Thomson Reuters, May 12, 2017
800-word story is set 3 years before Harry Potter is born
A rare Harry Potter prequel handwritten by author J.K. Rowling on a postcard has been stolen during a burglary in central England, police said on Friday as they appealed for help from fans of the wizard across the world.
The 800-word story, set three years before Harry Potter is born and which sold for 25,000 pounds (about $44,000 Cdn) at a charity auction in 2008, was stolen from a property in Birmingham between April 13-24.
“The only people who will buy this unique piece are true Harry Potter fans. We are appealing to anyone who sees, or is offered this item for sale, to contact police,” said Const. Paul Jauncey from West Midlands Police.
Rowling had donated the valuable postcard to the ‘What’s Your Story?’ auction in aid of English PEN, a writers’ association, and Dyslexia Action.
The author herself took to Twitter about the theft, imploring her fans not to buy the precious postcard.
PLEASE DON’T BUY THIS IF YOU’RE OFFERED IT. Originally auctioned for @englishpen, the owner supported writers’ freedoms by bidding for it. https://t.co/ljEQyyj9yY
Handwritten over two sides of an A5 postcard, the untitled prequel features the characters Sirius Black and Harry’s father James. It opens with a youthful Sirius and James cornered by two irate policemen at the end of a high-speed motorcycle chase.
After an exchange of words with the policemen, the two teenagers make their escape using a touch of magic.
The card concludes with the words “From the prequel I am not working on — but that was fun!”.
More than 450 million copies of the seven original Harry Potter books have been sold worldwide in 79 languages. The movie franchise has grossed more than $7 billion US worldwide.
Source : CBC