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J.K. Rowling Marks 20th Anniversary of Harry Potter With Heartfelt Message

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In honor of the 20th anniversary of the release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone — the British version of the first novel in the wizarding world series — J.K. Rowling tweeted a message of thanks to fans Monday.

The author took to Twitter to express her gratitude for the millions of readers who stuck with Harry throughout his magical journey, reminiscing on how this day 20 years ago changed her life. “20 years ago today a world that I had lived in alone was suddenly open to others,” she wrote. “It’s been wonderful. Thank you.”

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was released on June 26, 1997 in the U.K., three months before the renamed Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone hit bookstores in September 1998 in the U.S. The series concluded 10 years later with the publication of the seventh book in the series — Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — on July 21, 2007.

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Write to Megan McCluskey at megan.mccluskey@time.com