20 Years of Harry Potter Magic

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June 23rd, 2017

Today, marks the 20th anniversary since the iconic Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was published. From an idea that was born on a train journey to its creation in a small café in Edinburgh, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone started a global phenomenon. It has sold over 450 million copies worldwide in 79 languages, inspired a major movie franchise, a spellbinding theatre production and captivated readers of all ages for twenty years.

Read below for the Potted history of Harry Potter timeline or you can view the the timeline here.


1997 – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone published

The first hardback print run was only 500 copies. To date, the entire series has sold over 450 million copies worldwide, more than combined population of the UK, Australia and the USA.


1998 – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets published

Despite being the second shortest book, this is the longest film in the series.


1999 – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban published

Bloomsbury published the book at 3.45pm to allow children time to collect their copies after school finished


2000 – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire published

Booksellers coordinated the first ever global midnight release of a book (specifically one minute past midnight) so everyone could experience the magic at the same time.


2001 – Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them and Quidditch Through the Ages published

These companion novels to the world of Harry Potter to date have raised over £20 million for Comic Relief and Lumos.


2001 – The first Harry Potter film was released by Warner Bros

To date, combined earnings of Harry Potter films are in excess of $8.4 billion.


2003 – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix published

The phoenix is one of J.K. Rowling’s favourite magical beasts in the Harry Potter series.


2005 – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince published

It would take one person 2,600 years to read every copy of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince sold in the UK alone on the first day of its release


2007 – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows published

Fewer than seven people were allowed to read the book before it was published


2008 – The Tales of Beedle the Bard published

The book was originally produced in a limited edition of only seven copies, each handwritten and illustrated by J.K Rowling, Proceeds go to Lumos.


2011 – Pottermore launched

The digital heart of the Wizarding World, Pottermore, launched on 31st July 2011, which is also Harry Potter’s birthday.


2014 – A new face of Harry Potter, illustrated by Jonny Duddle, is revealed

Jonny Duddle was one of four illustrators approached by Bloomsbury to do a test cover.


2015 – The first fully illustrated edition of Harry Potter, illustrated by Jim Kay published

Jim Kay uses real-life people to inspire his character illustrations. He spotted his Harry Potter on the London Underground!


2015 – The first Harry Potter Book Night

Harry Potter Book Night was held for the first time on 4th February 2015. Fans, bookshops, schools and libraries celebrated with a total of over 12,000 events around the world.


2016 – Harry Potter and the Cursed Child stage play released

It won a record-breaking nine Oliver Awards


2016 – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them released theatrically

Set in New York in the 1920s, we were introduced to the North American wizarding school Ilvermorny and its four houses: Horned Serpent, Pukwudgie, Thunderbird and Wampus.


2017 – Four Hogwarts House Editions of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone published

26th June 2017 marks 20 years since the first publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.


Click here to find out how Bloomsbury are marking this magical moment.

Don’t forget to visit our Harry Potter display in the showroom where we have the new Hogwarts House editions of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

You’ll always find a home at Hogwarts




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