In a remarkable discovery, an Oxfordshire primary school has unearthed a treasure that has left the world of literature and Harry Potter enthusiasts spellbound.
An uncorrected proof copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was found concealed amidst the library’s stacks, only coming to light during a summer cleaning session. This rare find is not just a book; it’s a piece of literary history with an estimated value of around $25,000.
A Hidden Gem in Plain Sight
According to Hansons Auctioneers, The book had been lying dormant in the library, unseen for years. Its discovery was purely accidental, happening during the school’s summer cleaning activities. The decision to offer the public an opportunity to own this piece of literary history means that the paperback copy could fetch a sum in the ballpark of $25,000.
The Journey of the Book to the School
The story of how this rare artefact ended up in the hands of an unsuspecting school is equally fascinating. According to Bob Alder, the retired headteacher of St. Kenelm’s School, the book was acquired for a mere one pound at a warehouse sale in 1997. At the time, the names “Harry Potter” and “J.K. Rowling” were not the household names they are today. The book’s unassuming cover, devoid of the iconic artwork by Thomas Taylor, might have contributed to its initial obscurity. However, upon opening the book, it’s evident that this copy holds historical significance. Notably, J.K. Rowling’s name is mistakenly printed as J.A. Rowling on the inner pages.
The Book’s Significance
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A Rarity Among Rarities
Hansons Auctioneers, known for their expertise in rare books and manuscripts, confirmed the book’s rarity. Jim Spencer, Head of Books at Hansons Auctioneers, mentioned that this specific uncorrected proof copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is believed to be one of only 200 copies initially pressed by Bloomsbury. Spencer further added that there’s no doubt about the book’s long-term residence at St. Kenelm’s School, as the institution’s stamp is present on the copy.
The Legacy of Harry Potter
The Harry Potter series stands as one of the best-selling book franchises in history, with its demand unwavering even today. Despite the last Harry Potter book being released in 2007 and the final film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, premiering in 2011, the franchise’s allure has only grown. With spin-offs like the Fantastic Beasts film series and an upcoming television show, the magic of the wizarding world continues to enchant audiences worldwide.
The Book’s Mysterious Disappearance
The discovery of this Harry Potter book during the summer cleaning was not just surprising but also relieving. The title had mysteriously vanished around 2015. Adler recalled that the staff had safely “packaged” the novel, but its exact location became a mystery over time. The growing concern was that someone, unaware of its value, might have inadvertently discarded it.
Final Thoughts on this rare and lost Harry Potter book being found
The unearthing of this rare Harry Potter book serves as a testament to the timeless appeal of J.K. Rowling’s magical world. It’s a reminder that treasures can often be found in the most unexpected places. As the wizarding world continues to expand and captivate new generations, such discoveries only add to the rich tapestry of the Harry Potter legacy.
What do you make of this news? Do you wish you had found this rare and lost copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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