A letter from J.K Rowling replying to a fan that went on sale at auction last year has resurfaced today, thanks to a fan. The letter was sent in 2001 following the release of the original ‘Fantastic Beasts’ book in aid of charity and is signed as if written by Newt Scamander himself. J.K Rowling/Newt Scamander details why (s)he did not include the fabled “Wyvern” in the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ book:
(Click the image to view the letter)
A fine autograph letter signed, “Newt Scamander / a.k.a. J K Rowling”, “By Owl Post”, no date, received 29 May 2001 (endorsed in pencil), to Howard [Brayton], and in response to a letter from Brayton (original included with lot and addressing Rowling as Professor Scamander), who had been inspired in his profession as educational consultant by the publication of “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” (2001), published under the name of Scamander. Brayton pointing out that the mythical Wyvern has been omitted from the book and suggesting that it should be included in the “53rd edition”, Brayton paraphrasing and expanding on the dictionary definition of wyvern that “It would appear that the wyvern was first sighted by muggles in 1610, as the representation of a fanciful animal; a winged dragon with two feet like those of an eagle, and a serpent-like barbed tail. It was believed to be real in 1700, and sighted again in 1863, when it was described as a “monster”“, also making the point that Robert Browning makes reference to the wyvern, and in her thirteen-line response Rowling’s reply takes the game further: “Ah yes, the fabled “wyvern”. Well, naturally I had heard the rumours – the poet Browning’s allusion had not escaped me … Extensive research, however, has convinced me that the beast in question was a Common Welsh Green whose legs were counted by a Muggle with a very shaky grasp of numeracy … It is always a blow to have a cherished part of one’s life dismissed as a figment of the imagination … but we wizards have to deal with that every day”, one page on Owl Post letterhead with author’s name printed at foot, both one page, folio. A very fine letter by Rowling. “Fantastic Beasts” purports to be Harry Potter’s copy of the textbook on the subject.
Thank you so much to Johnnie for the tip!