Unbelievably Harry Potter has been around for 20 years, yes the first novel by JK Rowling – The Philosopher’s Stone appeared two decades ago.
And even more unbelievable is that it was sent to twelve publishers before being picked up by the publisher Bloomsbury.
Now JK Rowling is one of the world’s most famous writers of our time, very influential and worth a handsome sum too.
JK Rowling’s original pitch has gone on display at London’s British Library to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Potter entitled: Harry Potter a History of Magic
The pitch starts off with Harry living with the Dursleys and very similar to the final version in the book.
So the moral to this story is Never Give Up because how ever many rejections you have someone will buy into your project or fund your idea. Just keep going.
Here is the start of JK’s pitch, just to whet your appetites:
“Harry Potter lives with his aunt, uncle and cousin because his parents died in a car-crash — or so he has been told. The Dursleys don’t like Harry asking questions; in fact, they don’t seem to like anything about him, especially the very odd things that keep happening around him (which Harry himself can’t explain).
“The Dursleys’ greatest fear is that Harry will discover the truth about himself, so when letters start arriving for him near his eleventh birthday, he isn’t allowed to read them. However, the Dursleys aren’t dealing with an ordinary postman, and at midnight on Harry’s birthday the gigantic Rubeus Hagrid breaks down the door to make sure Harry gets to read his post at last. Ignoring the horrified Dursleys, Hagrid informs Harry that he is a wizard, and the letter he gives Harry explains that he is expected at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in a month’s time.
“To the Dursleys’ fury, Hagrid also reveals the truth about Harry’s past. Harry did not receive the scar on his forehead in a car-crash; it is really the mark of the great dark sorcerer Voldemort, who killed Harry’s mother and father but mysteriously couldn’t kill him, even though he was a baby at the time. Harry is famous among the witches and wizards who live in secret all over the country because Harry’s miraculous survival marked Voldemort’s downfall.
“So Harry, who has never had friends or family worth the name, sets off for a new life in the wizarding world. He takes a trip to London with Hagrid to buy his Hogwarts equipment (robes, wand, cauldron, beginners’ draft and potion kit) and shortly afterwards, sets off for Hogwarts from Kings Cross Station (platform nine and three quarters) to follow in his parents’ footsteps.
“Harry makes friends with Ronald Weasley (sixth in his family to go to Hogwarts and tired of having to use second-hand spellbooks) and Hermione Granger (cleverest girl in the year and the only person in the class to know all the uses of dragon’s blood). Together, they have their first lessons in magic — astronomy up on the tallest tower at two in the morning, herbology out in the greenhouses where the…”
If you want to read more then you need to visit the exhibition.
You can also see original drafts and drawings by J.K. Rowling and illustrator Jim Kay, both on display for the first time.
Harry Potter: A History of Magic runs from Friday 20th October to Wednesday 28th February. Tickets cost £16 adults, £8 students.
Tickets can be purchased on-line at https://www.seetickets.com/tour/harry-potter-a-history-of-magic/calendar/2