For those who don’t know, this year The British Library are hosting a special exhibition, which serves to celebrate 20 years since the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. To accompany the exhibition, two books have been released and the first one I’ve read is this companion guide, A Journey Through A History of Magic.
First off I’d like to highlight that this is a beautiful book in itself. Filled with full colour illustrations, by Jim Kay, the illustrator of the illustrated editions of Harry Potter, each character, animal and even props are brought to life on the pages. These are accompanied by not only the original sketches that became the illustrations, but sketches by J.K Rowling herself. Not to mention early drafts, both hand and type written and cut scenes from the books.
The book gives us detailed information about the inspirations Rowling found for the stories which have won over children and adults alike for the past two decades. It’s unbelievable to think I was only 7 years old the first time I laid my hands on The Philosopher’s Stone.
It’s really interesting to look at the inspiration for the creatures, the characters names, the different ideas for subjects at Hogwarts and the inspiration behind everything from Potions to Divination. A must read for any Potter fan!