English - A magical sight

12th December 2008 at 00:00

A handcrafted copy of JK Rowling's last major work has gone on display at the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh.

The exhibition, which opened last week, offers a rare chance to see one of only seven original copies of The Tales of Beedle the Bard, produced in 2007.

At the time, the author did not intend it to be mass produced, and distributed the seven handwritten books privately. The National Library's borrowed copy is owned by Ms Rowling's first editor, Barry Cunningham.

The book is a volume of wizarding fairytales left to Hermione Granger by the late Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore in the seventh and last book in the Harry Potter series.

The tales contained clues that were to prove crucial to Harry Potter's final mission to destroy Lord Voldemort, but only one of the five stories, "The Tale of the Three Brothers", was recounted in the book.

Ms Rowling launched the public sale of the Beedle tales on December 4. All proceeds go to the children's rights charity, Children's High Level Group, co-founded by Ms Rowling and Emma Nicholson MEP.

The National Library of Scotland will exhibit the book until Sunday January 4.

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