The final installment of Harry Potter movies was released here in the U.S. yesterday, and all over the Internet I’ve seen lots of commentary about Harry Potter and the phenomenon of Harry Potter. I’ll be writing more on Harry Potter soon, myself.
With all of this, though, it only seems appropriate that this month’s book dedication be from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. (In the book, the dedication is laid out in the shape of a snake; I’m afraid, since I won’t attempt to imitate that here, you’ll have to use your imagination.)
The dedication of this book is split seven ways: to Neil, to Jessica, to David, to Kenzie, to Di, to Anne, and to you, if you have stuck with Harry until the very end.
Dedication from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by J. K. Rowling. Published in the United States July, 2007, by Scholastic Inc.
As it happened, I had no birthday party for Lord Peter this month as I so sanguinely hoped. Hopes are high for next June, which gives all of us plenty of time to find suitable monocles and the rest of our costumery. Instead, just so he knows I haven’t forgotten about him, here is Dorothy Sayers’s dedication of her first book about Lord Peter.
To M. J.
This book is your fault. If it had not been for your brutal insistence, Lord Peter would never have staggered through to the end of this enquiry. Pray consider that he thanks you with his accumstomed suavity.
D. L. S.
Dedication from Whose Body?, by Dorothy L. Sayers. First published 1923 by Harper and Row Publishers, Inc.
Dedication from The Thirty-Nine Steps, by John Buchan. First published 1915; my copy published by the Penguin Group as a Penguin Classic in 2004.
THOMAS ARTHUR NELSON,
LOTHIAN AND BORDER HORSE
MY DEAR TOMMY,
You and I have long cherished an affection for that elementary type of tale which Americans call the ‘dime novel,’ and which we know as the ‘shocker’ — the romance where the incidents defy the probabilities, and march just inside the borders of the possible. During an illness last winter I exhausted my store of those aids to cheerfulness, and was driven to write one for myself. This little volume is the result, and I should like to put your name on it, in memory of our long friendship, in these days when the wildest fictions are so much less improbable than the facts.
I did a wee bit of research and discovered that Mr. Nelson, a member of the Lothian and Border Horse regiment, was killed in World War I, 1917, just two years after Buchan’s novel was published.
I love a good book dedication.
A good book dedication is almost like a poem.
The other day I was in a bookstore, browsing, when wandering through the children’s section I was arrested by the sight of the name Adam Gopnik. I’m familiar with his name from the occasional reading of The New Yorker, and as such, it’s not a name I expect to find in the children’s section.
So I picked up the book, and while leafing through, I spied his dedication.
“For Olivia, citizen of every city she imagines
rose and lily of our lives
Dedication from The Steps Across the Water, by Adam Gopnik; published by Disney/Hyperion, November 2010.