Page last updated at 13:03 GMT, Thursday, 31 July 2008 14:03 UK

Potter fairytales to be published

The Tales of Beedle the Bard
A special collector's edition will resemble the handwritten original

A collection of fairytales penned by Harry Potter author JK Rowling is to be published to raise money for a children's charity.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard, which Rowling first mentioned in The Deathly Hallows, will go on sale on 4 December.

A handwritten copy of the book was sold at auction for 1.95m last year.

Rowling wrote and illustrated seven copies of the book, but offered only one for sale. It was thought the book would never be published.

Collector's edition

British charity the Children's High Level Group (CHLG), which was founded by Rowling and Baroness Emma Nicholson to help vulnerable children across Europe, will publish three editions of the book.

Bloomsbury and Scholastic will publish a 6.99 edition, featuring additional commentary on each fairytale from Professor Dumbledore, and an introduction by Rowling.

JK Rowling
All seven copies of the book are mounted with semi-precious stones

Amazon, who bought the handwritten copy at auction last year, will produce a maximum of 100,000 Collector's Edition copies aimed at replicating the look and feel of the original tales.

"There was understandable disappointment among Harry Potter fans when only one copy of The Tales of Beedle the Bard was offered to the public last December," said Rowling.

"I am therefore delighted to announce that, thanks to the generous support of Bloomsbury, Scholastic and Amazon - and with the blessing of the wonderful people who own the other six original books - The Tales of Beedle the Bard will now be widely available to all Harry Potter fans."

In the seventh and final Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Hermione Grainger is given a copy of the book a collection of fairytales by Albus Dumbledore to help in the quest to defeat Lord Voldemort.

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