Modern English literature
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Scotland, allowed Harry Potter to end up charming the world into getting out its collective torch and reading under the bedsheets (as Harry himself is wont to do). Christopher Little, an agent for heavyweight writers such as Simon Singh, (Fermat's Enigma) and Janet Gleeson (The Arcanum), was the first person outside Rowling's circle of friends and family to spot her potential, even though he'd never been involved with children's fiction before. Rowling, typically, tried Little because she liked his name, sending him the first few chapters of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in 1995.
The typewritten pages found themselves perched on top of the pile of dozens of unsolicited manuscripts Little received most weeks. He read her submission quickly and took only three days to take her on as a client; she was so thrilled, she read his reply eight times. Little had spoken to the new Bloomsbury Children's Book department at the 1995 Frankfurt Book Fair and knew they were looking for something special.
"And Harry Potter was different," he says. Different and long. Most children's books are less than 40,000 words long; Philosopher's Stone was at least 65,000.
Cunningham, the editorial director starting the Bloomsbury children's list, saw the manuscript when it arrived from Little in June 1996. "There it was," he says, "a complete world with everything worked out and everything working, a world you could enter into as a child and lose yourself within. " Cunningham needed Rowling and Harry to cast their spell over his colleagues.
So he handed over the manuscript to Rosamund de la Hey, children's marketing manager. She, too, was gripped. "It made me laugh out loud and stay up all night reading it," she says.
The next day she and a colleague spent all afternoon making copies of the manuscript, stuffing them with Smarties candies and tying a ribbon around each one.Скачать