A member of British Library staff poses with a crystal ball for a picture at the "Harry Potter - A History of Magic" exhibition at the British Library, in London, Wednesday Oct. 18, 2017. The exhibition running from Oct. 20, marks the 20th anniversary of
Harry Potter lovers around the world may want to thank Alice Newton.
She was eight years old when her father brought home a manuscript for her to read. At the time, he was working for Bloomsbury Publishing.
After reading the manuscript, Alice wrote a note to her father: “The excitement in this book made me feel warm inside,” she wrote. “I think it is probably one of the best books an 8 or 9 year old could read.”
Based in part on Alice’s comments, Bloomsbury went on to publish “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.”
Alice’s note to her father is part of the British Library’s new exhibition, “Harry Potter: A History of Magic.” It celebrates the 20th anniversary of the publication of J.K. Rowling’s first book about Harry and his friends at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
When “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” was released in 1997, Bloomsbury sent just 500 copies to stores in Britain and another 500 copies to British libraries.
The British Library has already sold about 30,000 tickets to the exhibit — the most advance tickets ever sold for a British Library exhibition.
The show closes on February 28, 2018. It will then travel to New York for the 20th anniversary of the release of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," the book's title in the United States.