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BBC Announces ‘A History of Magic’ Documentary; Exhibit Coming to New York
Posted by Megs

BBC has announced a new documentary, A History of Magic, which is based off The British Library’s exhibition opening next month. This documentary features  an interview with J.K. Rowling where she discusses items she has personally donated to the exhibit. Harry Potter: A History of Magic opens to the public on October 20th at The British Library. The exhibit will also be making it’s way to New York in October 2018, making a stop at the New-York Historical Society.

Harry Potter: A History of Magic will unveil rare books, manuscripts and magical objects from the British Library’s collection, capturing the traditions of folklore and magic at the heart of the Harry Potter stories. Exploring the subjects studied at Hogwarts, the exhibition will include original drafts and drawings by J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter illustrator Jim Kay – all on display for the first time.

And as it travels from London to New York, the exhibition will evolve to include US-specific artefacts and items from the collection of US Harry Potter publisher Scholastic.

BBC has released the following information on the documentary which will air on BBC Two. An air date has not yet been revealed.

It’s 20 years since J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone first cast its spell on readers across the globe, thanks to the charm, warmth and imagination of its wizarding world. But Rowling’s fantastical creation wasn’t entirely make-believe…

To mark the 20th anniversary of her book, the BBC presents an enchanting new documentary, uncovering the real life traditions of magic at the heart of Harry Potter.

A thrilling journey through legends, belief and folklore, this film goes behind the scenes with the British Library as they search to tell that story through objects in their collection, in an ambitious new exhibition: Harry Potter: A History Of Magic. J.K. Rowling, who is lending unseen manuscripts, drawings and drafts from her private archives (which will sit alongside treasures from the British Library, as well as original drafts and drawings from Jim Kay) talks about some of the personal items she has lent to the exhibition and gives new insight into her writing, looking at some of the objects from the exhibition that have fired her imagination.

Readings from famous fans playfully recreates some of the best loved spells, potions and magical moments from the books, and, as we follow the process of the exhibition, we discover modern magic’s counterparts (from real life wandmakers to Quidditch enthusiasts). In doing so we discover an unexpected relationship between magic, belief and science: from the Anglo-Saxon spells that cure MRSA; to the so-called witches who pioneered contemporary medicine; to the ancient stargazers who first mapped the wonders of the night sky.

It was commissioned for BBC Two by Patrick Holland, Controller, BBC Two and Mark Bell, Head of Commissioning BBC Arts, and the Executive Producer is Janet Lee. The Producer/Director is Jude Ho for BBC Studios.

Filed Under: Books, Harry Potter: The Exhibition
Illustrated Edition of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Cover + More Released
Posted by Megs

Bloomsbury has released the cover for the full-color illustrated edition of Newt Scamander’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Pottermore also released a few new spreads from the book as well as the Scholastic cover. All the new photos can be seen in our gallery!

This new edition, illustrated by Olivia Lomenech Gill, will be released on November 7 2017. The regular edition will cost £25, while the deluxe edition is priced at £120.

Click to view full size image

Bloomsbury Children’s Books today reveals the stunning cover of the full-colour illustrated edition of Newt Scamander’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling. Illustrated by fine artist Olivia Lomenech Gill, the cover features the Occamy, a two-legged winged creature that lays eggs of the purest, softest silver.

Publishing on 7th November 2017, this glorious new colour edition of the updated Hogwarts library classic features an extraordinary array of magical creatures. Olivia Lomenech Gill, winner of the English Association Picture Book Award and Kate Greenaway Medal shortlisted artist, has illustrated every beast from Acromantula to Yeti, using a variety of techniques, including prints and etchings, watercolour and charcoal sketches.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them has been an approved textbook at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry since its publication. Newt Scamander’s masterpiece has entertained wizarding families through the generations and is an indispensable introduction to the magical beasts of the wizarding world. Scamander’s years of travel and research have created a tome of unparalleled importance. Some of the beasts will be familiar to readers of the Harry Potter books – the Hippogriff, the Basilisk, the Hungarian Horntail. Others will surprise even the most ardent amateur Magizoologist.

Proceeds from the sale of this edition will go to Comic Relief and J.K. Rowling’s own international charity Lumos, charities which help some of the world’s most vulnerable children and young people, to help them have a better life.

Pottermore, the digital heart of J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, will exclusively reveal extra artwork from the illustrated edition of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them at 13:00pm on Monday 10th July 2017. Head to www.pottermore.com to see more of Olivia Lomenech Gill’s beautiful images.

Bloomsbury are also pleased to announce that Fantastic Beasts will be the theme for Harry Potter Book Night 2018. The fourth annual celebration will take place on Thursday 1st February. More information soon.

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Filed Under: Books, Fantastic Beasts Films
Happy 20th Anniversary Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone; My Thank You Letter
Posted by Megs

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in the UK. Here is my love letter to the Potter series. While the book wasn’t released until 1998 in the States, I have been a fan ever since I first picked up Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone when I was almost 11. It started off innocently enough, I would wait patiently for each new book and devour it. Then I started to buy every piece of merchandise I saw in the store, with my meager savings. Next came the films. By the time I was in high school I had found fan sites and decided I wanted to make my own. So I created DDNT which eventually turned into this very website.

At first Harry Potter was just something that I enjoyed with my sister and a few friends. But later on, as I started getting invited to press events, I made friends from all over the world, some of whom I have become extremely close with. I could not imagine my life without them and, if there was no Harry Potter, we never would have met. I am also a very shy person and meeting all these new people has helped me to come out of my shell. Little by little I’m gaining more self confidence to put myself out there.

I also owe my career to J.K. Rowling. If I didn’t start this website I never would have realized that I wanted to become a graphic designer. Now, 20 years after it’s publication I have graduated from college and been working for 7 years as a graphic designer and programmer. I’m sure many other people have a similar story, whether it’s becoming a writer because they admired her, or finding something else they loved through the series, many people owe their livelihoods to her.

Now with the theme parks and Fantastic Beasts films we have many more years of Potter to enjoy with friends and family. I know that if I ever have children they will read the books and fall in love with them just as I did. I foresee many family trips to Diagon Alley (and Hogsmeade!) at Universal Studios Florida where we can celebrate our love of the series with other like minded fans.

So thank you, J.K. Rowling, you’ll never truly know what you do for all your fans.

Filed Under: Books
Amazon Celebrates 20 Years of Potter-crazed Brits
Posted by Megs

Over the last 20 years fans of Harry Potter have been buying tons of books and merchandise related to the series. In honor of the anniversary, Amazon has released data revealing the UK’s buying habits of all things Potter! Some of the findings are as follows:

  • The UK is a nation of Gryffindors with scarlet and gold merchandise 11 times more popular than Hufflepuff products
  • The Potter craze shows no sign of slowing as print and digital book sales of Harry Potter have jumped 140 per cent from 2015 to 2016, due in part to the release of the Cursed Child
  • Brits hang on to wise Dumbledore’s every word, as Amazon reveals he is the only character to feature in the top five most highlighted passaged on Kindle
  • 180 different versions of the books have sold on Amazon.co.uk over the past 20 years with over 17,000 five star reviews
  • Brits have ordered enough of the bestselling Complete 8-Film Collection since its release in 2011 to watch the films for 975 years straight

The full press release, with lots more data, can be read below:

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Amazon has released exclusive trends data revealing what Harry Potter fans have bought, read, listened to and watched since the franchise first began.Simon Johnson, Director of Media, Amazon UK said: “The wizarding world of Harry Potter has captured the hearts of the nation and the world for the last 20 years, and we are thrilled to be able to celebrate the anniversary by sharing some of the fascinating facts and figures on British buying habits and the nation’s favourite wizard. From books to film, music to merchandise, the world of Hogwarts and Harry Potter is just a click away. Here’s to another 20 years of a nation potty about Potter.

Madam Pince would be proud

J.K. Rowling’s septology boasts over 17,000 five star reviews on Amazon.co.uk, with both Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets netting over 5,500 five star reviews each.

J.K. Rowling’s books have been translated into 79 different languages, with more than 180 different editions on sale on Amazon.co.uk over the past twenty years.

Demand for Harry Potter books is showing no signs of slowing with a jump in Amazon print and digital book sales of 140 per cent from 2015 to 2016. Jim Kay’s illustrated versions of the original series along with the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child could explain the UK’s renewed interest in the world-renowned wizard.

Southampton residents come out on top with the most Kindle downloads of Harry Potter books per capita. Three cities in Scotland, the country said to be where Hogwarts is secretly nestled in the northern highlands, also made the top ten list of places where the Harry Potter books have been downloaded most. The full list of cities is:

  1. Southampton
  2. Bristol
  3. Nottingham
  4. York
  5. Glasgow
  6. Manchester
  7. Edinburgh
  8. Milton Keynes
  9. Northampton
  10. Aberdeen

It would also seem that that the world hangs on to Dumbledore’s every word, as he is the only character to feature in the top 5 most highlighted passages on Kindle from the Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone ebook:

  1. “After all, to the well-organised mind, death is but the next great adventure.” – Dumbledore
  2. “Always use the proper name for things. Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.’” – Dumbledore
  3. “The trouble is, humans do have a knack of choosing precisely those things which are worst for them.’” – Dumbledore
  4. “Scars can come in useful. I have one myself above my left knee which is a perfect map of the London Underground.” – Dumbledore
  5. “Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.” – Narrator

From page to screen

Despite the series first capturing hearts through literature, the magical world has leapt off the page and into the world of film. Brits have proved that alongside the books, they also love the film series, with Amazon’s bestselling product of the film franchise being the Complete 8-Film Collection. Since its release in 2011, Brits have ordered enough of this collection to watch the films for 975 years straight – more than enough time to grow a beard as long as Dumbledore’s.

The final instalment of the film series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, is the nation’s favourite film according to sales figures since the films were first available to buy on Amazon.

“Ah, music…A magic beyond all we do here!” – Dumbledore

The most streamed Harry Potter track on Prime Music and Amazon Music Unlimited since launch is the enchanting ‘Hedwig’s Theme’ – John Williams’ instantly recognisable opening theme in the first film – as Brits transport themselves to the world of Harry Potter through sound.

Although ‘Hedwig’s Theme’ has been played 80 per cent more than the next most popular theme, Brits have revealed their emotional side as ‘Lily’s Theme’ comes second. The beautiful choral piece reflects the story of Harry, his mother Lily, and Snape, and is the main motif of the dark Deathly Hallows: Part 2. Other songs in the top five include the jolly ‘Mischief Managed’, the simple ‘prologue’ melody played on a celeste and the iconic ‘Harry’s Wondrous World’ – recognisable in a number of the films in the franchise. The full top five Potter streams are:

  1. Hedwig’s Theme
  2. Lily’s Theme
  3. Harry’s Wondrous World
  4. Mischief Managed/A Window To The Past/Buckbeak’s Flight
  5. Prologue

Take a trip down Diagon Alley

Amazon has revealed that the UK is a nation of Gryffindors, with scarlet and gold products 11 times more popular than Hufflepuff products. Slytherin’s green and silver came in second, and Ravenclaw third, with Hufflepuff fourth.

Of all the cities saying Accio! for Harry Potter merchandise, Bristol came out on top. The top 10 cities for sales of merchandise – such as DVDs, posters, costumes and even temporary tattoos – per capita over the last 20 years are:

  1. Bristol
  2. Nottingham
  3. York
  4. Northampton
  5. Milton Keynes
  6. Leicester
  7. Cardiff
  8. Manchester
  9. Glasgow
  10. Derby

There’s no need for Polyjuice Potion here as in the last 20 years, Harry, Hermione and Dobby have ranked as the top 3 costumes purchased, followed by Voldemort and the dreaded Dementors.

Other best-selling products over the last two decades include:

Filed Under: Books
The Sunday Times Celebrates the Philosopher’s Stone 20th Anniversary
Posted by Megs

The Sunday Times has shared an article on the 20th anniversary of the release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone taking a look at how it’s changed people’s lives. They have also recorded a podcast to celebrate the anniversary.

We collaborated with them to write a difficult Harry Potter quiz! Visit their website to see if you can get all 10 correct!

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Filed Under: Books
Bloomsbury + British Library Create Books for 20th Anniversary Harry Potter Exhibition
Posted by Megs

As we posted way back in August 2016, The British Library will be having a special Harry Potter inspired exhibition in honor of the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Bloomsbury has collaborated with the British Library to create two magic-filled books to accompany the exhibition. Tickets for the exhibition, which runs from Fri 20 Oct 2017 – Wed 28 Feb 2018, are now on sale. To purchase tickets go to the British Library’s website.

The books will be released on October 20th to coincide with the opening of the exhibition. Harry Potter: A History of Magic (£30) will be available in hardback and e-book formats. Harry Potter: A Journey Through a History of Magic (£12:99) will be published in available and e-book formats. Both books are available for pre-order on the British Library’s website and there is international shipping.

In a unique collaboration between Bloomsbury and the curators of the British Library, two new books will be published by Bloomsbury and Pottermore this autumn to accompany Harry Potter: A History of Magic: The Exhibition. The exhibition will run at the British Library from 20th October 2017 until 28th February 2018 as part of the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stoneyear long series of activities.

Harry Potter: A History of Magic (Hardback) is the official book of the exhibition. In a unique collaboration between Bloomsbury and the curators of the British Library, the exhibition will unveil rare books, manuscripts and magical objects from the British Library’s collection, capturing the traditions of folklore and magic which underpin the Harry Potter stories. Visitors can marvel at original drafts and drawings by J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter illustrator Jim Kay, both on display for the first time. This book explores the amazing artefacts, manuscripts, original artwork and curators’ insights that make up the backbone of the exhibition. A comprehensive companion book, it will also feature essays on each section of the exhibition by cultural commentators, academics and respected writers as diverse as Major Tim Peake, Lucy Mangan, Steve Backshall and Anna Pavord. This is a beautifully produced, full-colour coffee-table book which will make the whole exhibition experience available to everyone.

Harry Potter: A Journey Through a History of Magic showcases selected items from the exhibition and is aimed at a family audience. It too explores the subjects studied at Hogwarts, and will contain spellbinding facts and information behind the real history of magic, alongside activities inspired by these subjects, creating a rich and rewarding book for families to enjoy for years to come.

The print editions will be published by Bloomsbury on 20th October 2017 and the eBook editions will be published by Pottermore simultaneously. Both print and digital editions will echo the contents of the exhibition, which takes visitors on a journey to where magic and myth began using an extraordinary range of wizarding books, manuscripts and objects, and combine fascinating treasures from the British Library’s collections with previously-unseen material from the Bloomsbury archive and J.K. Rowling. Both titles will be available for purchase from the British Library as well as general book retailers.

Filed Under: Books
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