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TheStar.com | Entertainment | A Potter timeline for muggles

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Jul 14, 2007 04:30 AM Be the first to comment on this article...

July 31, 1965: Joanne Rowling is born near the English city of Bristol. Harry Potter later shares her birthday.

Sometime in 1990: While stuck on a train, Rowling, a secretary and researcher, comes up with the idea for Harry Potter and begins writing the story that night.

Late November 1994: Now unemployed, separated from her husband and with a young daughter, Rowling and her child move to Scotland to be closer to Rowling's sister. She continues to work on the Potter manuscript and gets a job teaching.

1995: Rowling finishes her first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, despite her literary agent's warning she'll never make any money writing children's books.

October 1996: Several publishers turn down the book, saying it's too long and too slow for young readers, before British publisher Bloomsbury Press gives it the green light. Rowling is given a $4,000 (U.S.)advance.

Spring 1997: Scholastic wins an auction for the U.S. rights to the series, giving Rowling an advance of more than $100,000 (U.S.). The money enables Rowling to quit her teaching job and devote her time to writing.

June 26, 1997: The first book in the series – Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone – is published in the U.K. The first print run is 500 copies. Because Bloomsbury is nervous young boys won't read a book written by a woman, they suggest Rowling use initials. She has no middle name, so adds the K (after her grandmother, Kathleen). The book is an instant success, selling well and winning several awards.

July 2, 1998: Rowling's second book in the series, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, is published in Britain with a first print run of more than 10,000 copies. By September, Scholastic publishes the first book, renamed Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, in the U.S. The first print run is 50,000 copies.

July 8, 1999: The third book, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, is published in the U.K. It sells more than 68,000 copies in the first two days.

July 8, 2000: The fourth book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, is published in both the U.K. and the U.S. with a record-setting combined first printing of more than five million copies. It's the first time the books are released at the same time in both countries, and on a Saturday, so children can get the 734-page book and devour it without skipping school.

June 21, 2003: The fifth book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, is released. The first printing is 6.4 million copies in the U.S. alone.

July 16, 2005: The sixth book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, is released. The U.S. first printing is 10.8 million copies.

July 21, 2007: Final book to be released.


Canadian Press


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