Wizard news, Harry Potter fans: A book of fairy tales written and illustrated by J.K. Rowling is to be published for charity.
A British charity said Thursday it hopes to raise 4 million pounds (U.S. $8 million) through sales of "The Tales of Beedle the Bard." Rowling co-founded The Children's High Level Group charity, which supports institutionalized children. She has signed over her royalties.
The book is a collection of five wizarding tales referred to in Rowling's “Potter” saga. It was initially produced in an edition of seven handwritten copies. Six were given away by Rowling as gifts, and one was bought by retailer Amazon at an auction in December for almost 2 million pounds (U.S. $4 million).
Rowling said the new standard edition would include her illustrations and introduction, the stories themselves and commentaries ostensibly by Albus Dumbledore, headmaster of the fictional Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, "which appear by generous permission of the Hogwarts Headmasters' Archive."
The book will be published Dec. 4 by Bloomsbury in Britain and Scholastic in the United States. Amazon also plans to sell exclusively a leather-bound collectors' edition designed to evoke the spirit of the handcrafted original purchased at auction last December. It is priced at 50 pounds (U.S. $100). Housed in its own slipcase — made to resemble a wizarding textbook found in the Hogwarts library — this collectors' edition includes metal corners, clasp, and skull; a reproduction of J.K. Rowling's handwritten introduction; commentary on each of the tales by Professor Albus Dumbledore; and 10 additional illustrations not found in the standard edition (or the original).
She has described “The Tales of Beedle the Bard” as a distillation of the themes found in the Harry Potter books, calling it her goodbye to a world she lived in for 17 years.