J.K. Rowling's 'Potter' first edition raises $228,000 for charity

The auction benefiting the organization English PEN sold a first-edition copy of Rowling's 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone' as well as works by Roald Dahl, Hilary Mantel, and Ian McEwan.

Matt Dunham/AP
The first-edition copy of 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone' that was auctioned off also contained notes and drawings by author J.K. Rowling.

The first-edition copy of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” (better known as “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” to US fans) by J.K. Rowling, with annotations by the author, sold for $228,000 yesterday at Sotheby’s in London.

The book was being sold along with other first-edition books which had been annotated by their authors to benefit English PEN, an organization which supports writers whose ability to write freely is being threatened.

The first edition of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” was bought by a bidder who remained anonymous and sent his or her bid over the phone, according to Sotheby’s. In British currency, the book sold for 150,000 pounds.

The funds from the books sold came to 440,000 pounds, or more than $660,000. One of the other notable items up for sale, a copy of “Matilda” by Roald Dahl that included new drawings by original illustrator Quentin Blake, sold for 30,000 pounds.

“This is a triumphant conclusion to a wonderful project, which has involved the hard work and good will of so many people,” Rick Gekoski, the curator of the collection and an English PEN trustee, told the Guardian. “I am sure that the buyers of the individual books will be thrilled with their purchases."

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