JK’s £40k gift to school run pal
IT was a gift from an unknown author to a friend on the school run, 20 years ago.
Now the first edition of the first Harry Potter story with an inscription by JK Rowling is set to fetch £40,000 at auction in November.
In 1997, before the book hit the shelves and made Miss Rowling’s fortune, the struggling writer gave a signed copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone to a friend called Meera.
The two met in Edinburgh where their daughters, Jessica and Nastassia, attended the same nursery. As they collected their children, they built up a friendship.
This led the author to give her new friend one of only 500 copies of her newly-printed book. The handwritten message inside reads: ‘For Meera, Donnie, Nastassia and Kai with lots of love from Jo.’
The book also contains a printing error corrected in later print runs. On page 53 there is a duplication of ‘1 wand’ on a shopping list. The copyright is also credited to ‘Joanne Rowling’, later changed to JK Rowling. It is thought that ‘Meera’ is Meera Sutherland, now living in Livingston, West Lothian. Nobody was available for comment there yesterday.
Luke Batterham of Bonhams auctioneers said: ‘The book is being sold on behalf of Meera. I think, with it being 20 years since its release, the idea of holding on to a book of such high value suddenly became too much.’
Handwritten: The inscription