy13

    Nicola, I really don’t want to rub salt in the wound, but I couldn’t resist sharing. I was at the NY Public Library today and saw Arthur Levine’s ORIGINAL COPY!!!
    SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!
    Goodness, it was absolutely breathtaking! I got pictures from every angle, and just spent a while taking it in. It was honestly one of the most magical moments of my life, seeing that book there. Though darn that pesky glass case…if I coudl have TOUCHED it, I think I would’ve fainted form happiness right there!
    Also, Jo is quite the artist! I saw her drawings on the first page, and they’re really good – the copy we have doesn’t do them justice!

  • Nicola Vojvodic (15)

    WOW!Oh, I wish that I was there.Oh man!I can’t believe it, it’s, ít’s GREAT!

  • JJB

    hpboy13, Right, not to rub it in! What about us other poor slobs who don’t live in NYC?!

    Evidently, there’s more Slytherin in me than I thought because I’m turning green with envy!

    Ah well, at least I’m getting the collector’s edition for Christmas.

  • Nicola Vojvodic (15)

    Oh Hi JJB, old friend!
    I wish I was there with JJB,hpboy13,prl and other great people from Lexicon commenting board but I have reason to be happy now. My Beedle copy will finally come in my hands thanks to one great friend and big HP fan — JJB!Thanks JJB…
    Oh and cheers to JJB, hpboy13 and everyone in fact.
    This will be one of my best Christmas and New Year, thanks JJB!

  • JJB

    Nicola, My Young Friend,

    Helping out a fellow HP fan is my pleasure, truly. I can’t wait until your books arrive and we learn what you think about them.

    Oh, and by the way, be careful when using the adjective OLD. It’s true I’m older than you—much older –but as long as the word “old” is followed by the word “friend” I’m OK with it. It only makes me whince a tiny bit! ;P

    (I hope my teasing translates appropriately–I’ve taken no offense, only great pleasure)

  • Nicola Vojvodic (15)

    Oh, that hapend me to recently.Oh and when I say old friend I think on that Im in friendly talk with you for a long time not old person.
    The only person that for which I say that’s old is Umbrige and its followed with bat, gargoyle etc.
    I hope that you didn’t taked that like a offense…;-)

  • JJB

    Nicola, no offense taken.

    Any time you aren’t sure, just assume I’m joking and not easily offended.

  • >>[email protected]

    I cant wait my Beadle book.My brother get it from friend JJB.Thanks JJB!
    I like Babbity Rabbity.It’s funny…
    And congrats to Steve for Lexicon book, my brother Nicola ordered it…can’t wait…
    Cheers to JJB from Serbia

  • JJB

    [email protected],

    Whatever little trouble I’m going through for the books, you and your brother Nicola make me feel so wonderful with your thanks that you make it really worth it. Now I wish I had known to order a Beadle the Bard book for you to have for your very own. Who knows, maybe we can add the Tales to the Lexicon book that is shipping to you in January–what do you think?

    Oh, and when you say brother, are you Christina or Dzeni? Hmm, maybe we’ll need two more Tales of Beadle the Bard…

    Merry Christmas to everyone in Serbia and any other place HP is celebrated.

  • >>[email protected]

    Oh JJB,
    thank you but I don’t understand everything so one copy is enough.Believe you or not my brother Nicola learned English throught HP books and he doing same with me.Im reading Hallows with Nicola who trying to help me to understand everything.I love my older brother and we share everything so one Beedle is enough.Im Christina and Dzeni don’t speak English – yet.But we talk to her about you on Serbian.I and Dzeni can’t wait to read those fairy tales but Nicola waiting for comments of DD.

    Cheers…

  • JJB

    [email protected],

    I think Nicola is lucky to have such a great sister to share his interest in HP. If we’re lucky the Tales of Beadle the Bard and In Search of Harry Potter should be there before Christmas in Serbia.

    Oh, while I’m thinking of it, your brother asked me my birthdate–including the year I was born. Tell him I have the same birthdate as Prof McGonnogal but, like our dear Prof, I’m not revealing what year!

  • Ginevra

    Nicola and Christina, I am very impressed that HP is teaching you English! I am also impressed and touched that you are teaching each other and sharing the HP experience together as siblings. I really hope that my girls will be sharing, teaching, and learning together. I also hope they will love HP as much as we do, when they are old enough to begin the series.

  • hpboy13

    I didn’t mean to rub it in, honest! I just HAD to share with someone I knew would understand.
    That’s so awesome – Beedle books being shipped across the world by devout HP fans to eahc other! Things like this make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!

  • Nicola Vojvodic (15)

    Oh, don’t worry.I know that you didn’t mean to rub it in.Im glad that you shared that special moment with us…really…
    And cheers to everyone…

  • >>[email protected]

    Oh Hi Ginerva,
    and thanks.Once when I was 9 years old he gave me a PS book for 9 birthday and once that I readed it I can’t stop reading HP.After all seven books on Serbian I started to read on English, and now I read DH and then I finished HP series on English…
    I can’t wait for Beedle because I never read something like that.Nicola and I never read QA and FB because those books can’t be found in Serbia only Potter on Serbian and English…
    I wish that we readed them but we didn’t…
    Cheers and Merry Xmas

  • Prl

    Hi [email protected], let’s see if I can help with that…

  • JJB

    Prl,

    Shhh, don’t tell anyone, but Nicola’s birthday is in April and someone might be planning to send those books to him for that occasion–but that’s just between you and me, right?

    By the way, it was your generous offer in the first place that got me involved in helping out Nicola so I owe you for the inspiration. It really is great to be part of a community that is so willing to reach out and help any way we can. You’re the best, thanks for caring.

    hpboy13, Nicola might buy your “I just wanted to share” act but I’m not buying it ;P OK, just kidding. I too think it’s wonderful that you got to see an original ToBB and if I couldn’t be there it myself I’m grateful to experience it vicariously through you. It really is the next best thing to being there–seriously.

  • >>HPT¡nna

    I disagree with you JJB!Im kiding but really my brother and I owe you two…really thanks to you two we have all JKR’s books and two Lexicon books…
    Thank you so much…
    Cheers…

  • Princess

    Does anyone else think Beatrix Bloxam sounds the “teensiest” bit like one Umbridge, Dolores Jane??

  • Prl

    JJB, oops, we’ll have to find something else by April 😉 I think here we share much more than having read the same books. OK, back to work, on the next Pensieve there is so much new stuff!

  • JJB

    Prl,

    Evidently you beat me to it so I’ll try to be creative by April.

    So, I’m informed that you are Italian, like Tommy. I didn’t notice you singing the school song along with him. Next time, I expect the Hogwarts song in Italian sung to the tune of “O Sole Mio”–that should be very interesting.

    Anyway, I’m glad to know you’re out there and helping Christina.

    Buon natale to you (and Tommy)!

  • Why separate out Muggles and Wizards now that it has been established that many wizards have Muggle ancestry down the line? JKR’s Encyclopedia or Scottish Book affords us only certain types of theories – and the biggest is who is related to who.

    The Encyclopedia will be different than Steven’s book in that it will have everything that did not make it into the novels hopefully including that when JKR changed her mind about (ie who she was going to make magical late in life but decided not to).

    Also, no where in the books does it say that Florence is female.

    Oh, concerning Brutus Malfoy and Brutus Scrimgeour – someone on another board noted that there is also a St Brutus whose school Vernon told Aunt Marge Harry was attending.

    PS. Keep up the good work!

  • Reader2

    Vaudree,
    The name Florence is used in the sentnece: “about him making out with Florence”
    We know that it would not be impossible in the Rowling’s world, but certain things were not meant to be stated openly in the book.

    About seprating two worlds: the characters are not sorted by whom they are related to, they are sorted by wheather they have magical powers.
    It’s not too difficult to look up the same last names on two lists (or even three lists, there are also magical beings and their relation to wizards is even more complex).

  • HPgal94

    hey everybody
    just wanted to ask a question
    i live in scotland but speak french and was wondering where the best place 2 get a french hp book would be
    merci beacoup et bon soir

  • Queen Elizabeth

    hi HPgal94 i don’t know which store or blah.but i think you can just order on from any of the bloomsbury sites.i think that they do sponsor translated HP books.
    By the way are you new??

  • wrackspurt

    yeah, i loved the “Such as myself” parts, too. In fact, when I reread the introduction after finishing the book for the first time, I noticed that there’s this one part that says something along the lines of “…anyone who has read all seven volumes on the life of Harry Potter, for instance..”, n i felt like adding my own little “such as myself” …. lol
    (decided not to eventually, its a shame to have to spoil a perfectly lovely book page with my handwriting…)

    I’m definitely gonna recommend this to my friends; you dont really have to be an avid HP fan to enjoy the actual stories, though the commentaries…maybe not.

    That Beedle the Bard is one good writer!

  • dragonfr

    lol wrackspurt!

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