34

Is there any information in the seven books as to who wrote the book? I know Bathilda Bagshot wrote A History of Magic, did she also write Hogwarts: A History?

I know what is in the Harry Potter Wiki, but that is not considered canon to a lot of people.

  • 3
    Every non-canonical source I can find attributes it to Bathilda Bagshot, but the author of Hogwarts: A History is not ever mentioned in the 7-8 times the book is brought up in the 7 main Harry Potter books. – amflare Sep 28 '17 at 3:28
35

Canon works

Within the main canon (books, interviews, pottermore) we simply don't know. The book is repeatedly mentioned but the author is not.

(Licensed) Non-Canon works.

The PS2 game Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets identifies the author as one Chroniculus Punnet

enter image description here

Whereas the (screen-used) film prop for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets identifies the cover author as Prof. Garius Tomkins

enter image description here


According to the Wiki, the prop book at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter exhibition has Bathilda Bagshot's name on the front cover.

  • 4
    It's also worth mentioning that the books seem to imply the author is not Bathilda Bagshot. There are several passages which would have probably mentioned it if she was. – ibid Sep 28 '17 at 4:19
  • 5
    @ibid - Sure, but many of those are from Harry's perspective and we know that he's not read the book. – Valorum Sep 28 '17 at 4:26
  • 3
    One of them is from Hermione's perspective, and only a few chapters after a big deal is made about how Hermione can't leave home without a copy of Hogwarts a History. – ibid Sep 28 '17 at 4:29
  • 12
    @dean1957 - Or perhaps there's no canonical answer and thus each adaptation felt free to make up their own name for the author. I don't see any reason to assume it had multiple authors. – ibid Sep 28 '17 at 4:54
  • 4
    @ChristieRomanowski - I'd distinguish between (licensed) non-canon properties and fan-fiction. – Valorum Sep 28 '17 at 9:37
33

Not Bathilda Bagshot

There is no mention in canon of who the author is. (You can find a nice compilation of most of what we do know about the book on the HP Lexicon). None of the places where the book is mentioned in the series, interviews, or any other canon source provide the author.

However, we can probably rule out Bathilda Bagshot. Every time that Bagshot appears, from her being mentioned in casual conversation to her review on the back of Quidditch through the Ages, she is always only identified as being the author of A History of Magic.

Particularly telling is Hermione's association when she hears the name in book seven.

“Well then,” said Harry, keen to discuss his theory, “what about information on Dumbledore? The second page of this letter, for instance. You know this Bathilda my mum mentions, you know who she is?”

“Who?”

“Bathilda Bagshot, the author of —”

“A History of Magic,” said Hermione, looking interested. “So your parents knew her? She was an incredible magical historian.”
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Chapter 10

Remember that Hermione was a big fan of Hogwarts: A History to the point that she carried it around wherever she went even when it didn't make much sense.

“Here he goes,” Ron said to Hermione, rolling his eyes.

“As we knew he would,” she sighed, turning back to the books. “You know, I think I will take Hogwarts, A History. Even if we’re not going back there, I don’t think I’d feel right if I didn’t have it with —”

“Listen!” said Harry again.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Chapter 6

If Bathilda Bagshot was the author of Hogwarts: A History then that would have been the book that Hermione associated with her.

  • 2
    Given that Hermione knows that Harry hasn't read Hogwarts: A History, it would seem more logical for her to mention the book that she knows that he has read. – Valorum Sep 28 '17 at 7:05
  • 5
    @Valorum - She's saying why she is interested. Harry has already shown that he knows who it is. – ibid Sep 28 '17 at 7:08
  • 7
    @Valorum Also, the fact that neither Harry nor Ron has read Hogwarts: A History has never stopped Hermione from blathering on about it. – BlackThorn Sep 28 '17 at 15:01
  • 1
    I don't think this disproves Bagshot's authorship. It's entirely possible that she wrote many famous history books, including this one, but that the one which she was most famous for was A History of Magic. – The Dark Lord Sep 29 '17 at 10:13
  • 4
    Harry hasn't really read AHoM: '"Harry, did you ever even open A History of Magic?" "Erm ... I might've opened it, you know, when I bought it ... just the once' – ajd Oct 2 '17 at 4:52

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.