J.K. Rowling is a name that every person in the world knows about. After all, no one doesn’t know about her fantasy novels series: Harry Potter.
Does it ring a bell now in case you weren’t that sure about who we are talking about? We bet it does, and although you might be like, “Will we talk about her again?” The truth is that you are here for a reason, and we will be more than happy to comply.
This author is one of the most famous writers globally, and people are always expecting her next work to continue in the fantasy world she has created.
Now, everything starts with something, and, in this case, it is with the very first book that brought her recognition and the opportunity to earn millions with what she loves: writing.
This is why, instead of focusing on her life and all her work, we will be talking about Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone so you can make a decision: finally give it a try and read the novel, or just skip it based on your preferences.
However, we will advise you that most people who consider fantasy out of the question and think it isn’t worth reading end up regretting not having done it before when knowing a bit more about the book and just giving it some time.
Plot Summary: Will It Catch Your Interest?
It is hard for us to imagine someone who doesn’t know the basics about the novel’s plot or what it is about.
However, we won’t make you feel bad if you qualify as this person since it is natural when you are not interested in it.
So, to make it simple, we will just give you a heads-up about the novel’s story and what you can expect from it. We can tell you before diving into the summary that you can expect lots of fantasy and magic from it, and if you are a fan, you will enjoy this book in this genre.
If you are not, we are confident you will get a bit keener on giving it a try from now on, even when it doesn’t “qualify” for your preferences.
The story centers on our main character, Harry Potter, an ordinary eleven-year-old boy who is mistreated by his aunt and uncle and serves them as some kind of slave while also being verbally abused by his cousin.
However, Harry’s life turns outside down when he receives a special letter that opens his eyes and helps him learn that he is far from ordinary. He is actually a wizard who has been invited to the most famous schools: Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry.
During the start of his journey, he is helped by Rubeus Hagrid, who helps him get far from his house and prepares him for his first year in the prestigious school.
Hagrid is the groundkeeper from Hogwarts and turns to be a crucial character later in the story.
Potter is famous for an incident that took place not long after his birth and involved his parents, who you learn are long gone. However, more than focusing on this incident, Harry starts making friends and adapting to his new life.
Unfortunately, he starts discovering that the wizarding world he just started to know a bit is more dangerous than anyone could have warned him and that more than monsters or outside dangers, other wizards are people who you might not want to trust.
During this first book of the series, we will be introduced to who will become our main characters for most of the novels, and you are going to learn about Harry’s first years in the wizardry school and how he starts adapting to this new life without completing forgetting about his aunt and uncle.
But also, a very precious artifact that the “one who shouldn’t be named” is quite eager to obtain.
Who Is J. K. Rowling? – History & Background
Before continuing with the book itself and after the introduction and plot summary we gave you, we ought to provide the author with her space. Don’t worry; we won’t take that long, and this isn’t a biography of any of the sort.
However, we find it crucial to give her the required and well-deserved space, so you just know her a bit better, and, who knows, maybe your excitement for reading the book begins or grows based on her history.
Although everyone knows her by J. K. Rowling, that’s actually her pseudonyms since her real name is Joanne Rowling, a British writer who was born on July 31, 1965, in Yate, United Kingdom.
While her father was an aircraft engineer, her mother was a science technician. Unfortunately, the latter was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at a young age and died before she could see her daughter’s work was published.
Jo was surrounded by books as a child and has stated several times that she loves them. Quoting her, “I was your basic common-or-garden bookworm complete with freckles, National Health spectacles, and all that good stuff.”
Due to her love for books, she always wanted to be an author from a young age, and even when she was just six years old, she wrote her first book. It was a story about a rabbit called “Rabbit.”
She was just eleven years old when she began her first novel, which was about seven cursed diamonds and their owners (and we actually invite you to give it a try).
When she grew and was ready to go to college, she attended Exeter University, where she was known for having received a PS50 fine for reading books outside of her French and Classics curriculum and not returning many of them from the university library.
Her knowledge of Classics would come in handy when she created the spells in the Harry Potter series since many of them are based on Latin.
She moved to London after completing her degree and worked several jobs, including as a researcher for Amnesty International. Later, she said that “There in my small office I read hastily-scribbled letters from men and women risking imprisonment to inform outsiders what was happening.” Along with this, she claimed that this moment was probably the most inspiring in her life.
Now, knowing the basics about her, where do we stand with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone?
Jo came up with the idea for Harry Potter while waiting on a train from Manchester to London King’s Cross.
She began mapping out the seven books over the course of five years. Therefore, it is hard for us not to include the timeline of the other books since her stories came up with several parts and not just the first novel of the series.
She wrote mainly in longhand and slowly built up an extensive collection of notes.
She took her notes with her to Portugal, where she taught English as a foreign tongue. In 1992, she married Jorge Arantes and gave birth to her daughter, Jessica, in 1993.
She returned to the UK with Jessica and a suitcase containing the first three chapters for Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone. Though, you might know it better with the title, “Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone.”
During all those years, Jo studied in Edinburgh to be a teacher. She began teaching in the city’s schools. However, she continued to write whenever she could.
After completing the entire manuscript, she sent it to several literary agents. One of them wrote back to ask for the rest. It was, she said, “the most important letter I have ever received in my entire life.”
Finally, we will be moving to the date and moment: Bloomsbury Children’s Books published the book for the first time in June 1997 under J. K. Rowling.
If you are wondering why we are using the word “sorcerer” in the title, it is simple. Scholastic published the book in the USA under a different title, Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone, in 1998.
- K. Rowling’s life is only described with books, writing, and novels, and the tragedy of her mother dying while she was very young. Also, she didn’t have a great relationship with her father later on, and, to this date, she doesn’t speak with him.
Why Was (& Is) the Book So Popular?
Although the series was written all at once considering the manuscript Rowling completed, it is clear that the first book wasn’t published with the rest all at once and instead followed the usual publication schedule.
Therefore, we can focus on why the fantasy novel became so popular when even the editor didn’t have much faith in it booming in the beginning.
When it comes to popularity, one of the main reasons lies in how complex and diverse the fantasy world that Rowling created is.
You can be fascinated with how she took a “simple” wizard’s idea and turned it into a masterpiece.
People would actually think: “This is just another similar wizardry work.”
However, Jo proved them wrong with the best method she could: publishing her book.
If we have to go further and bring more of its appeal, we can even number a few:
- The writing is easy to understand and attracted not only the target audience the publisher and Rowling had in mind but rather children, teenagers, and adults without distinguishment thanks to the more like literature for pre-teens, with a more declarative sentence structure.
- The story is well-built and follows a great line that keeps you wondering what is next. The mystery is never lacking.
- The characters are preciously described and written, and with the rest of the books, the development of each one is unique.
You would usually expect a child’s book or maybe an unexpectedly deep story with this book.
As we previously mentioned, the surprise was that it is suitable for any audience, and that definitely takes the cherry on the cake.
Sales & Earnings: Best Selling Book?
We won’t beat around the bush: it isn’t rank 1, but it is quite close to it.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone has sold over 125 million copies and ranks second on the list of best-selling individual books right below “The Hobbit” by J. R. R. Tolkien.
We don’t need to say that the entire Harry Potter series was a success, but since we are focusing on this book alone, we will continue keeping it that way.
The first reviews and critics of the novel were very positive and led more people to start reading it.
If you have an idea of how much people love the book today, you can expect the same or even bigger excitement when it was just published.
The literary merits were the difficult part for Rowling since experts were stingy about giving them. In fact, the book’s success and awards earned are mostly thanks to sales and the readers.
Fortunately, that doesn’t really matter for a writer that knows her now loyal readers loved the novel.
To this date, 2021, the book has an approximate revenue of $1 billion is considered the one with more grossing in the entire novel series.
As Successful as the Book: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Film
If you didn’t know the book, you must have, at least, know the film.
After all, Harry Potter didn’t take too long to reach the big screen after the big success of the series and the first book in specific, which is why Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone film was shot and released in 2001.
Clearly, the movie follows the same premise as the book, and you can expect a wild adventure.
It was directed by Chris Columbus, while Steve Kloves took care of the screenplay.
Now, the actors and actresses involved are loved celebrities despite some of them having quite the cameras or having a hard time finding other opportunities.
Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, and Rupert Grint were the main three characters of the film as Hermione Granger, Harry Potter, and Ron Weasley, respectively.
The film had a budget of $125 million, and when it comes to its box office worldwide, it exceeded all expectations.
Having grossed $1 billion worldwide, the movie is part of the highest-grossing films of all time.
The cast involved even got a huge increase in their salaries for the next films based on the rest of Harry Potter’s novels, and although we don’t have the specific earnings for the actors by the time of the first was released, it wasn’t much compared to the latest ones.
6 Magical Facts About Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
- A very rare first-issue hardback copy of the book was sold for around $85k.
- The book’s main themes are focused on friendship and the power of love, which Rowling wanted people to notice above the magical aspects and factors.
- This first part is considered the rarest and most expensive one from the novel series.
- Rowling and the main character, harry, share a birthday.
- The dementors are based on the struggles of the author with depression after her mother died.
- She created the popular game in the book Quidditch after fighting with her boyfriend at the time.
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