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Amazon.com Buys Beedle the Bard for $3.98 Million

Charity
Posted by: Melissa
December 13, 2007, 11:17 PM

UPDATE: It has now been revealed that Amazon.com bought this book, and will be adding pictures and reviews of each of the fairy tales soon. The permanent link will eventually redirect to http://www.amazon.com/beedlebard. The note already contains several high-quality pictures and a video reading the note from JK Rowling inside the cover, and reveals that the book is 157 handwritten pages. Amazon.com editors are now taking questions about the tales on the site's discussion boards. Amazon has said it won't be publishing the book unless JK Rowling decides to do so, but it will be taking the book on tour to schools and libraries so children can see it themselves. (This was posted in their message boards.)

Our previous article of today's events is below:

The auction for The Tales of Beedle the Bard, JK Rowling's original, handwritten book of wizarding fairy tales, just happened at Sotheby's in London, and the lucky winner walked away with the item for the bargain price of 1,950,000 pounds, or nearly $4 million.

In a Sotheby's release, the auction house said that this is the highest price ever paid at auction for a work by JK Rowling and indeed for any children’s book - it is also the highest price ever paid at auction for any modern literary manuscript. It was a highly contested match between six bidders; the winner was a representative of London fine art dealer Hazlitt Gooden & Fox.

J.K. Rowling said of the sale, "I am stunned and ecstatic. This will mean so much to children in desperate need of help. It means Christmas has come early for me.”

The copy was one of seven handwritten editions and the only one to be made available for sale publicly. The other six have gone to six people instrumental to Harry since his inception. The leatherbound, handwritten tome was encrusted moonstones, as would be representative of "mothers, lovers and the power of dreams." All proceeds will benefit The Children's Voice Campaign charity, instituted by J.K. Rowling, which goes to help aid children who most need an advocate in the world.

In the release, Dr. Philip Errington, Deputy Director, Sotheby’s Books and Manuscripts department said: “Sotheby’s has been thrilled to work with JK Rowling and The Children’s Voice in selling this wonderful manuscript. This is one of the most exciting pieces of children’s literature to have passed through Sotheby’s. We have to reach back 80 years to find a comparison when we sold the manuscript of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland on behalf of the original Alice.”

In addition a set of signed Comic Relief books went for 1,125 GBP, and an original drawing of the main Harry Potter characters was sold for 34,100 GBP (or three times what was expected).

Also, a Reuters video from the reception, with glimpses of Evanna Lynch and Bonnie Wright in the crowd, may be seen here.

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