Harrius Potter et Philosophi Lapis; Caput Primum; Puer qui Vixit; 'Dominus et Domina Dursley, qui vivebant in aedibus Gestationis Ligustrorum numero quattor signatis...' this opening, also known as 'Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive...' has become one of the most read opening chapters in the world. Newly translated into Latin for the first time, this is following in the steps of other great children's classics, including Winnie the Pooh (winnie ille pu) and Paddington Bear (ursus nomine paddington). The huge task of translating into Latin (most translations are done from Latin) has been undertaken by Peter Needham, who taught Latin at Eton for over 30 years. James Morwood, of Oxford University, has said of the translation, 'The translation is great stuff. It is accurate and fluent, but it is much more than that. It has been carried off with wit, inventiveness, sensitivity and panache. I find it impossible to think of its being better done.'
The translator: Peter Needham taught Classics at Eton for over 30 years. He has also translated Paddington Bear into Latin, 'Ursus Nomine Paddington'. Peter Needham lives in Slough. 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone' was J.K. Rowling's first novel, followed by 'Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets', 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban', and 'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire', as well as two books written specifically for Comic Relief and based on the Harry Potter novels, 'Fantastic Beasts and where to Find Them' and 'Quidditch through the Ages'. The Harry Potter novels have been prize-winning and consistently on the bestseller lists, and have now sold over 164 million copies world wide. Originally published as an author for children and still primarily so, JK Rowling has generated huge popular appeal for her books in an unprecedented fashion. JK Rowling was the first children's author to be voted the BA Author of the Year, and also to win the British Book Awards Author of the Year. A film of 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone',distributed by Warner Brothers, has been released to huge success, with the sequel to come in November 2002.