Hogwarts, horcruxes and hippogriffs: ‘Harry Potter’ series turns 20

Source:AFP Published: 2017/6/26 18:08:39

Harry Potter turns 20 on Monday as muggle readers in gowns and glasses from Indonesia to Uruguay will celebrate the birth of a global publishing phenomenon in 1997.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone introduced the boy wizard and a magical cast of supporting characters.

Penniless single mother J.K. Rowling finally succeeded after a series of rebuffs from publishers, and the book became the first installment of a seven-novel series that has sold 450 million copies worldwide and spawned eight blockbuster films.

The Potter universe now encompasses theme parks in the US and Japan and a permanent exhibition at London's Warner Bros Studios, helping to turn Rowling into a billionaire.

No other children's book has achieved quite as much in terms of both commercial and cultural impact, turning an entire generation of boys as well as girls into enthusiastic readers who would happily join midnight lines at bookshops as each novel came out.

Far beyond Britain and English-language markets, the saga wove itself into the world's literary DNA.

The seven volumes have been translated into 79 languages in 200 countries and regions, and Monday's 20th anniversary will feature fancy-dress reading parties around the world starting in Australia and ending in Canada and the US West Coast, at libraries, bookshops and British embassies.




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