What could make Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone that little bit more magical? Why, having an edition that celebrates your Hogwarts house, of course!
Just in time for the 20th Anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, four special editions celebrating the Hogwarts houses have been released. And they’re packed full of tid-bits and gorgeous illustrations of your chosen house.
I picked up a Hufflepuff edition from my local bookstore — ‘Puff pride! — and have been pouring over it since getting it in my hands. From the front cover to the back, meticulous care has been taken to truly give fans something a little bit magical.
About ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ 20th Anniversary Edition
Celebrate 20 years of Harry Potter magic with four special editions of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw. Twenty years ago these magical words and many more flowed from a young writer’s pen, an orphan called Harry Potter was freed from the cupboard under the stairs — and a global phenomenon started. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone has been read and loved by every new generation since.
To mark the 20th anniversary of first publication, Bloomsbury is publishing four House Editions of J.K. Rowling’s modern classic. These stunning editions will each feature the individual house crest on the jacket and line illustrations exclusive to that house, by Kate Greenaway Medal winner Levi Pinfold. Exciting new extra content will include fact files and profiles of favourite characters, and each book will have sprayed edges in the house colours.
Available for a limited period only, these highly collectable editions will be a must-have for all Harry Potter fans in 2017.
‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ 20th Anniversary Edition review
When I said that meticulous care has been taken to make these editions special, I really did mean it. There are so many minute details, down to the dust cover, that it’s almost impossible to take them all in on your first glance through.
This may be the same story we all know and love, in just another package, but it is one that really does celebrate every inch of your chosen house. As a Hufflepuff, especially, for whom merchandise can often be few and far between, this edition of the Philosopher’s Stone brought a genuine smile to my face — and a deep swell of pride for my house.
The symbol of Hufflepuff house adorns several pages throughout, and it’s hardly surprising, as Levi Pinfold’s rendition is one that deserves that much attention. I found myself pouring over the larger versions on the page, trying to take in every sweeping line, in all its stunning glory.
And, truly, Pinfold’s illustrations are where these editions really shine. There’s something about the almost sketchy nature of them that feels at home with those familiar words I often revisit, year after year. Which, of course, isn’t in any way meant to discount the Illustrated Editions, but there was something about this version that instantly felt like the one I’d been waiting for.
But what about all of that extra content? There is some minor crossover with Pottermore’s House content, but I found myself not really caring overly much. Mostly because there was something undeniably charming about it, when accompanied with Pinfold’s illustrations and that new book smell.
There are fact files for several notable witches and wizards from Hufflepuff house — though they provided no additional new information on Newt Scamander, or his expulsion from Hogwarts. They were each fun, if a little light on any real detail, but served as a reminder of just how important some of them were to the world of Harry Potter.
It was especially nice seeing Cedric Diggory getting some love, after some contentious additional content for that character coming by way of Cursed Child. I’ll say no more on that, but know that should you not have read the script book, nor experienced the play, no specific details from the “eighth story” sneaks its way in there.
Other notable touches throughout the story itself include some updates to the layout. Several written letters are actually in the handwriting of the characters — something that certainly wasn’t present in my well-worn, near 20-year-old copy of Philosopher’s Stone — and it adds a distinctly personal feel to them. I was especially fond of Charlie Weasley’s scrawl, which was much neater than I’d imagined myself. If mine looked even half as elegant, I’d be incredibly happy.
There are also some other neat facts scattered through the pages; like the Hufflepuff points hourglass being filled with diamonds, that making an error in attempting to enter their common room will result in a very sticky surprise (and, apparently, Hufflepuff’s is the only house that will punish you for failing to correctly enter it), and also that they may have either won or been very close to winning the House Cup during Harry’s time at Hogwarts several times.
And if that wasn’t the perfect way to end this edition of the book as a Hufflepuff, I’m not sure what would have been.