This article originally appeared on the New York Times.
Dust off your cauldrons and crack open a set of quills because this fall two new books are sure to enamor Harry Potter fans with yet another dash of Hogwarts magic.
But before anyone gets too excited, let’s make a few things clear: No, the two books coming on Oct. 20 are not new novels in J.K. Rowling’s spellbinding series. In fact, she’s not even technically the author of these archives.
Instead, the two forthcoming works are aimed more at pleasing our inner Hermione Granger; “Harry Potter — A Journey Through the History of Magic” and “Harry Potter — A History of Magic” promise a “fascinating exploration of magical history” as written by the British Library’s “curatorial team,” according to the library shop’s website.
“The ultimate gift for Harry Potter fans, curious minds, big imaginations, bibliophiles and readers around the world,” the website said of the books.
The two editions are to be published by Bloomsbury (the British publisher of the “Harry Potter” books) and are being released as part of an exhibition at the British Library, which also opens on Oct. 20. That exhibition will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the first book in the “Harry Potter” series, “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” (published as “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” in the United States).
Reuters reported that Bloomsbury made an announcement about the library exhibition and the two books on Tuesday. An official at Scholastic, which publishes “Harry Potter” books in the United States, did not immediately reply to an email seeking additional comment about the latest texts.
According to the British Library’s website, “Harry Potter — A History of Magic” is the “official book” of the library’s exhibition, and what officials called a “collaboration between Bloomsbury, J.K. Rowling and the brilliant curators of the British Library.” It pledges to mix the muggle world and the wizarding world amid 256 pages that will place “J.K. Rowling’s magical inventions alongside their cultural and historical forebears.” Potter nerds will be delighted to also find “exclusive manuscripts, sketches and illustrations from the Harry Potter archive,” the library said.
The similarly named “Harry Potter — A Journey Through the History of Magic” also promises to be “packed with unseen sketches and manuscript pages from J.K. Rowling.” The description provided by the library says the book will take “readers on a journey through the Hogwarts curriculum, including Herbology, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Astronomy, Divination and more” and allow them to “discover the truth behind making the Philosopher’s Stone, create your very own potion and uncover the secret of invisible ink.”
A statement on Ms. Rowling’s website, “Pottermore,” called “A History of Magic” an “adult edition” and its companion book, “a family edition for younger readers.”
The books are the latest attempt to harness and sell the magic of Ms. Rowling’s world of wizardry without tampering with the seven core books that set off the global Harry Potter phenomena. The seventh and final book in the series was released in 2007. But in recent years Ms. Rowling has not been shy about revisiting the world she created.
She gave her input to the playwright Jack Thorne, who wrote the play “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” which arrived on bookshelves in 2016. Scholastic said it sold more than two million hardcover copies of the play in the first 48 hours after it was released. It was billed as the eighth book in the “Harry Potter” series, and featured an adult Harry Potter living and working 19 years after the Battle of Hogwarts.
Ms. Rowling also wrote the screenplay for “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” a film that debuted later in 2016 and took place about 80 years before Harry was born. The film pulled in $75 million in ticket sales in North America over its first weekend.
Ms. Rowling is not listed by the British Library as the author of the latest books, but the statement on her Pottermore website said that the works would be “published by Bloomsbury and Pottermore respectively.”