Rowling, J.K. Quidditch Through the Ages by Kennilworthy Whisp a.k.a. J.K. Rowling. Levine, 2001. ISBN 0439295017. $3.99. 42 pp. B 1+ FI Reviewed by Alex Black Whisp has carefully researched the history of Quidditch to create this quite readable tome. Flying broomsticks are of course the main component of Quidditch. European wizards and witches were flying unvarnished and coarse broomsticks as early as A.D. 962. In fact, around A.D. 1100, a Scottish wizard wrote about “splinter-filled buttocks.” Whisp explains that this sport first originated in Britain’s Queerditch Marsh. This early version was quite similar to the modern form of Quidditch, with one rather interesting exception: a small and fragile but highly agile bird, the Snidget, was used as the ultimate component of the sport. It was the precursor of today’s Golden Snitch. As the sport gained popularity, a problem arose when Muggles eventually noticed wizards on flying broomsticks playing what appeared to be aerial duels. Finally the Wizard’s Council issued a decree: “Quidditch should not be played anywhere near any place where there is the slightest chance that a Muggle might be watching or we’ll see how well you can play whilst chained to a dungeon wall.” Historical and informative books tend to make readers sleepy, but Whisp keeps his reader’s attention throughout his history of Quidditch. Rowling has increased her Harry Potter lore nicely with Quidditch Through the Ages. It is great fun to read the imaginary history of Quidditch. This short fiction work should appeal to all Harry Potter fans.
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