Raincoast Books – Harry Potter – A Journey Through A History of Magic! ~Giveaway!

So, do we have any Harry Potter fans here? I didn’t start reading the series until it was almost finished. That was a good thing in some ways, as I didn’t go through withdrawal waiting for the next book to be published! Haha! And I loved them! Someday I’d like to own the whole series so that I can go through and re-read them again whenever I want.

For any Harry Potter super-fans or anyone who needs a gift for a super-fan – I have just the book for you! It just came out in October and it’s called “Harry Potter – A Journey through A History of Magic”. Now this book isn’t actually written by J. K. Rowling, instead it’s written by the British Library’s curatorial team. However, the details that are included in this book are nothing short of fascinating and, even if J. K. Rowling didn’t write it, she sure did contribute! This book was written to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the first Harry Potter book! I honestly cannot believe it’s been 20 years! But yes, the first book came out on June 26, 1997!

This book is split up into 10 chapters and these chapters cover a lot of the classes that Harry would have taken – Potions and Alchemy, Herbology, Charms and so on – as well as a few others like The Journey and Past, Present and Future. The nifty thing about this book is that it’s a bit of a combination of Harry Potter’s world of magic and our world’s version of magic. There are details included that I didn’t know – did you know that the manuscript for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was sent to eight publishers, all of whom rejected it? But when it was sent to Bloomsbury, the founder of the company actually took it home and gave it to his eight-year-old daughter to read?? And it was HER who gave it the green flag and pestered her father to let her read the rest of the manuscript and for him to publish it! Included is her hand-written note declaring her enjoyment of it!

There are illustrations by Jim Kay who has been working on illustrating the entire series. The first one is here, and the second one, that I reviewed, is here. They’re absolutely beautiful books! Throughout the book are tidbits from the series – often quotes relating to the chapter’s material. In the Potions chapter, there’s also a picture from a very old book (circa 1491), on the next page, there is a photo of a bezoar stone in a gold filigree case, then there’s also a drawing of Bezoar Goats, taken from “A Compleat History of Druggs”, which is from 1725. All of these items relate to things that Professor Snape taught the Hogwart’s students in the Potions class! So you see, this is a really unique book – combining both the records we have in our world with the world J. K. Rowling created in the Harry Potter books!

And it’s not all information – there are even some activities and experiments included! For example, again in the Potions chapter, there are two activities – one for Colour-Changing Flowers and one for Potion Making! In the Divination chapter, there is an activity relating to Palm Reading. Beside it is a 14th century drawing of a fortune-telling manuscript! Or perhaps you’d like to perform some Banana Magic?

But the thing that I found most fascinating is all the items that J. K. Rowling gave them permission to use! There are pictures of original manuscript pages, handwritten, with loads of words crossed out, corrections made, arrows going every which way – all signs of an author in the midst of creating a masterpiece! There are so many drawings of hers – for example – the Sorting Hat. There’s a listing she made of the subjects and teachers at Hogwarts. There are edited drafts, that are typed up, but still have a bunch of corrections or additions or deletions. There are drawings of the different characters in the books, like Peeves the Poltergeist and Nearly Headless Nick!

This book would be a splendid addition to any Harry Potter diehard! It is crammed with so many details about the Harry Potter world and so many details about magic and such! And the J. K. Rowling memorabilia is so interesting! Thanks to Raincoast Books for sharing this book with me! It’s priced at $19.99 and is available at Amazon and McNally Robinson.


One lucky winner is going to be receiving this book in the mail! Will it be for you or for a friend or family member who loves the world of Harry Potter!? Please use the entry form below, open to Canadians only, contest closes December 15, 2017!

**Disclosure: The product(s) mentioned have been given free of charge from the company or PR firm in exchange for being featured on Glimpse. The opinions expressed in this post are those of Glimpse and have not been influenced in any other way. Please see the full Terms of use.


  1. HUGE Harry Potter fan right here! Read them all, watched them all, LOVE them all.

  2. I have read one, but the kids just loved them!

  3. Doris Calvert says:

    Huge fan, read them all.

  4. No I have not read Harry Potter but my grandson has watched the movies and is now into collecting and reading the books.

  5. kathy downey says:

    I have not read Harry Potter i tried but i didn’t like it but my granddaughter is a huge fan

  6. Donna Sousa says:

    I’ve read them all. Makes it very hard to fall In love with any other book series.

  7. Jennifer P. says:

    I’m not a Harry Potter fan, but my older daughter is a BIG fan – her and friends LOVE the books! She’s read the first 3 and will hopefully be getting some more for Christmas.

  8. I’m a Harry Potter fan. I’ve read most of the books but have seen all of the movies.

  9. Rosanne Robinson says:

    I’ve seen all of the movies, but have not read all of the books yet.

  10. I’m a huge fan but have only started reading the books. I’ve seen the movies

  11. Yes, I have read the whole series when each book came out.

  12. I love Harry Potter – while I haven’t read all the book I have seen all the movies. We’re actually having a Harry Potter camp for my Brownie unit in 2 weeks! Can’t wait!

  13. Sarah Letendre says:

    I havent read the books but my son has and my daughter is waiting patiently for him to pass them on to her lol

  14. my kids have read them all but I have not, but have seen the movies

  15. Erised Moon says:

    Read them as they came out!

  16. Read them all and can’t wait for my kids to get old enough for them 🙂

  17. Travelbuds says:

    Both my kids are huge Harry Potter fans. They both have read all the books multiple times and seen the movies. I have just seen the movies.

  18. I have read every Harry Potter book and loved every one of them.

  19. Hubby is a huge fan and has read all the books. I’ve seen all the movies 😉

  20. We have read them all.

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