Quidditch Through the Ages is a popular Hogwarts library book, reproduced in a facsimile edition for Muggles. The book covers the history of Quidditch from its origins in ancient broom games to the present day.
UK Muggle edition published on 12 March 2001 by Bloomsbury, in association with Whizz Hard Books, 129a Diagon Alley, London
US Muggle edition published on March 12, 2001 by Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic Press, in association with Whizz Hard Books, 129a Diagon Alley, London
Written by Kennilworthy Whisp
Illustrated by J. K. Rowling
Calendar and Dates
The earliest broom games dated from approximately 1000 AD or earlier, but Quidditch itself is credited as having begun in the "eleventh century." The book covers a thousand years of Quidditch history.
The dates due back on the list of borrowers omit the year, but range from 9 April to 11 March. Since Oliver Wood's name is first and Harry's name last on the list, the timeframe is sometime between the start of Wood's first year and the start of Harry's fifth year (since this book came out before OP, and Cedric Diggory's name is on the list).
Since Hermione's name is on the list just before Harry's, and we know that she introduced him to this book during their first year, it is possible that the timeframe of the borrowing dates ends at the beginning of Harry's first year (PS9). Later chapters provide more information relevant to the chronology of the book itself.
Interesting facts and notes
J. K. Rowling wrote this book, along with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, for charity. All proceeds were donated to Comic Relief in the UK.
The cover and contents of the book are designed to look like a Hogwarts library book and it is mentioned in several times in the first book (PS9, PS11). However, the name of author Kennilworthy Whisp was never given before this.
The original publication date of 1952 is given in a footnote to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them:
13 Anyone interested in the role played by the Golden Snidget in the development of the game of Quidditch is advised to consult Quidditch through the Ages by Kennilworthy Whisp (Whizz Hard Books, 1952)
-- footnote 13, page 39 (FB)
This book is purported to be a facsimile of an original Hogwarts library book, perhaps one of several copies that library owns:
"It was with some difficulty.... that I persuaded Madam Pince to part with one of her books...."
-- Albus Dumbledore, page vii of the Foreword (emphasis added)
The copy has been prepared specifically for Muggle eyes, which means that details such as the list of students who had checked it out were added for effect, not necessarily copied verbatim from the library card of the actual book. This may explain why the dates and names don't really make sense.
Covers and front matter
Various persons from the wizarding world praise the book and biographical data about the author is presented.
The blurbs were "written" by several writers, editors, and Quidditch experts mentioned in the Harry Potter books. The "About the Author" biographical data is in reference to Kennilworthy Whisp, not to Rowling.
Property of Hogwarts School Library
Page i is a "library book label" with the handwritten names of students and due dates for the book. The list includes some characters from the novels.
The due dates are problematic, since they seem to indicate that some of the students have checked out the book during the middle of the summer. All in all, it is likely that this is not an authentic book label but a facsimile created for this special edition of the book by Albus Dumbledore.
Praise for Quidditch through the Ages
Page iv contains a list of endorsements of the book by several witches and wizards. These are:
- Bathilda Bagshot, the history book author
- the editor of Which Broomstick magazine
- Brutus Scrimgeour, author of a book about Beaters
- Gilderoy Lockhart, popular author
- Ludo Bagman, famous Beater
- the journalist Rita Skeeter, whose comment is "I've read worse".
....[Whisp's] hobbies include backgammon, vegetarian cookery and collecting vintage broomsticks.
A quiet life, in other words. (Backgammon is a board game.)
....over 250 million dollars since they started in 1985 - which is the equivalent of over 174 million pounds or thirty-four million Galleons.
Here Albus Dumbledore tells us that Comic Relief UK had by 2001 raised over 250 million dollars, then giving the equivalent of that figure as 174 million pounds or 34 million Galleons. From this we can determine that one Galleon is equal to just a tad over 5 pounds, which agrees with her comment in an interview. (The Lexicon features a Wizarding World Currency Converter page.)
Unfortunately, on the back of the book is listed a price for the book in dollars and in wizarding money, and these do not work out to the same exchange rate, so that is incorrect. Wouldn't you know it, when CNN created their converter application on their CNNfn website, they used the wrong exchange rate.
[signature] Albus Dumbledore
Dumbledore's handwriting is very old-fashioned in appearance.
Exceptional character moments
Bagman, whose blurb for this book offers to make bet on whether the book will be a best-seller.
Gilderoy Lockhart, whose blurb for this book is self-centred as usual.
I would be deceiving my readers if I said that this explanation made Madam Pince happy about handing a library book over to Muggles. She suggested several alternatives, such as telling the people from Comic Relief U.K. that the library had burned down, or simply pretending that I had dropped dead without leaving instructions.
...though at the point when it came to let go of it, her nerve failed her and I had to individually prise her fingers from the spine.
Please be careful how you treat this book. Do not rip out the pages. Do not drop it in the bath. I cannot promise that Madam Pince will not swoop down on you, wherever you are, and demand a heavy fine.
From the Web
Harry Potter Wiki: Quidditch
WizardingWorld (Pottermore) features: