A few years back, when I had just defended my dissertation, Barnes and Noble was running several sales which I fell for. One was a three-pack of Quidditch through the Ages, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and Tales of Beedle the Bard. As a Harry Potter fan, I thought, “These sound fun! Let’s buy them!” plus, you know, post-dissertation glee made me really spendy. I finally sat down and read all three this year, so I will place them each in the order I read them. Let’s start with a game of Quidditch!
Quidditch through the Ages is an all-too-brief glimpse at the game of Quidditch, which fascinated me the first time I read through the Harry Potter books. This book explains the origins and history of the game, the variations and team histories for each of the major continental players, and some basic fundamentals of the game. The part about the golden snidge/golden snitch is the most enjoyable, though I don’t know what it is about cute, chick-like birds that get me every.single.time.
This book was fun, but it was also really underwhelming. When I had to take a swimming class in college, my textbook was a comprehensive examination at all the strokes, and there were tons of diagrams. I fully expected Quidditch to have many comprehensive diagrams and charts, which it did not have. I realize that this was a for-fun book, but it just seemed way too vague and underwritten to have *really* been a textbook utilized by Hogwarts, Beauxbatons, or Durmstrang kids. Maybe J.K. Rowling will do an encyclopedia someday? (I’d totally read that).
Cross-posted to my blog.