- "Inventive and action-packed."
- — by The Bookseller, included on the original Bloomsbury cover
Development and publication
Following the success of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Rowling was worried about writing the second book because she was afraid it would not achieve the same feat. She found it uneasy to complete, and she asked for the script back from Bloomsbury when she delivered it on time, in order to spend another month going over it and developing it.
Upon publication, the book was very popular and Rowling's work was once again met with acclaim. It was top of the best-seller, won the Best British Book Awards "Children's Book of the Year" again, among other awards, and critics loved it, describing it for having "strong plots, engaging characters, excellent jokes and a moral message which flows naturally from the story" and that there "were there are enough surprises and imaginative details thrown in as would normally fill five lesser books".
In the summer before Harry's second year of education, he was staying with the Dursley family when Dobby the House-elf tells Harry he should not go back to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Then Harry escapes 4 Privet Drive when Ron Weasley saves him. Harry stayed with the Weasley family at The Burrow, and later meets the eccentric, fame-hungry Gilderoy Lockhart, one of the new teachers that year. When back at Hogwarts, Harry hears a voice no-one else could, and Mrs Norris was Petrified.
The school finds out the Chamber of Secrets was opened again, "enemies of the Heir beware". People - namely Muggle-borns - begin being Petrified by the Basilisk and Harry finds out he speaks Parseltongue. The school think he was the Heir of Slytherin, and he then finds Tom Riddle's Diary who points the blame to Rubeus Hagrid. When Hermione was Petrified and Ginny Weasley was taken into the Chamber, Harry and Ron, now knowing the location, decide to go to the Chamber and save Ginny. There, Harry faces another great danger when a familiar face shows up.
- Chapter 1: The Worst Birthday
- Chapter 2: Dobby's Warning
- Chapter 3: The Burrow
- Chapter 4: At Flourish and Blotts
- Chapter 5: The Whomping Willow
- Chapter 6: Gilderoy Lockhart
- Chapter 7: Mudbloods and Murmurs
- Chapter 8: The Deathday Party
- Chapter 9: The Writing on the Wall
- Chapter 10: The Rogue Bludger
- Chapter 11: The Duelling Club
- Chapter 12: The Polyjuice Potion
- Chapter 13: The Very Secret Diary
- Chapter 14: Cornelius Fudge
- Chapter 15: Aragog
- Chapter 16: The Chamber of Secrets
- Chapter 17: The Heir of Slytherin
- Chapter 18: Dobby's Reward
- "For Sean P.F. Harris, getaway driver and foulweather friend"
- — J.K. Rowling
Sean P.F. Harris was a friend of J.K. Rowling when she attended sixth form college at Wyedean Comprehensive High School. Sean had a blue Ford Anglia which for Rowling, gave her freedom. He would offer her lifts, and she would go out in the car. She later placed the same car in the book, but a flying one, which brought freedom for Harry too from the Dursley family. Sean was a good friend of Rowling, and she told him of her serious literacy ambitions. He was the only one in her life at the time who encouraged her by telling Rowling she was bound be successful at it, which meant a lot to her. Sean was also an inspiration for the character of Ron Weasley.