Happy Birthday, Harry!
20 years ago this week, the world was introduced to the magical wizarding world of Harry Potter. British publisher Bloomsbury released the debut novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, from unknown writer J.K. Rowling; which would be the first in a seven book series that would consume the world of literature and the big screen.
J.K. Rowling took to Twitter to convey her thanks for the story that not only changed her life, but the lives of so many people across the face of the planet.
20 years ago today a world that I had lived in alone was suddenly open to others. It's been wonderful. Thank you.#HarryPotter20
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 26, 2017
A Bit of Magical History
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was first published on June 26, 1997. Originally, the novel had an initial print of a mere 1000 copies. Seven books later and the series has sold more than 500 million copies worldwide, making them the best-selling book series in history, and has been translated into seventy-three languages.
The last four books; The Goblet of Fire, The Order of the Phoenix, The Half-Blood Prince and The Deathly Hallows consecutively set records as the fastest-selling books in history, with the final installment selling roughly 11 million copies in the United States within just 24-hours of its release.
J. K. Rowling was born in 1965 in Gloucestershire and came up with the idea for Harry Potter in 1990, while waiting for a delayed train. In 1995, Rowling finished the Harry Potter manuscript for Philosopher's Stone and began pursuing publishers for the book, which was submitted to 12 publishers who all rejected the manuscript. A year later and the manuscript landed at Bloomsbury Publishers where the chairman gave the first chapter to his 8-year-old daughter, Alice, to review and immediately demanded the next.
In 1997, Bloomsbury published Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone with a small initial print of 1000 copies; these copies are worth up to £25 000 a piece today. The book went on to win numerous awards such as the British Book Award for Children's Book of the Year and spawned 6 other novels of 4. 195 pages into multiple languages around the world and made a brand worth over £15 Billion- allowing Rowling to become the first billionaire author.
From the Page to the Big Screen
The Harry Potter film series is the second highest-grossing film series of all time to hit the big screen grossing over £6.5 billion worldwide. It all began in 1998 and 1999 when Warner Bros
purchased the rights for the first four Harry Potter books for over £1 million with stipulations from Rowling herself so as not to sell-out to Hollywood, such as keeping the principal cast British.
The production of the film adaptation led to a seven month search for Harry Potter himself, with the part going to Daniel Radcliffe who went on to play the wizard for 10 years in eight movies and shot to super-stardom with his co-stars Emma Watson and Rupert Grint.
Happy Birthday Harry Potter
Turning 20, it's hard to believe where the time was gone and with seven novels and eight blockbuster movies, Harry Potter would be proud.
Thank you, J.K. Rowling, for sharing your imagination with us all and bringing the wizarding world to life so that we all could have the chance to immerse ourselves in this wonderful tale.