Read the original Harry Potter pitch that publishers rejected from J.K. Rowling | daily-sun.com

Read the original Harry Potter pitch that publishers rejected from J.K. Rowling

Time     26th October, 2017 02:11:02 printer

Read the original Harry Potter pitch that publishers rejected from J.K. Rowling

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the release of the first book in the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling's original pitch for The Philosopher's Stone is now on display at the British Library as part of its "Harry Potter: A History of Magic" exhibition.

 

The pitch — which was reportedly sent to publishers alongside the novel's first few chapters — gives a brief synopsis of Harry's introduction to the wizarding world after spending the first eleven years of his life living with the Dursleys at 4 Privet Drive.

 

"Harry Potter lives with his aunt, uncle and cousin because his parents died in a car-crash—or so he has been told," it begins.

"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)."

 

Rowling has previously revealed that her manuscript was rejected by 12 different publishing houses before Bloomsbury took a gamble on it. Obviously, this decision more than paid off.

The full first page of the 1995 pitch read as follows:

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


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