Amazon.com, Inc. has purchased J.K. Rowling's "The Tales of Beedle the Bard" at an auction held by Sotheby's in London. The book of five wizarding fairy tales, referenced in the last book of the Harry Potter series, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," is one of only seven handmade copies in existence. The book was purchased for £1,950,000, and Ms. Rowling is donating the proceeds to The Children's Voice campaign, a charity she co-founded to help improve the lives of institutionalized children across Europe.
"Even before establishing her charity, J.K. Rowling had done the world a rare and immeasurably valuable service -- enlarging forever our concept of the way books can touch people—and in particular children -- in modern times," said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder and CEO. "When we deliver Harry Potter, kids are camped out at the post box, and the drivers get hugs."
"The Tales of Beedle the Bard" is handwritten, extensively illustrated, and autographed by the author. It is written in an Italian handmade notebook, bound in brown Moroccan leather and embellished with five individually hand-chased hallmarked sterling silver ornaments and mounted moonstones. It is 157 pages long. One of the five original stories included in the book, "The Tale of the Three Brothers," is told in the final Harry Potter novel, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." This copy of "The Tales of Beedle the Bard" purchased today is one of only seven copies handwritten and illustrated by the author. The six other copies have been given to friends of Ms. Rowling in appreciation of the support they provided her throughout the writing of the Harry Potter series.
Amazon customers around the world are invited to visit http://www.amazon.com/beedlebard to read editorial reviews of the five fairy tales, and to join the online discussion of these and other Harry Potter stories with other fans of the bestselling series. For the curious of mind, Amazon editors will be taking questions about the tales from all comers on our discussion boards, starting immediately. Customers will also find a link to The Children's Voice website, where donations to this charity can be made. To date, Amazon has sold more than 12 million copies of the seven Harry Potter titles worldwide.