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France honors 'Potter' author's magic touch

February 04, 2009|Associated Press

France paid homage to the British author behind fiction's most famous boy wizard by inducting Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling into the country's prestigious Legion of Honor on Tuesday.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy bestowed Rowling with the honorary title of "knight" in the legion during a ceremony in a gilded hall in the Elysee presidential palace.

Rowling said that one of her great-grandfathers, who was French, had received the Legion of Honor in 1924 for his courage in the Battle of Verdun during the First World War.

In 2003, even before it was translated into French, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" -- the fifth book in the series -- became the first book in English ever to top the French bestsellers' list.

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