Wednesday, 30 June 2010
On this day...
J. K. Rowling's 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone' was published in 1997. Rowling was on a train from Manchester to London in1990 when the idea just 'fell into her head' and details about 'this scrawny, black-haired, bespectacled boy who did not know he was a wizard became more and more real'. The story took a more tragic feel as events in Rowling's own life, including the death of her mother, began to reflect on the fictional Harry, and the novel was finally completed in 1995.
After several rejections from publishers, Rowling finally secured a deal with Bloomsbury for an advance of £2,500, with the added compromise that she would assume a pen name to try and attract male as well of female readers. Within two years, the novel had scooped nearly all major children's awards, sold over 300,000 copies, and had received high acclaim both in the U.S and U.K., where it was touted as having 'all the makings of a classic'. The rest of the Potter story needs little introduction. The 7 book phenomenon has been translated into 67 langugaes and built up an empire of films, adventure parks and other merchandise, all in all leading to J.K. Rowling becoming one of the most recognised and famous author of the age.