You Can Buy ‘Beedle the Bard’ for $100!

In a hardback, ribbed spine, collector’s edition available only At Thank you, Dr. Sturgis, for the news. There is also a “standard edition” in paperback going on sale 4 December 2008 for $7.59. All proceeds will be going to Children’s High Level Group, Ms. Rowling’s preferred charity.

The ‘surprise inside’? Commentary and footnotes for the five stories by the late Albus Dumbledore! I think (1) we are about to read Ms. Rowling’s satirical treatment of literary criticism, and, perhaps, (2) we’ll get some idea of how she thinks it should be done. Stand by, Elvendorks! This may not be pretty…

I’m confident, though, of one thing: we now know July’s bestseller at Amazon — and I expect for the next few months. Happy birthday, Ms. Rowling, and thank you for this gift.

All-Pros, your comments, please!


  1. Quote:

    Product Description Review
    The Tales of Beedle the Bard, Collector’s Edition
    Offered Exclusively by Amazon (Available in Limited Quantities)
    In December 2007, J.K. Rowling unveiled The Tales of Beedle the Bard, a very special book of five fairy tales illustrated by the bard herself, embellished with silver ornaments and mounted moonstones. Amazon was fortunate to come into possession of one of the original copies, and it was our privilege to share images and reviews of this incredible artifact. Now J.K. Rowling is giving millions of Harry Potter fans worldwide cause for celebration with a new edition of The Tales of Beedle the Bard (available December 4, 2008) and Amazon is thrilled to exclusively offer a luxuriously packaged Collector’s Edition designed to evoke the spirit of the handcrafted original.
    Tucked in its own case disguised as a wizarding textbook found in the Hogwarts library, the Collector’s Edition includes a handwritten version of J.K. Rowling’s new introduction, as well as 10 additional illustrations not found in the Standard Edition or the original. Opening the case reveals a velvet bag embroidered with J.K. Rowling’s signature, in which sits the piece de resistance: your very own copy of The Tales of Beedle the Bard, complete with metal skull, corners, and clasp; replica gemstones; and emerald ribbon.

    Offering the trademark wit and imagination familiar to Rowling’s legions of readers–as well as Aesop’s wisdom and the occasional darkness of the Brothers Grimm–each of these five tales reveals a lesson befitting children and parents alike: the strength gained with a trusted friendship, the redemptive power of love, and the true magic that exists in the hearts of all of us. Rowling’s new introduction also comments on the personal lessons she has taken from the Tales, noting that the characters in Beedle’s collection “take matters into their own hands, rather than taking a prolonged nap or waiting for someone to return a lost shoe,” and that “magic causes as many problems as it solves, and to this day it is often Beedle’s stories that help the parent explain this fact of life to their young sons and daughters.”

    But the true jewel of this new edition is the enlightening and comprehensive commentary (including extensive footnotes!) by Professor Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, who brings his unique wizard’s-eye perspective to the collection. Discovered “among the many papers which Dumbledore left in his will to the Hogwarts Archives,” the venerable wizard’s ruminations on the Tales allow today’s readers to place them in the context of 16th century Muggle society, even allowing that “Beedle was somewhat out of step with his times in preaching a message of brotherly love for Muggles” during the era of witch hunts that would eventually drive the wizarding community into self-imposed exile. In fact, versions of the same stories told in wizarding households would shock many for their uncharitable treatment of their Muggle characters.

    Professor Dumbledore also includes fascinating historical backstory, including tidbits such as the history and pursuit of magic wands, a brief comment on the Dark Arts and its practitioners, and the struggles with censorship that eventually led “a certain Beatrix Bloxam” to cleanse the Tales of “much of the darker themes that she found distasteful,” forever altering the meaning of the stories for their Muggle audience. Dumbledore also allows us a glimpse of his personal relationship to the Tales, remarking that it was through “Babbity Rabbity and Her Cackling Stump” that “many of us [wizards] first discovered that magic could not bring back the dead.”

    Both a wise and delightful addition to the Harry Potter canon, this new translation of The Tales of Beedle the Bard is all that fans could hope for and more–and an essential volume for the libraries of Muggles, wizards, and witches, both young and old.


    Comment: Wow!

    Yours Odd
    (BG, No)

  2. Gladius Terrae Novae says

    I’m going to get it! I’d always hoped she would publish some copies for the rest of us. Now that I think about it, though, it kind of takes away somewhat from the meaning of the original ones she gave as gifts. Instead of one-of-a-kind books, now their just really nice copies of a book you can buy for eight bucks at any bookstore.

  3. is the collector’s edition the only one that has the commentary?

    way to go Dr. Sturgis and John– you all scooped the email from Amazon by a good several hours! I think my purse is more like to fund the non-collectors’ edition, but either way I’d enjoy reading them.


  4. What makes me smile is the description of the bits of back story she’s managed to slip in via Dumbledore’s “commentary.” It seems clear that she’s not through with this fictional world of her’s yet, for which I shout hooray! A lovely present for all of us on Harry and JKR’s special day.

  5. revgeorge says

    John said, “I think (1) we are about to read Ms. Rowling’s satirical treatment of literary criticism, and, perhaps, (2) we’ll get some idea of how she thinks it should be done. Stand by, Elvendorks! This may not be pretty…”

    I’m not quite sure authors are really the best people to tell us how to do literary criticism, especially of their own works. Bit too close to home for them & makes for blinders on their perspective.

  6. Looks like I need to start saving my pennies, doesn’t it. I’ll definitely get the paperback, but I’d really like to have the hard back version. I went to the Bloomsbury site also, and that one list Rowling as the artist. I would love to have that as well.

    Well, looks like I’ve completely maxed out my Christmas list by adding this book to the audio book of Deathly Hallows by Stephen Fry.


  7. @Nzie – Amazon’s description of the Standard Edition (with cover art now, woohoo) says it also includes the Dumbledore commentary.

    I think many of us will agree that this commentary will be the best and post highly anticipated part of this new edition.

  8. Arabella Figg says

    The following was at the Borders website; I’m putting the portion after the book description, which includes a quote from Rowling:

    All net proceeds from the sale of the books – expected to be in the region of £4 million / $8 million – will be donated to CHLG.

    The charity works to make life better for vulnerable children across Europe, where over a million children and teenagers are growing up in unacceptable conditions in large residential institutions. In most cases they are without adequate human or emotional contact and stimulation, while many only just survive without life’s basics such as adequate shelter and food.

    Emma Nicholson says: “We are so thrilled to be publishing such an exclusive and special book. This unique project will raise vital funds for the work of CHLG, to help us change the lives of hundreds of thousands of marginalised and institutionalised children who are living in appalling conditions, and make sure that no future generation suffers in this way.”

    J K Rowling says: “There was understandable disappointment among Harry Potter fans when only one copy of The Tales of Beedle the Bard was offered to the public last December. I am therefore delighted to announce that, thanks to the generous support of Bloomsbury, Scholastic and Amazon (who bought the handwritten copy at auction) – and with the blessing of the wonderful people who own the other six original books – The Tales of Beedle the Bard will now be widely available to all Harry Potter fans. Royalties will be donated to the Children’s High Level Group, to benefit institutionalised children in desperate need of a voice. The new edition will include the Tales themselves, translated from the original runes by Hermione Granger, and with illustrations by me, but also notes by Professor Albus Dumbledore, which appear by generous permission of the Hogwarts Headmasters’ Archive.”

    Rumbleroar would rather have a beetle than a beadle any day.l..

  9. (1) we are about to read Ms. Rowling’s satirical treatment of literary criticism, and, perhaps, (2) we’ll get some idea of how she thinks it should be done. Stand by, Elvendorks! This may not be pretty…

    On the other hand, we might be getting a lesson in the importance of fairy tales. From the notes at, I saw something about Dumbledore commenting on one of the tales and saying, “This is where most of us first learned the dead cannot return.” I thought immediately of Chesterton, who wrote that his “first and most important philosophy” came from fairy tales.

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