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Harry Potter: A History of Magic

An Audio Documentary
Narrated by: Natalie Dormer
Length: 11 hrs and 39 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (57 ratings)
Price: CDN$ 38.95
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Publisher's Summary

The history of magic is as long as time and as wide as the world. In every culture, in every age, in every place and, probably, in every heart, there is magic.

Harry Potter: A History of Magic reveals some of the hidden stories behind real-world magic and explores some of J.K. Rowling's magical inventions alongside their folkloric, cultural and historical forebears.

Narrator Natalie Dormer and a host of experts will take you on an audio journey like no other; from ancient China, to a 14th-century apothecary's shop, on to the Salem witch trials and beyond. They delve into a rich body of writings about magic and explore intriguing artefacts to bring to life deep-rooted ideas of mysticism from around the world.

Along the way, you can listen for handy tips on how to capture a basilisk, make yourself invisible or create your very own philosopher's stone. You'll hear about the dozens of drafts and drawings that went into J.K. Rowling's writing process and enjoy exclusive interviews with Jim Dale, Stephen Fry and illustrator Jim Kay, who all share their experiences of working on these incredible stories.

The extraordinary and thought-provoking tales in this audiobook are perfect for anyone who wants to know a little more about magic and the wizarding world.

Music composed by Patrick Neil Doyle

Sound effects licensed from ProSound Effects 

©2018 J.K. Rowling/Pottermore Ltd. (P)2018 J.K. Rowling/Pottermore Ltd.

A Message from Natalie Dormer

Natalie Dormer invites you to take an audio journey through the history of real-life magic.
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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Tanya Kirk laughs way too much

Great book, very interesting. All the narrators are wonderful EXCEPT Tanya Kirk. Every time she speaks she laughs in the clip and it’s incredibly irritating. Everyone else is taking this seriously but it’s almost as if she thinks all of this is a big joke, especially when it comes to topic of what they used to do in the past- it’s as if she is making fun of them for thinking that way/ testing something out. Yet the tone of the book is that science stemmed from witchcraft.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Brought me back to the wizard of world

Probably better with the different people help narrate the book, although seeing all the visuals would’ve been nice. This is a nice way to get back into the magic that is Harry Potter. I’ll probably go pick up my copies of the series for a reread now.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Amazing 🔮

Really loved listening to this. As a lifelong fan of everything Harry Potter and I couldn't stop listening to all of the interesting history behind it all.

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Didn't want it to ever end!!

As a Harry Potter fan I just can't get enough of these wonderful stories. This one was wonderful!!!

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Wonderful!

This is an awesome tour through the History of Magic exhibition! The contents were well woven together - a beautiful mix of the audiobooks (both Fry and Dale!), historical anecdotes, and interviews with exhibit curators. My one complaint is one of the historians speaks extremely softy. I don’t know whether he had a cold or is just quiet by nature, but I had to strain to hear him while everyone else sounded clear. However, the work is beautiful.

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A great fix for a dedicated fan

Natalie Dormer does a fantastic job narrating, and i appreciated the way the topics were broken up into parts to keep up the listener’s interests. I also followed along with the hard copy of A History of Magic, which meant i could see the pictures and artifacts being described. I also loved the way they described how magic frequently paved the way for science, and described many scientific innovations with the same tones of wonder and discovery. Loved it!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Tasha
  • 2018-10-04

An enjoyable making-of documentary of sorts

An enjoyable making-of documentary of sorts in the vein of the Lord of the Rings behind the scenes documentaries, but in audio form. Accompanying images of the historical objects often referenced would make for a more complete experience. This is not a in-universe Hogworts textbook. It includes insights from illustrators, voice actors, historians, etc into the making of the Harry Potter Universe as well as historical accounts of magic, science and medicine.

45 of 50 people found this review helpful

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  • fisherguy446
  • 2018-10-19

Brilliant

This book is really fantastic. Don’t be fooled by the title as this is a nonfiction book examining both the Harry Potter series and the origins of many of the mythological creatures and ideas presented. That being said this is well worth the 12 hour listen. If you have the physical copy of the book, you should know that this covers a vast amount of information that the books do not. There are tons of interviews with everyone involved with the project of creating the museum exhibits. There are also fascinating and revealing interviews with many of the people involved with making the books, including: both the American and the British audiobook Harry Potter narrators, the illustrator of the illustrated editions, the publishers in both America and Britain, and many others. In summary, I cannot emphasize enough how much I enjoyed this and would absolutely recommend it to anyone looking to gain more insight on the world of Harry Potter.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • brian
  • 2018-10-04

Not what I was expecting, though some parts were g

I was expecting an audio book take on the in-universe A History of Magic, only to find a behind the scenes at what inspired Harry Potter. Disappointed, though the interview segments were a nice touch.

81 of 97 people found this review helpful

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  • C. Soto
  • 2018-10-04

Didn't read the summary - fail on my part

I was expecting the story of magic in terms of the world of Harry Potter. Not the "magic" of how Harry Potter got published, how real life history helped shape the books, and basically a collection of interesting facts. I guess it could be said that the cover image is misleading in that it should had been obvious that people would jump to the same conclusion that I did.

Natalie Dormer has a magical voice and is very easy on the ears. Also, the guest speakers are mostly decent. I am not saying that the audiobook is bad. It just was not what I was expecting and if I had not pre-ordered it, then during the "sample" I would have listen to the truth.

56 of 69 people found this review helpful

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  • Lisa
  • 2018-10-08

It is a History of Magic

This is great for History buffs, this is a History of Magic and how JK Rowling used it to help shape her books. Natalie Dormer has a great voice and accent, lots of people from different fields speak as well, very interesting.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • N.L. Lewis
  • 2018-10-04

Unfortunately very boring, but great narration

If you can get past the first hours unbelievably boring rehash of the original books and how they were written, it gets better. If you are looking for a Harry Potter or Magical Creatures type story, you will be largely disappointed. This is the book version of the behind the scenes stuff on most movies that barely anyone watches.

The saving grace is the great narration from Ms. Dormer and the original narrators, the rest is unfortunate.

This seems like a sad money grab “behind the scenes” audiobook that is really just a boring historical description of a couple of museum events with historical artifacts, followed by a mixing of historical and magical anecdotes.

If you do like the director narration on movies, than this book will be great for you.

38 of 47 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
  • jazper
  • 2018-10-04

I wanted the actual history of magic..

this is boring dry listening not even on par with quidditch through the ages or fantastic beasts and where to find them quite disappointed. it's like a documentary on the publishing history.

57 of 73 people found this review helpful

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  • Dark Mark
  • 2018-10-04

Boring

Not what I was expecting, not enough Harry Potter content. Boring and not suitable for audio version.

30 of 39 people found this review helpful

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  • BAKER
  • 2018-12-04

Natalie Dormer is great but thats about it

not what I was expecting. connections to actual history seems vague and a stretch for it to directly relate to harry potter. Would rather it be a completely fictional book about history in the wizarding world

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Emily A. Boudreau
  • 2018-10-05

Audio Quality Issues

Dormer’s voice spikes when she speaks and Stephen mumbles to a low volume. Sound volume levels can be an issue if listening to headphones.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Client d'Amazon
  • 2019-01-08

Très bon documentaire audio

Super, très éducatif, un must pour tout fan d'HP. La narration de Nathalie Dormer est agréable.