Harry Potter UK publisher, Bloomsbury and the British Library are creating two magic-filled books to accompany this autumn’s exhibition Harry Potter: A History of Magic at the library in London, in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Both books will publish in the UK on 20th October 2017- the day that the exhibition opens its doors to visitors in London.

Harry Potter: A History of Magic will be the official book of the British Library’s exhibition.

A collaboration between Bloomsbury and the brilliant curators of the British Library, the book promises to take readers on a fascinating journey through the subjects studied at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry – from Alchemy and Potions classes through to Herbology and Care of Magical Creatures.

Each chapter showcases a treasure trove of artefacts from the British Library and other collections around the world, beside exclusive manuscripts, sketches and illustrations from the Harry Potter archive. There’s also a specially commissioned essay for each subject area by an expert, writer or cultural commentator, inspired by the contents of the exhibition including Steve Backshall, the Reverend Richard Coles, Owen Davies, Julia Eccleshare, Roger Highfield, Steve Kloves, Lucy Mangan, Anna Pavord and Tim Peake, who offer a personal perspective on their magical theme.

Readers will be able to pore over ancient spell books, amazing illuminated scrolls that reveal the secret of the Elixir of Life, vials of dragon’s blood, mandrake roots, painted centaurs and a genuine witch’s broomstick, in a book that shows J.K. Rowling’s magical inventions alongside their cultural and historical forebears.

Another book, Harry Potter: A Journey Through a History of Magic will showcase selected items from the exhibition, aimed at a family audience. It too explores the subjects studied at Hogwarts, and will contain spellbinding facts and information behind the real history of magic, alongside activities inspired by these subjects, creating a rich and rewarding book for families to enjoy for years to come.

Pottermore, the global digital publisher of Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, will simultaneously publish eBook versions of both books. The eBook edition of Harry Potter: A History of Magic also features enhancements allowing readers to navigate the contents of the exhibits in a variety of exciting and innovative ways.

Earlier this week (10th July), J.K. Rowling spoke in depth to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour about why she was compelled to set up her own non-profit organisation, Lumos, named after the spell in the Harry Potter books that brings light to the darkest of places.  Lumos helps some of the world’s most disadvantaged children with the goal to end the harmful institutionalisation of children.

During the interview, J.K. Rowling talked movingly about how there are estimated to be 8 million children living in orphanages or other institutions around the world and how shockingly 80% of them are not actually orphans. These children are voiceless and, hidden from the world, they are vulnerable to abuse and neglect:

These children are so hungry and thirsty for any kind of one-on-one attention that they will run and cling to total strangers…It’s a window in to why the figures show us that these institutions are often centres of trafficking, and horrendous exploitation.  And when you have witnessed the attachment disorders of these children – which have been brought about entirely by being institutionalised – you realise just how vulnerable they are to unscrupulous people.”

The author went on to explain the overwhelming reason these children are placed in institutions is poverty.  She highlighted some of the ways in which Lumos helps to transform these systems of care, working with experts on the ground, to provide support in the community and social services so that children can return to their families:

“…so the family, themselves might need day care, so we will repurpose the institution for a day care centre.  But the child’s going home every night.  The institution is often a major local employer so many people, who are not bad people, have huge vested interest in keeping the institution going.  We can retrain these people to be district nurses, social workers and carers and foster carers and so forth. …So far Lumos has retrained 30,000 professionals across 34 countries.  And we’ve got 18,000 children out of institutions.  There are cases where a child can’t go home.  We estimate 20% are orphans.  We would firstly look in the extended family – can we support the grandmother or the aunt to take the child?”

Lumos is committed to making family care for all children a global reality by 2050.

In addition, J.K. Rowling called on well-meaning donors and volunteers, who are inadvertently propping up the system of orphanages around the world, to donate and volunteer differently following a recent report by Lumos on the situation in Haiti published in The Guardian.

One of the things that Lumos has taught me is be very, very careful how you give.  Because even if you are giving with the best of intentions, you may inadvertently be doing harm.  Very, very well-meaning donors, who are inadvertently propping up a system that we know, with nearly 80 years of hard research shows that even a well-run institution, even an institution set up with the best possible intentions, will irrevocably harm the child.”

To learn more about Lumos visit www.wearelumos.org


Publishers Bloomsbury and Scholastic on Monday revealed two striking covers for the fully-illustrated edition of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which hits bookshops later this year.

Award-winning fine artist Olivia Lomenech-Gill, who has previously won the English Association Picture Book Award, has lent her skill to this new edition, which publishes on 7th November. Bloomsbury’s jacket features the Occamy while a Griffin appears on Scholastic’s. For more exclusive images of the beautifully illustrated beasts, head over to Pottermore.com

Proceeds from the sale of these books will go to Comic Relief and J.K. Rowling’s own international children’s charity Lumos, which both help some of the world’s most vulnerable young people to have better lives.

Principal photography starts today on an all new adventure set in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, the second in a five-film series that began with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.  The as-yet-untitled film opens in 1927, a few months after Eddie Redmayne’s Newt Scamander helped to unveil and capture Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald.  J.K. Rowling has written the screenplay and David Yates returns to direct.

Nods to the Harry Potter stories are promised, and the film is set to take fans to new corners of the wizarding world, it was revealed today, moving from New York to London and on to Paris.

The new adventure is being filmed at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, which has been the cinematic home of the Wizarding World since the first Harry Potter film.

For more Fantastic Beasts news, head over to Pottermore