Featured in the February 2023 issue of The Rowling Library Magazine.

Harry Potter’s Silver Jubilee in France

561 words.
By Alanïs M..

A new commemorative box set

On October 9th, 1998, a year after capturing the hearts of the British public, the magic of Harry Potter also enchanted French readers. To celebrate its 25th anniversary, French publisher Gallimard Jeunesse has marked the occasion with the release of a new commemorative box set.

In a nostalgic tribute, Gallimard Jeunesse enlisted the work of Jean Claude Götting, the first illustrator of the French-language Harry Potter books. The artist created a new illustration for the box set, featuring central characters from J.K. Rowling’s universe, including some that had never been depicted before. The set includes members of the second Order of the Phoenix, such as Nymphadora Tonks, Remus Lupin, Molly and Arthur Weasley, Sirius Black, and Alastor Moody, as well as Lord Voldemort and the Death Eaters, the Malfoy family, Bellatrix Lestrange, and Severus Snape. Harry, Ron, Hermione, Luna Lovegood, Horace Slughorn, Katie Bell, and Dobby are also visible on the back of the box set.

However, as Götting noted on his Instagram account, there were some unfortunate color errors in the house ties of some characters, such as Cho Chang who wore a Gryffindor tie instead of the colors of her respective house, Ravenclaw. Götting also made some intentional changes from his early 2000s drawings, such as representing Severus Snape with a beard.

To celebrate the occasion, the seven Harry Potter books have been reissued with their original covers, with a few notable differences. The first three volumes feature the covers redrawn by the artist for the large format editions, rather than the original pocket-sized 23 www.therowlinglibrary.com Folio Junior covers. Each book features various symbols related to the volume in question, such as the Basilisk for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

The seven volumes are published by Folio Junior (Gallimard’s pocket-sized collection) and feature the legendary colored stripe on the spine and the cover, a graphic feature that had since disappeared from previous reissues of the series. Another detail that has been preserved is the original white typography, which was quickly changed by Mary GrandPré’s design after a decision by Warner Bros.

This limited edition box set, produced in a numbered run of 25,000 copies, also comes with an exclusive set of eight postcard covers featuring each volume and the box set fresco. The luckiest among them can find one of five “gold tickets” offering a family visit to the Harry Potter Studios in the United Kingdom.

The popularity of Harry Potter in France cannot be overstated. The books have been translated into The Rowling Library Magazine – February 2023 24 French and have captured the imagination of a whole generation of French readers, inspiring a love of reading and a passion for fantasy and magic. But the impact of Harry Potter on French culture extends beyond just the books and the franchise. The series has inspired countless young French readers to pursue a love of literature, with many going on to study French literature and language in 25 www.therowlinglibrary.com school. The themes of friendship, bravery, and standing up against prejudice and injustice in the series have also resonated with young French readers, making Harry Potter a powerful tool for teaching important values. With its timeless appeal and its ability to inspire and educate, Harry Potter will undoubtedly continue to be an important part of French culture for many years to come

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