Twenty years ago, the world was blessed with a wizard who brought a little magic into our lives through seven books and eight movies and is still trying to weave magic through spin-offs. Twenty years ago, JK Rowling, a single, unemployed mother released her first Harry Potter book which went on to become the most successful books of all time and catapulted her into the leagues of riches and made her a household name. The first book Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was published which gained a worldwide recognition and a fan following so strong that even today people swear by the series and take pride in being called a Potterhead. You must also remember that JK Rowling’s creation was rejected by twelve publishers before it was signed on by Bloomsbury. If JK Rowling had given up at that instance we would have never been blessed with a gem of a book and would forever be devoid of such a masterpiece. Now, the original synopsis or pitch of JK Rowling’s first Harry Potter book is on display at the British Library in London which she had submitted to the publishers. As part of an exhibition at the British Library which is celebrating 20 years of Harry Potter, it contains JK Rowling’s original pitch that she sent to many publishers way back in 1995.
As part of the exhibition titled, “Harry Potter: A History of Magic” the synopsis that was typed by JK Rowling in 1995 is on display. The plaque that accompanies the synopsis reads, “to accompany the opening chapters and circulated among prospective publishers.” It further reads, “A copy was submitted to Bloomsbury Publishing and was a significant step in convincing them to offer J.K. Rowling her first contract.” The synopsis introduces Harry Potter, the Dursleys, Hagrid and the initial steps he takes to enter the wizarding world. The tickets Harry Potter: A History of Magic cost £16 (approx. Rs 1362) for adults and between £5 (approx. Rs 426) and £11 (approx. Rs 936) for concessions. Family tickets are available with 20% off the total ticket price. Stephen King and JK Rowling had an epic Twitter conversation after Donald Trump blocked him, Twitterati can’t keep calm over the exchange!
“Harry Potter lives with his aunt, uncle and cousin because his parents died in a car-crash—or so he has been told. The Dursleys don’t like Harry asking questions; in fact, they don’t seem to like anything about him, especially the very odd things that keep happening around him (which Harry himself can’t explain).
The Dursleys’ greatest fear is that Harry will discover the truth about himself, so when letters start arriving for him near his eleventh birthday, he isn’t allowed to read them. However, the Dursleys aren’t dealing with an ordinary postman, and at midnight on Harry’s birthday the gigantic Rubeus Hagrid breaks down the door to make sure Harry gets to read his post at last. Ignoring the horrified Dursleys, Hagrid informs Harry that he is a wizard, and the letter he gives Harry explains that he is expected at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in a month’s time
To the Dursleys’ fury, Hagrid also reveals the truth about Harry’s past. Harry did not receive the scar on his forehead in a car-crash; it is really the mark of the great dark sorcerer Voldemort, who killed Harry’s mother and father but mysteriously couldn’t kill him, even though he was a baby at the time. Harry is famous among the witches and wizards who live in secret all over the country because Harry’s miraculous survival marked Voldemort’s downfall.
So Harry, who has never had friends or family worth the name, sets off for a new life in the wizarding world. He takes a trip to London with Hagrid to buy his Hogwarts equipment (robes, wand, cauldron, beginners’ draft and potion kit) and shortly afterwards, sets off for Hogwarts from Kings Cross Station (platform nine and three quarters) to follow in his parents’ footsteps.
Harry makes friends with Ronald Weasley (sixth in his family to go to Hogwarts and tired of having to use second-hand spellbooks) and Hermione Granger (cleverest girl in the year and the only person in the class to know all the uses of dragon’s blood). Together, they have their first lessons in magic — astronomy up on the tallest tower at two in the morning, herbology out in the greenhouses where the…”
Watch the video released by the British Library about the Harry Potter: A History of Magic Exhibition
After publishing the highly successful Harry Potter series, JK Rowling encountered rejection once more when her novels under the pen name Robert Galbraith also received similar rejections.
JK Rowling’s story is truly an inspiring and motivating one because armed with just an idea she did not let rejection and failure get her down. From being an unemployed, broke single mother she created a huge fortune from the sale of her books and movies. If you’re looking for inspiration and motivation her story is definitely what legends are made of.