The magic still has some spells to cast. Audiobook giant Audible has just announced the imminent release of their “Harry Potter: A History of Magic,” published by Pottermore Publishing and billed as “an original non-fiction audiobook that reveals hidden stories from throughout magic’s history and how some of its ancient objects, manuscripts. and spells have influenced J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter stories.” The audiobook will be narrated by actress Natalie Dormer, and is inspired by the recent exhibition of the same name, which previously ran at the British Library last year and will open at the New-York Historical Society in the United States this October.
Per the official press release, Dormer will lead “listeners through an audio journey like no other, delving into real-world magical texts and artifacts. From Ethiopian charms and Chinese oracle bones, to the story of Nicolas Flamel and Smelly Nelly’s black moon crystal ball, listeners will be transfixed by tales of magical history and mystical traditions from all over the world, many of which they will recognize from the Harry Potter books that they know and love.”
The new project will feature exclusive interviews with series narrators Jim Dale and Stephen Fry, illustrators Jim Kay and Olivia Lomenech Gill, and curators from the British Library and New-York Historical Society. In her own official statement, Ann Scantlebury, Development Editor at Pottermore Publishing, hinted at some of the further treats to be found in the audiobook.
“From the first time we spoke to the curators at the British Library and the New York Historical Society, it was clear that the magical artifacts in the exhibitions held so many hidden stories,” said Scantlebury. “In this audiobook we have been able to delve a little bit deeper to hear about scandals and intrigues, seven reasons why a werewolf might attack, a witch flying a broomstick backwards, and a cautionary tale of an exploding cauldron. Fans of Harry Potter are in for a treat too – Jim Dale, Stephen Fry, Jim Kay, and Olivia Lomenech Gill give us great insight and some fantastic stories of how they created their own interpretations of the Wizarding World.”
“I’ve always adored the Harry Potter books, but it wasn’t until I started speaking with the British Library’s curators – hearing about the various myths, legends and cultures that have helped shape the wizarding world – that I really began to appreciate the richness and depth of J. K. Rowling’s writing,” said Dormer in an official statement. “There are so many wonderful details to explore and ‘A History of Magic’ unearths some remarkable gems of information that are sure to have listeners awestruck. It’s been fun to join the Wizarding World family.”
An audio tour of the New-York History Society’s “Harry Potter: A History of Magic” exhibition, featuring Dormer’s voice, will be available to ticketholders as a free Audible download to guide them through the event. “Harry Potter: A History of Magic” will release on October 4 to coincide with the NYHS exhibition, and is currently available for preorder exclusively at Audible right here.