First Edition Points and Criteria for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Year Published: 1998
Author Last Name: Rowling
Author First Name: J.K.
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Original Price: £10.99
Pages: 251

"First published in Great Britain in 1998" is stated on the copyright page with full number line "10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1" and the printer stated as "Clays Ltd, St Ives plc". The copyright page must not contain the statement "This edition produced for The Book People Ltd," as this indicates a reprint. The boards are illustrated to match the dust jacket. The dust jacket has a price of £10.99 on the bottom corner of the front flap. Two reviews on the dust jacket back - by The Sunday Times, and The Independent on Saturday.

The first printing and other early printings of the hardcover lack the Hogwarts logo on the copyright page. The logo was added to later printings of the hardcover and can be found on all printings of the paperback edition, including the first.

There are numberous typographical errors found on all first and early printings, including first and early paperback printings. None of these errors were changed during the first printing run, so they are not considered first edition points. Most notable among these errors is on page 245 where is says "because Lord Voldemort -- who is the last remaining ancestor of Salazar Slytherin -- can speak Parseltongue..." The word "ancestor" was changed to "descendant". Again, these errors are not first edition points.

There are also some stylistic differences found on the dust jacket front flaps of first and early printings. They are also not first edition points because they are found on all first editions. But they are more important to note because it is possible to marry a later issue dust jacket to a first printing book. There is a photo below that compares the first issue front flap to a later issue front flap from a 28th printing. The differences can be found in the two reviews on the bottom where the book title, and the words Harry Potter are not italicized. Also note that the reviewers' name and age lack comma separators, and the age notations are capitalized on the first issue flap.

Picture of the 1998 first edition dust jacket for Harry Potter and the Chamber of
Picture of the 1998 first edition dust jacket for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

Picture of the first edition copyright page for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Picture of the first edition copyright page for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

Picture of dust jacket where original £10.99 price is found for Harry Potter and
Picture of dust jacket where original £10.99 price is found for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

Picture of the back dust jacket for the first edition of Harry Potter and the Chamber of
Picture of the back dust jacket for the first edition of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

Picture of the first edition Bloomsbury boards for Harry Potter and the Chamber of
Picture of the first edition Bloomsbury boards for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

Picture of the back dust jacket flap for the first edition of Harry Potter and the
Picture of the back dust jacket flap for the first edition of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

Picture of the first edition title page for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Picture of the first edition title page for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

This photo compares the first issue dust jack flap (left) to the later issue flap (right)
This photo compares the first issue dust jack flap (left) to the later issue flap (right) found on later printings of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. The differences can be found in the two reviews on the bottom where the book title, and the words Harry Potter are not italicized. Also note that the reviewers' name and age lack comma separators, and the age notations are capitalized on the first issue flap.

This is the front cover for the first paperback edition of Harry Potter and the Chamber
This is the front cover for the first paperback edition of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

This is the copyright page for the first paperback edition of Harry Potter and the
This is the copyright page for the first paperback edition of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Notice the Hogwarts logo bleeding through from the title page. The first edition hard cover lacks the Hogwarts logo.

This is the back cover of the first paperback edition of Harry Potter and the Chamber of
This is the back cover of the first paperback edition of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.



Other first edition points for books by J.K. Rowling include: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (U.S.), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (U.S.), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (U.S.), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (U.S.), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (U.S.), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (U.S.), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (U.S.), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

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Disclaimer: This website is intended to help guide you and give you insight into what to look for when identifying first editions. The information is compiled from the experience of reputable collectors and dealers in the industry. Gathering and updating information about these books is more an art than a science, and new identication criteria and points of issue are sometimes discovered that may contradict currently accepted identification points. This means that the information presented here may not always be 100% accurate.