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This first edition copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone going up for auction may just be the most rare version we’ve ever seen.

Sotheby’s is auctioning off this one-of-a-kind Philosopher’s Stone donated by J.K. Rowling to raise money for English PEN, who “campaign to defend writers and readers in the UK and around the world whose human right to freedom of expression is at risk.”

Just one book of many in English PEN’s “First Editions, Second Thoughts” auction, this Philosopher’s Stone first edition includes 1,100 handwritten notes and 22 illustrations by Rowling herself.

In the two photos below you can see a sample of the notes and drawings you’ll find in the book if you have a ridiculous amount of money:

(Click them for full size!)


Philosopher's Stone signed first edition

It’s not clear how much of the new writing from Rowling is entirely new (for example: we’ve seen that Snape sketch before in an Anniversary Edition), but we have to assume this was all hand drawn and hand written by the Harry Potter author. Some of the notes in this book may have shown up in Pottermore, or maybe Rowling wrote some closely-guarded information to make this book an extra treat for the future owner.

The auction page has a few brief comments from Rowling about this first edition copy: “I wrote the book… in snatched hours, in clattering cafés or in the dead of night. For me, the story of how I wrote Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is written invisibly on every page, legible only to me. Sixteen years after it was published, the memories are as vivid as ever as I turn these pages.”

In addition to Rowling, other authors who have contributed first edition books include Yann Martel’s Life of Pi, David Lodge’s Small World, Roald Dahl’s Matilda, Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones’s Diary, and Alan Bennett’s The Uncommon Reader.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kevin.landeen Kevin Landeen

    I WANT IT!!!! Want, want want!

  • http://hypable.com John Thrasher

    As a writer I don’t know how someone could ever part with something like this, especially after reading her comments about how only she can see the story behind the story. I hope whoever gets it keeps it in very very safe hands.

  • Alex

    I REALLLLLLLLLLLLLLY hope whoever buys it is a charitable hp fan and posts whatever new material (drawings or info) up on the internet for the rest of us to see.

  • Matt

    If only I had more than $5 in my wallet….

    • I<3Books


  • http://www.facebook.com/tiffany.noel.167 Tiffany Noel

    Oh, the things I would do to have this…

  • http://twitter.com/StarkidSims Simone

    Wowww that baby is going to go for a lot of $$$$$. That would be INCREDIBLE to have. Hope it goes to someone deserving who will give it lots of love and care.

  • http://twitter.com/SarahKHansen S.K.Hansen

    Man, if I had the money . . . .

    Oh, and a first edition “Northern Lights” (Phillip Pullman) is be auctioned too.

  • RussellTurner

    Maybe amazon will buy it and replicate it

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gavin-Walsh/100000260589961 Gavin Walsh
  • Glaciusx


  • http://twitter.com/carriewatson24 Carrie Watson

    Why isn’t she releasing an encyclopedia?

  • A.H.

    OMG THIS IS SOOOOOOO COOL. I really hope whoever buys it will at least post a few pics

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