Two new Harry Potter books to coincide with British Library exhibition

Two new Harry Potter books, featuring previously unseen material from the Bloomsbury archives and JK Rowling, will be published in October.

They are being released to coincide with the British Library exhibition Harry Potter: A History of Magic, opening on 20th October.

Harry Potter: A History of Magic, a £30 hardback with full-colour illustrations, will be the official book of the exhibition, while paperback Harry Potter: A Journey Through a History of Magic (£12.99) will be “aimed at a family audience”.

The exhibition, which is a collaboration between Bloomsbury and the curators of the British Library, will “take visitors on a journey to where magic and myth began”, unveiling rare books, manuscripts and magical objects from the BL collection, “capturing the traditions of folklore and magic which underpin the Harry Potter stories”.

“See the gargantuan 16th–century Ripley Scroll that explains how to create a Philosopher’s Stone. Gaze at Sirius in the night sky as imagined by medieval astronomers. Encounter hand-coloured pictures of dragons, unicorns and a phoenix rising from the flames,” says the exhibition’s publicity.

Original drafts and drawings by Rowling and her illustrator Jim Kay will also be among the exhibits.

Harry Potter: A History of Magic will be “a comprehensive companion book”, with essays on the different sections of the exhibition by writers including Anna Pavord, journalist Lucy Mangan, naturalist Steve Backshall and astronaut Major Tim Peake.

Harry Potter: A Journey Through a History of Magic will showcase selected items from the exhibition, and 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”.

Both books will be released on October 20th.

Tickets for the exhibition, which is helping to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone this year, are now on sale at www.bl.uk.

Harry Potter: A History of Magic runs until February 28th.

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