The Literary Magic of Harry Potter
by William A. Gleason
PRINCETON – Mareeg.com-This summer, at literary festivals and bookstores around the world, readers celebrated the 20-year anniversary of the debut of the first book in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (re-titled Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in the United States) – and with good reason. Since the young wizard’s first appearance on June 26, 1997, the “Boy Who Lived” has become the “Icon Who Endures.”
Over the last two decades, the Harry Potter series has expanded to include seven novels, with a total of 450 million copies in print, including translations into more than six dozen languages. The eight films spawned by the books have grossed $7 billion, with Harry Potter-themed toys and merchandise garnering another $7 billion. For those of a certain age and literary mindset, it is difficult to recall a day when global audiences weren’t spellbound by Rowling’s creation.