The Tales of Beedle the Bard, translated from the original runes by J.K. Rowling, an entirely handmade book, sold this morning for £1.95 million ($3,985,410 U.S.) in London. The buyer was later announced to be Seattle, Washington-based online merchant Amazon.com. The Children's Voice, a charity co-founded in 2005 by Rowling and Baroness Nicholson is to receive the proceeds.
The book is bound in Moroccan leather with hand-chased silver bosses set with moonstones; there are only 6 other copies in existence. It's 157 hand-written and illustrated pages contain 5 wizarding fairy tales: "The Fountain of Fair Fortune," "The Warlock's Hairy Heart," "The Tale of the Three Brothers," "The Wizard and the Hopping Pot," and "Babbitty Rabbitty and Her Cackling Stump."
Amazon does not have the rights to publish the book; however they say they will post reviews of the stories and more photographs. According to the Associated Press, Amazon spokesman Craig Berman said the company plans a tour for the book of libraries and schools.
December 16, 2007: Well, all 5 of the reviews have been posted, and they make delightful reading. I especially appreciate how the Amazon editor described things like how Jo's handwriting changed during certain parts of the stories, and how the drawings foreshadowed each tale. Bravo, Amazon! And thank you for sharing your treasure with all of us.
Amazon: pictures, reviews, a video, and a forum for questions
Associated Press report