Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

"Who is the most important person I've ever met in a signing queue & the first person ever to see merit in Harry Potter. With huge [underlined 4 times] thanks. J.K. Rowling": First Edition, First Printing of J.K. Rowling's Rare First Book Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone; Inscribed by Her to Bryony Evens and with a large original illustration by Thomas Taylor

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.



Item Number: 115640

London: Bloomsbury, 1997.

First edition, first printing of the rarest book in the Harry Potter series, a cornerstone of young adult literature, and one of the best-selling books of all time. First printing with “First published in Great Britain in 1997”, the full number line “10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1”, “Joanne Rowling” for “J.K. Rowling”, and “Thomas Taylor1997” (lacking the space) on the copyright page and “1 wand” listed twice (as the first item and last item) on the “Other Equipment” list on page 53. Octavo, original laminated pictorial boards, without a dust jacket as issued. Association copy, inscribed by the author on the dedication page, “to Bryony – who is the most important person I’ve ever met in a signing queue & the first person ever to see merit in Harry Potter. With huge [underlined 4 times] thanks. J.K. Rowling.” Additionally signed and with a large original drawing by cover illustrator Thomas Taylor. The recipient, Bryony Evens was one of the first people to read the opening chapters of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the first to recognize the work’s inherent value, and perhaps the most instrumental figure in getting the book published. Working at the time at Christopher Little Literary Agency in Scotland, Evens was the first point of contact in receiving and sorting unsolicited manuscripts. Evens read Rowling’s submission of the first three chapters of the book and passed it along to Little, who approved that she obtain the full manuscript and promote it to suitable publishers. Given a small budget, Evens was only able to print three manuscripts to pitch to publishing houses and, after twelve months and twelve rejections, was finally given the green light by editor Barry Cunningham from Bloomsbury in London. Bloomsbury published the book on June 26, 1997. A year later, Bryony attended a Harry Potter book signing event where Rowling received her with open arms and warmly inscribed the present volume. Rowling was working as a researcher and bilingual secretary for Amnesty International in 1990 when she conceived the idea for the Harry Potter series while on a delayed train from Manchester to London. The seven-year period that followed saw the death of her mother, birth of her first child, divorce from her first husband, and relative poverty. A true “rags to riches” story, the publication of the present volume would bring her from living on benefits to billionaire status. She was named the world’s first billionaire author by Forbes in 2014 and the Harry Potter series has become the best-selling book series of all time. In near fine condition with a touch of rubbing to the extremities. At the time of the book’s publication in 1996, illustrator Thomas Taylor had just graduated from art school and was working at Heffers Children’s Bookshop in Cambridge. At Heffers, Taylor educated himself on the children’s book market and its major publishers and decided to submit a portfolio of his illustrations to the offices of Bloomsbury Publishing, including several drawings of dragons and wizards. Taylor heard back from Bloomsbury’s editor, Barry Cunningham (who had recently decided to take a chance on publishing Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone after it had been rejected by twelve other publishers) almost immediately. Cunningham phoned him at Heffers and asked if he could create a design for the cover of a relatively unknown author’s first book about a schoolboy wizard. He sent Taylor an incomplete manuscript of the book and, after two days, Taylor had a final product: a watercolor painting of a young Harry Potter with his lightning-bolt scar standing next to the Hogwarts Express on Platform Nine and Three-Quarters. Only 500 copies of the first printing were published, 300 of which were distributed directly to libraries. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box made by the Harcourt Bindery. An exceptional association copy linking the most important figure in the publication of Harry Potter and the creator of his iconic image.

The first novel in the Harry Potter series and Rowling's debut novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone follows Harry Potter, a young wizard who discovers his magical heritage on his eleventh birthday when he receives a letter of acceptance to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The book was first published in the United Kingdom on June 26, 1997 by Bloomsbury and in the United States the following year by Scholastic Corporation under the title Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. The book reached the top of the New York Times list of best-selling fiction in August 1999 and stayed near the top of that list for much of 1999 and 2000. It has sold in excess of 120 million copies, making it one of the best-selling books of all time. The majority of reviews of the popular book were favorable, revering Rowling's imagination, humor, simple, direct style and clever plot construction. Rowling's style has been compared to that of Jane Austen (her favorite author), Roald Dahl (whose works dominated children's stories before the appearance of Harry Potter), and even the Ancient Greek story-teller Homer. The first book in the series was followed by six sequels published on an annual basis between 1997 and 2000. The series has sold more that 500 million copies worldwide and has been ​translated into 80 languages, ​making it the best-selling book series in history and among history's most translated literary works.​ The last four books in the series consecutively set records as the fastest-selling books of all time, where the final installment, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, sold roughly fifteen million copies worldwide within twenty-four hours of its release. With twelve million books printed in the first U.S. run, it also holds the record for the highest initial print run for any book in history. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was adapted into the 2001 fantasy film of the same name directed by Chris Columbus, distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, and starring Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley, and Emma Watson as Hermione Granger. Warner Bros. bought the film rights to the book in 1999 for a reported £1 million ($1.65 million) and the film was released in November 2001 in the United Kingdom, Ireland, the United States, Canada and Taiwan. It was a critical and commercial success, grossing $974 million at the box office worldwide during its initial run, and over $1 billion with subsequent re-releases. It became the highest-grossing film of 2001 and remains one of the highest-grossing films of all time. It was followed by seven sequels beginning with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in 2002 and ending with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 in 2011, nearly ten years after the first film's release.

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