"...this is a terrific book."
The Sunday Telegraph

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone Book Cover
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's

J. K. Rowling

Cover artist
  • Mary GrandPré
  • Kazu Kibuishi (US)
  • Thomas Taylor
Publication information
  • Bloomsbury (UK)
  • Scholastic (US)
  • Raincoast Books
Release date
  • June 26, 1997
  • September 1, 1998
  • 223 (UK)
  • 309 (US)
Followed by

Harry Potter and the
Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, known as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in the United States, is the first novel of the Harry Potter series. The book was published on June 26th, 1997 in the United Kingdom and September 1st, 1998 in the United States.

A film based on this book was released on November 14th, 2001 and starred Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson.

Dedication Edit

"For Jessica, who loves stories, for Anne, who loved them too, and for Di, who heard this one first."

The book is dedicated to three female relatives of the author, Jessica is her eldest daughter, Anne was her mother who died of multiple sclerosis, and Di is her sister.

Book description Edit

"Harry Potter has never played a sport while flying on a broomstick. He's never worn a Cloak of Invisibility, befriended a giant, or helped hatch a dragon. All Harry knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley. Harry's room is a tiny cupboard under the stairs, and he hasn't had a birthday party in ten years.

But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to a wonderful place he never dreamed existed. There he finds not only friends, aerial sports, and magic around every corner, but a great destiny that's been waiting for him... if Harry can survive the encounter."

Plot Edit

List of Deaths Edit

Character Killed By Cause Of Death Circumstances
Quirinus Quirrell Lord Voldemort/Harry Potter Voldemort's departure from his body and critical injuries from Harry Potter. His body was left by Voldemort to die after being possessed.
Lily Potter Lord Voldemort Avada Kedavra (Mentioned Only) Voldemort's attempt to kill the young boy in the prophecy.
James Potter

Errors Edit

  • In the earlier editions of the Bloomsbury edition, the back cover portrayed an unidentified pipe-smoking wizard. It is possible that this was meant to be Nicolas Flamel due to the bulge in his pocket, which could be the Philosopher's Stone.
  • On page 17 of the Bloomsbury edition and in the original Scholastic Edition, Hagrid says, "I'll be takin' Sirius his bike back." But in the third book, it is made clear that Sirius told Hagrid to keep the bike because he (Sirius) didn't need it anymore. (This was changed to "I'd best get this bike away" in later editions.)
  • While Harry is being Sorted into his house, before him was "Perks, Sally-Anne". But in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, when being called in alphabetical order to take practical O.W.L.s, "Patil, Parvati" is called just before Harry. Sally-Anne, however, could have left Hogwarts at some time between the start of her first year and the end of her fifth year, or she could have been unable to take her O.W.L.s on that day for some reason.
  • In chapter 14 we learn that Hermione and Harry are sitting alone in the common room on Wednesday night, but in chapter 8, we learn that they had to study the night sky through their telescopes every Wednesday at midnight. (This was corrected to Saturday in later editions.)
  • While being Sorted into houses, Harry looks up at the Sorting Hat's stool, and there are only three people left to be sorted. Professor McGonagall then calls out the names of four more students. (This is only in the US edition - in the UK edition, Dean Thomas's name is omitted. Rectified in later editions).
  • Harry buys the book One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi, but later, he ends up looking up "dittany" in One Hundred Magical Herbs and Fungi. (This was corrected in later editions.)
  • On Harry's Hogwarts list of school supplies, "1 Wand" is listed twice, as both the first and last item on the list. However, this could have just been a mistake made by Professor Dumbledore or whoever writes the list of school supplies for Hogwarts' first years. (This was corrected in later editions.)
  • In chapter 7 Nearly Headless Nick says that he hasn't eaten in 'nearly four hundred years', but in the second book, Harry goes to Nick's 500th Deathday party. (This was corrected in later editions.)
  • Much of the first chapter talks about wizards celebrating the fall of Voldemort all day long, yet Harry's family was attacked at night; unless it took Hagrid 24 hours to get Harry from his parents' ruined house to Little Whinging, this seemingly does not make sense. A possible explanation, however, is that it does not say when Hagrid pulled him from the house. It could have been a full day until they could respond, or he could have kept Harry with him until night, when he could easily fly under cover of darkness to Little Whinging. He could have also gone to get the baby Harry checked over to see if he had been harmed. The day, however, is November 1, the day after Voldemort's downfall, so the celebrations are happening after his downfall the evening prior.
  • In this book Slytherin Captain Marcus Flint is a sixth year, but he's still present in book three, which would make him an eighth year. (this was corrected in later editions).
  • While fighting the giant chess set, Ron says he'll move "one step forward" in order for the queen to take him. Ron was playing as a knight, which moves two spaces then one space at the side, so this is impossible. (This was corrected in later editions.)
  • It has been stated that if they would win in Quidditch against Hufflepuff, they would overtake Slytherin for the first time in seven years. But in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban it is stated that they hadn't won the Quidditch Cup since Charlie left. However, this could simply mean that Charlie is older than previously suggested.
  • The art for the cover of the book depicts Harry at Platform 9¾ wearing a Gryffindor scarf. However, Harry had not been Sorted by the Sorting Hat yet, thus not knowing he would be in Gryffindor. One unlikely solution that would explain this is that Ron (or someone else) lent him a scarf (possibly noticing him shivering) - Ron's brothers would have likely owned several and since most of his clothes are second-hand, it is quite possible that Ron would have been wearing a Gryffindor scarf on Platform 9¾.
  • The art of the cover of the book depicts another train behind the Hogwarts Express.
  • The list of supplies does not include potions ingredients, although Harry later buys them. These ingredients may have been a separate sheet of paper unseen to us, although the book specifically mentions there being 2 pieces of paper in Harry's letter.
  • Dumbledore said that he and Hermione's owl crossed in mid-air. However, a few pages later, Hermione said that they ran into Dumbledore on the way to the Owlery to send him the owl.
  • The 15th Anniversary U.S. cover by Kazu Kibuishi depicts Hagrid and Harry with only four fingers on their right hand.
  • The first chapter takes place on November 1, 1981, which was a Sunday. However, on page 2 in the Scholastic edition, it says that the story begins on a Tuesday.
  • During the scene in the hospital wing where Harry recovers, when Dumbledore is about to tell Harry that his father saved Snape's life, Dumbledore calls him "Snape" rather than "Professor Snape" which is how Dumbledore calls him when talking to Harry and even correcting Harry when he calls Snape "Snape" and Dumbledore would reply "Professor Snape, Harry." something he also does in this scene of the book.

Film Edit

Main article: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film)

The book was also adapted into a film, starting the Harry Potter film series. The film Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was released on November 4th, 2001 in United Kingdom and on November 10th in the United States. Chris Columbus is the director and Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson starred in the film.

References Edit

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