It has been 20 years since the first publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, the first book in the Harry Potter series, the bestselling book series of all time. Now the series' original publisher, Bloomsbury, has announced plans to release two new Harry Potter-related titles to mark the special milestone. The new books will be ready for fans to buy in the fall of this year.
The first of the books will be a coffee table book called Harry Potter: A History of Magic. The book will contain reprints of first drafts of Harry Potter stories by the series' billionaire author, J.K. Rowling. According to Fortune, the collector's item will also include essays by Major Tim Peake, Lucy Mangan, Steve Backshall and Anna Pavord.
The second book, Harry Potter -- A Journey Through A History of Magic, will give readers a chance to learn about the historical foundation of elements in the Harry Potter universe. Both of the two new books apparently connect to the upcoming A History of Magic exhibition, a Harry Potter show that opens at the British Library on October 20, 2017, and runs through February 28, 2018.
The latter of the two new books seems to correspond more closely with the cultural highlights of the British Library's upcoming exhibition. Based on hints from the library, the show could explore matter that the fictional Harry Potter characters study at the Hogwarts School of Magic. For instance, there could be information about the study of alchemy throughout history all the way back to the days of the Ancient Egyptians, and the exhibition could showcase actual books and manuscripts on magic that are centuries old.
Additionally, the library's display might inform audiences about the historical backgrounds of the mythical creatures that J.K. Rowling scattered throughout the Harry Potter universe. The books are companions to the exhibition, but they should feature plenty of magical information that Harry Potter fans will love even if they can't see the library's display in person.
Although neither of the books includes new stories by J.K. Rowling, the books and library show join the ranks of other add-ons to the world of Harry Potter. For example, theatergoers now can enjoy Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in the West End, and the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them spinoff books and films are keeping Harry Potter fans happy. There is even a Kickstarter for a new pub with a Harry Potter theme, and not long ago, an ice cream company released a Harry Potter-inspired butterbeer flavor.
At this time, the publisher Scholastic, who publishes the Harry Potter books in North America, has not confirmed whether the two new books will make the leap across the pond from the United Kingdom. However, Bloomsbury mentioned it plans to put the two new books online for digital download on the Pottermore website later this year. So, if you cannot make it to the UK for the exhibition, you could still get your hands on the new books in a digital format.