Emma Watson hides copies of Little Women across London for the Book Fairies

By December 18, 2019News

The Book Fairies which was first launched in 2017 is an organisation which uses volunteers to hide free books in cities all around the world for lucky readers to find. Actress Emma Watson, best known for her role as Hermione in the Harry Potter films, is a self-confessed bookworm herself and helped with the Book Fairies launch in 2017 by hiding copies of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale in Paris. Now, Emma Watson is re-joining The Book Fairies for their new, exciting venture.

The latest film adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, starring Emma Watson as Meg March, will be released to cinemas on Boxing Day (26th December 2019). To celebrate the film’s release, The Book Fairies have been hiding copies of Alcott’s much-loved novel all around the world. From the UK to the US and even across to places like Germany, Australia, Hong Kong, and South Africa.

The Book Fairies’ campaign for Little Women has recieved a staggering 2,000 copies of the book so far, which have been distributed by over 150 book fairies internationally. In the UK, roughly a quarter of the 2,000 books can be found by readers across the country from the capital of London to other cities including; Oxford, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Bradford, Plymouth, Bangor (NI), Royal Tunbridge Wells and Leeds. The largest number of books were hidden in the UK, Cordelia Oxley (chief book fairy) reports because relationships with publishers are strongest there. In the UK the publishers involved in donating books included: Wordsworth; Scholastic; Little, Brown; Vintage; and Puffin.

Many of the approximately 500 books donated and hidden in the UK, were in fact, distributed by actress Emma Watson herself. As a fierce feminist as well as a bookworm, Watson’s chosen hiding places in London included a number of tributes and statues dedicated to women such as; the bust of British-Indian agent Noor Inayat Khan in Gordon Square, Bloomsbury; the Amy Winehouse statue in Camden, the Agatha Christie memorial in Leicester Square, The Women of World War II memorial in Whitehall, the Mary Seacole statue at St Thomas’ Hospital, and the Suffragette memorial in Christchurch Gardens.

Wherever in the world readers find a hidden copy of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, they will, however, be in no doubt about the source of these books as each contains a handwritten note from Watson herself.

Watson finally revealed the book fairies secret which had been kept so hushed in a launch post that read, “I’m excited to reveal a global effort with @bookfairiesworldwide to hide 2,000 copies of Little Women! #LWBookFairies starts today and features over 100 different editions of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel to celebrate the release of #LittleWomenMovie, every one of which has a special note from me inside. 38 countries will be involved in the campaign, and it’s going to be the largest book fairy event ever—follow the hashtag to see where they are being hidden over the next few days! Do you believe in book fairies? #ibelieveinbookfairies”

Corelida Oxely, chief book fairy, explains how this brilliant campaign came to be. Oxley said, “I started thinking about how we could do something around the launch of the film, around January/ February time, and this gave us a really long lead time. Because [Emma] had been a book fairy before—she has hidden books on her own over the past couple of years, she helped with our launch in 2017 and with hiding The Handmaid’s Tale in Paris in 2017 as well—she jumped at the idea! It was all top secret until she announced it. And it was interesting for us trying to keep 150 fairies quiet about it. It was a team effort and an absolute gift for us. She really enjoys reading, she loves stories and the idea of hiding things for people to find, so it’s perfect really.”

The amazing 2,000 donated books being hidden by the book fairies came from a variety of publishers round the world, since Little Women is now out of copyright. This enables publishers to create their own editions of the novel, although Abrams & Chronicle Books (UK) and Abrams (US) are publishing the film tie-ins. “It’s a campaign for a book that is out of copyright which means a lot of publishers had an edition. So we just went out and asked all the publishers we knew and ended up with 122 different editions in total. Seeing all the different covers was so heartwarming—it became less of a promotional event and genuinely, which was what we wanted, a celebration of the novel. The film is a great excuse to celebrate this amazing novel. It was a lot of fun and very different challenge to do it out of copyright,” explained Oxley.

The Book Fairies are still accepting donations of Little Women in order to sustain further activity with the book and the launch of the Greta Gerwig’s film adaptation. What’s more, more drops of the book to hiding place in countries such as Italy are expected over the coming days, so potential readers, keep your eyes peeled for a copy of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women!

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