This excerpt from an article which is a biography of JK Rowling says that there exists an Italian dust jacket featuring Harry without his glasses. Can anybody confirm its existence and show it here?

Rowling's quality control has become legendary, as her obsession with accuracy. She's thrilled with Stephen Fry's taped version of the books and outraged that an Italian dust jacket showed Harry minus his glasses. "Don't they understand that the glasses are the clue to his vulnerability."

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    "obsession with accuracy" is a weird quote seeing she has a lot of mistakes in her work.
    – A.bakker
    Commented Feb 20, 2023 at 12:25
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    @A.bakker No kidding. I've only read Sorcerer's Stone. At the time my family ran a micro-publisher and I remember being bewildered at the low editing quality. Maybe that was just the first book.
    – JBH
    Commented Feb 20, 2023 at 16:30
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    @JBH - it wasn't just the first book. Commented Feb 20, 2023 at 22:57
  • @MichaelHarvey Then it's a good thing the article writer quoted by the OP has a good grasp of grammar. It became legendary... because it didn't start out that way. But it's hard as a new author to complain when a publisher finally says "yes!"
    – JBH
    Commented Feb 20, 2023 at 23:21
  • @JBH even some resent stuff of hers is highly inaccurate when compared to the real world. Her world building has some major flaws and inaccuracies in it even now.
    – A.bakker
    Commented Feb 21, 2023 at 9:57

1 Answer 1


It's the one showing Harry in a rat hat, a giant rat, and a only slightly large chess board, crediting "Joanne" K. Rowling as the author:

"Harry Potter e la pietra filosofale" by J.K. Rowling. Adriano Salani Editore, 1998 first Italian edition first printing of "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone", with Joanne Rowling on copyright page. Comes with the very rare first issue dust jacket that depicts Harry Potter without glasses. Only a few hundred copies were printed with this first issue dust jacket, and were soon corrected and issued with the second issue dust jacket with glasses. Therefore, these first issue copies have become one of the rarer Harry Potter books to collect — Abe Books

The cover was reprinted with glasses and initials. For more information on the other details on the cover, see this interview with the artist.

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    Been a while since I read the book, but I don't recall either a giant mouse, or Harry shrinking to mouse size, or dressing like a mouse. I remember that chess was part of it, but it was Ron's game, not Harry's. Is my memory faulty? Or does the cover have nothing to do with the book.
    – Pete
    Commented Feb 20, 2023 at 14:09
  • @Pete It looks like the pieces each have hats representing their role on the board. There's a castle for Rook, horse for Knight, and we have our king and queen. This makes sense only if a bishop (the piece Harry took) could be seen as a rat/mouse. . . I honestly don't see a connection myself. Unless maybe it's a church mouse? The bishop icon, rotated 90 degrees, does kind of look like a mouse.
    – Turbo
    Commented Feb 20, 2023 at 14:43
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    @Turbo In Italian, the bishop piece is called the "alfiere", or "standard-bearer", so there wouldn't be any particular reason why it'd be a rat or mouse. Apparently the interview with the artist says (more or less) "He has a weird funny rat hat because I put funny hats on people in my pictures regardless of how appropriate they are or how much sense it makes". Which personally if it were my book, I'd veto that like everything. Commented Feb 20, 2023 at 16:02
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    In order to explain why this illustration seems to have so little in common with the actual book, it could be worth quoting a sentence or two from the cited interview: "At the time, however, they [the Italian publisher] had not finished the translation of the book yet, and since there was not much time, they gave me some fairly brief indications." "This is the cover that I drew without reading the book and knowing only that Harry Potter was a child who would have to face a whole series of tests in the magic school. One of the final tests could have put his life on the line."
    – lfurini
    Commented Feb 20, 2023 at 17:51
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    @lfurini That's not too uncommon. The first Finnish editon of Lord of the Rings had same issue. The cover artist said in an interview that English in the book was too complicated and no translation was available yet, so he read just a bit and let his imagination run wild.
    – vonPryz
    Commented Feb 21, 2023 at 12:41

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