The 'Harry Potter' Bibliography: 5 Secrets Revealed
The mischief has finally been managed.
A Marauder's Map of the Harry Potter series, taking shape in the form of a bibliography on J.K. Rowling's works, unveils insider secrets about the publication process of the best-selling novels for Muggle fans, regardless of whether or not they're "up to no good."
The 544-page J.K. Rowling: A Bibliography 1997-2013, by author and Sotheby's director for children's books Philip Errington, details some of the mischief that occurred during the creation of the series just published in the U.K., and The Guardian has read through it.
Five fun facts are revealed here about Harry Potter in the book:
1. The James Bond-like drop-off of Order of the Phoenix in a London Pub
In a "classic dead letter drop," as Bloomsbury chief executive Nigel Newton described it, Newton met Rowling's then-agent Christopher Little in The Pelican pub in Fulham, where Little awaited with a concealed Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix manuscript. "I went in, and there was a massive Sainsbury's plastic carrier bag at his feet. … When we left, I walked out with the carrier bag." Sounds like a top-secret Ministry of Magic mission, but alas, it was just another day in the life of Harry Potter insiders. Little had also delivered the previous book to Bloomsbury in the same location. Who knew pubs were a popular place for secret happenings? *Cough* The Leaky Cauldron *cough.*
2. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Revision
It may have ended up as the eighth best-selling book of all time, but Rowling was so "sick" of her third Harry Potter novel, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, that she confessed it would be "hard put to smile when it comes to doing public readings from it." Rowling exchanged a series of emails with editor Emma Matthewson expressing her lack of interest in doing readings. "I've read this book so much I'm sick of it. I never read either of the others over and over again when editing them."
3. Nearly Headless Nick Became Completely Song-less Nick
While Rowling had less distress over the changes made to Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, one cut in the final edit of the novel left her disappointed enough to call it a "wrench": a song for Nearly Headless Nick. Though the song didn't make its way into the book, it made its way online when Rowling posted it on her website afterward.
4. The Tri-Suggested Titles for the Tri-Wizard Tournament Novel
The Goblet of Fire became an iconic symbol in the Harry Potter series, but the name only made its way into the fourth novel's title after several alternative suggestions were rejected. Originally, Rowling was working with three different titles, including Harry Potter and the Death Eaters, Harry Potter and the Fire Goblet, and Harry Potter and the Three Champions. In the long run, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire triumphed over the other three, just as Harry did in the tournament before realizing the trophy goblet was a portkey to Voldemort. Oops.
5. Harry Potter, the "Scottish boy" who lived
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Rowling's first novel of the series, made its way to the New York Times best-sellers lists on Dec. 27, 1998. Pottermania wasn't in full force yet. Witness the one tiny but crucial detail the Times got wrong: It described Harry Potter as a "Scottish boy."