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Harry Potter: A History of Magic

In the run-up to the exhibition Harry Potter: A History of Magic, JK Rowling visits the British Library and reveals the real-life counterparts to her fantastical world.

It is 20 years since JK Rowling's Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone first cast its spell on readers across the globe. But Rowling's fantastical creation wasn't entirely make-believe.

In the run-up to the exhibition Harry Potter: A History of Magic, JK Rowling ventures behind the scenes of the British Library, revealing the real-life counterparts to her fantastical world. From shrieking mandrakes and Elizabethan invisibility spells to the mystery of ancient Chinese oracle bones and the real life search for the Philosopher's Stone, it is the start of a warm, playful and inventive journey round some of the most magical places in the land - from wizarding wandmakers in the English forest to the beguiling witchcraft of Boscastle, Cornwall.

The film features readings by actors from the Harry Potter films, including David Thewlis, Evanna Lynch, Warwick Davis, Miriam Margolyes and Mark Williams, while Rowling's illustrator Jim Kay illuminates her imaginary world. Narrated by Imelda Staunton.

59 minutes

Last on

Thu 12 Apr 2018 18:50

Credits

Role Contributor
Narrator Imelda Staunton
Executive Producer Janet Lee
Director Jude Ho

Broadcasts

  • Sat 28 Oct 2017 21:00
  • Sat 28 Oct 2017 21:15
  • Mon 30 Oct 2017 23:15
  • Thu 16 Nov 2017 00:15
  • Christmas Day 2017 10:00
  • Wed 21 Feb 2018 19:00
  • Thu 12 Apr 2018 18:50

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