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Harry Potter: A History of Magic  BBC Two

A little history of Avada Kedavra - Harry Potter: A History of Magic | Preview - BBC Two

As David Thewlis reads from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire at the British Library, J.K. Rowling and curator Julian Harrison uncover the roots of her famous killing spell.

It is 20 years since JK Rowling's Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone first cast its spell on readers across the globe. But Rowling's fantastical creation wasn't entirely make-believe.

In the run up to the exhibition Harry Potter: A History of Magic, JK Rowling ventures behind the scenes of the British Library, revealing the real-life counterparts to her fantastical world. From shrieking mandrakes and Elizabethan invisibility spells to the mystery of ancient Chinese oracle bones and the real life search for the Philosopher's Stone, it is the start of a warm, playful and inventive journey round some of the most magical places in the land - from wizarding wandmakers in the English forest to the beguiling witchcraft of Boscastle, Cornwall.

The film features readings by actors from the Harry Potter films, including David Thewlis, Evanna Lynch, Warwick Davis, Miriam Margolyes and Mark Williams, while Rowling's illustrator Jim Kay illuminates her imaginary world. Narrated by Imelda Staunton.

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