With this facsimile edition of carefully selected entries from the probationary diaries of prisoners #19-09-1979 and #09-01-1960 we honour both the 150th anniversary of Severus and Hermione Snape’s release from Azkaban prison and the 30th anniversary of their deaths in 2129.
The purpose of this publication is to make accessible two of the fundamental and most poignant sources for a period of painful transformation in the wizarding world in a single, definitive volume.
Due to its sensitive and extremely personal character, this material has never before been made available to the public. That this book could be published at all we owe to the most gracious permission of the current head of the Malfoy-Snape family, Scorpius Malfoy-Snape, Minister for Magic.
The aim of this project has been to present these extraordinary sources with absolute accuracy and authenticity. In the diary entries themselves, editorial comments have therefore been kept to an absolute minimum.
At the same time one of the utmost concerns in preparing this publication has always been to not exclude the average witch or wizard from an understanding of and appreciation for this authentic evidence of troubled times. The nature of the sources as private diariesâ€”with their limited, sometimes skewed perspectives, their natural breaks and omissionsâ€”as well as the circumstances of their creation, necessitate further notes. For this purpose, the second part of this book offers editors’ notes with annotations and clarifications of the diary entries, and with additional explanations of still not widely known or acknowledged historical facts, as well as their political context. Thus the evidence presented in the diary entries may be more easily intelligible to a wider audience.
Nevertheless, it must remain the reader’s task to draw their own conclusions, and, finally, to pass their judgment based on this raw testimony of two extraordinary lives devoted to the freedom of the wizarding world and the liberty of us all. A critical bibliography has been added to this work to aid the interested reader with further investigations.
The words of the ancient wizard Tacitus summarise the ultimate goal and highest hope for this publication and its intended contribution to wizarding history:
“â€¦to let no worthy action be uncommemorated,
and to hold out the reprobation of posterity
as a terror to evil words and deeds.”