All posts by Hermione

Dumbledore's letter to Grindelwald

J.K. Rowling Sends Letter From Dumbledore To 15-Year-Old Who Lost Her Family

While many others may still be waiting patiently for their admittance letters to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, one teen in Texas has already received her owl.

Cassidy Stay, the 15-year-old survivor of a mass shooting in Houston that killed her her parents and siblings, received a handwritten letter from Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling.

rowling QUOTES

Rowling’s team has remained tight-lipped about the contents of letter, which was reportedly written from the perspective of her character Professor Albus Dumbledore.

“We can confirm that J.K. Rowling was in touch with Cassidy Stay, however, the contents of the letter remain private,” an unidentified spokesman for the author told The Telegraph.

The personal letter comes after Stay quoted the fictional Hogwarts headmaster during a recent memorial event for her family.

“In ‘The Prisoner of Azkaban,’ Dumbledore says: ‘Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light,” Stay said during the memorial (skip to 1:24 in the video below).

Thanks to an Internet campaign, Rowling heard the news that Stay relayed Dumbledore’s message of hope and sent the teen a handwritten note. Creators of a Facebook page that aimed to get the two to meet confirmed that Stay also received a few other special items, including a wand and an acceptance letter to Hogwarts.

Cassidy Stay JK Rowling

Stay lost her parents and four siblings last month, when they were reportedly tied up and shot at the family home by her aunt’s former husband. Police say she saved the lives of several others when, after the shooting, she called 911 to report the man was on his way to a home where other family members lived.

In the aftermath, she received an outpouring of support from across the country, including more than $300,000 in donations to a fund in her family’s name.

Harry Potter Monopoly Game?

Can't wait?
…to get your hands on the custom made Harry Potter Monopoly Game? CLICK HERE 
wizard's monopoly
harry potterr board game

This custom-made set, by Etsy seller CustomLumos, caught our eye recently. “Wizard’s Monopoly” comes in a lovely wooden trunk, with a board made up of locations from throughout the wizarding world. It’s a beautiful presentation, though the $1000 asking price is ridiculous, even if you take into account the necessary legal fees the creator will need when the combined forces of J.K. Rowling and Parker Brothers come down on them (you can buy PDFs of the board and wizard-branded play money to print at home for much less exorbitant amounts).

And because it’s Etsy, the listed materials also of course include “charms, spells, and some Dark Magic.” So if you end up bashing your friend over the head with the trunk when he grabs 12 Grimmauld Place out from under you, you can always blame evil wizards for your murderous impulses.

the-silkworm-jk-rowling review

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith: Review

Consider the strange and remarkable case of JK Rowling. Her first book, for children, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, was rejected by at least 12 publishers. It was bought for £2,500 and published, in 1997, in an edition of about 1,000 copies.rowling

Rowling’s storytelling struck an immediate chord with juvenile readers. Within a year, she was winning all the children’s book prizes. By the time two Harry Potter sequels – The Chamber of Secrets (1998) and The Prisoner of Azkaban (1999) – had been launched, Rowling was a pawn turned queen, and her work a global cult.

Not since Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories had a writer of Scots ancestry – indeed, any writer – achieved such an astounding audience. Subsequent Harry Potter adventures smashed all known sales records. In 2004, Forbes magazine named Rowling the first person to become a billion-dollar author.

Just as remarkable, in 2007, Rowling completed her seven-volume Harry Potter sequence, withThe Deathly Hallows, nailing down almost every last detail of a mind-bendingly intricate plot, and bringing an elephantine narrative to a satisfying and possibly open-ended conclusion. In the annals of British literature, Rowling’s Harry Potter series is an unprecedented achievement.

Inevitably, there was a reckoning. In 2011, after a troubled hiatus, Rowling fired her agent and the following year published The Casual Vacancy, a novel for adults, under her own name. The reviews were mixed, but she still sold more than a million copies worldwide, while clearly relishing this second act in her literary career.

Meanwhile, like Conan Doyle, who followed Holmes and Watson with his Professor Challenger novels, Rowling hankered for another series. Unlike him, she wanted to write and publish without the hype or expectation surrounding her literary life. Secretly, she adopted a pseudonym and forged a new protagonist. Once again, the author of Harry Potter was in the business of creating an alternative world for herself. She almost got away with it.

Almost, but not quite. When, in April 2013, Little Brown published a debut crime novel by a certain Robert Galbraith, described as “a former plainclothes Royal Military Police investigator”, there was a smattering of excellent reviews, the usual modest sales (some 1,500 copies) and then… Hey presto! Rowling’s secret was out. She was “Robert Galbraith”.

Sure enough, The Cuckoo’s Calling became a No 1 bestseller. Whatever Rowling’s aspirations to control the execution and reception of her mid-career progress after Harry Potter, the awkward truth is that she is now the rich-and-famous victim of her celebrity, with all the consequent stresses of such a fate. Intriguingly, her second Robert Galbraith novel is a playful, obsessive yarn about the ironies of the literary life.

Novelist Owen Quine goes missing having just completed a manuscript replete with vicious pen-portraits of his nearest and dearest. In the works of Conan Doyle’s contemporary, PG Wodehouse, such a premise is the basis for farce. Not here. Tellingly, for Rowling, Quine’s literary evisceration of his agent, his editor, and his publisher forms the basis for a detective story that does not merely suspend disbelief but hoists it like an escape artist over an abyss of improbabilities.

Private detective Cormoran Strike (named after a mythological Cornish giant) is commissioned by Quine’s wife to track him down and bring him home. After 123 pages of teasing stuff about literary London, revenge tragedy and the Latin for silkworm (Bombyx Mori), Strike finds Quine horribly murdered (trussed, eviscerated, and putrid) in an empty house, 179 Talgarth Road, W14. There is no shortage of nasty suspects with creepy hidden drives, ample opportunity and oodles of motive.

The book isn’t perfect. It’s a tad too long, and the suspect interrogations grow repetitive. Sometimes the reader feels Rowling may be trying too hard to move away from Hogwarts. The fair amount of swearing reminds one of a rebellious teenager set free.

Some will also argue that while Harry Potter altered the landscape in a way no children’s novel ever has, here Rowling does the opposite: She plays to form. “The Silkworm” is a very well-written, wonderfully entertaining take on the traditional British crime novel, but it breaks no new ground, and Rowling seems to know that. Robert Galbraith may proudly join the ranks of English, Scottish and Irish crime writers such as Tana French, Ian Rankin, Val McDermid, John Connolly, Kate Atkinson and Peter Robinson, but she wouldn’t overshadow them. Still, to put any author on that list is very high praise.

The upside of being as well known as Rowling is obvious — sales, money, attention. That’s not what she’s after here. The downside — and her reason for using the pseudonym — is that telling a story needs a little bit of anonymity. Rowling deserves that chance, even if she can’t entirely have it. We can’t unring that bell, but in a larger sense, we readers get more. We get the wry observations when we can’t ignore the author’s identity and we get the escapist mystery when we can. In the end, the fictional publisher Daniel Chard got it right: “Content is king,” and on that score, both J. K. Rowling and Robert Galbraith triumph.

 Want to buy the Silkworm? We have links to relevant online shops in: USA, UK, India 

JK Rowling

Harry Potter Returns In New J.K. Rowling Story

JK Rowling, writing as gossip columnist ‘Rita Skeeter’ for the Pottermore site, exposes his first grey hairs and Ron Weasley’s now-thinning thatch.

Harry Potter is back — mysterious, married, and going gray.

JK RowlingJ.K. Rowling has given fans a glimpse of the grown-up boy wizard in a new story posted Tuesday on her Pottermore website.

It’s the first update since “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” was published in 2007, but Rowling spokesman Mark Hutchinson said there are “no plans” for a new Potter novel.

The 1,500-word story describes Harry, about to turn 34, attending the final of the Quidditch World Cup with his family and old friends Ron and Hermione.

Harry now has “threads of silver” in his hair and a mysterious cut on his cheekbone, related to his “top secret” work as an evil-battling Auror.

The story is written in the style of a gossip column for the Daily Prophet by reporter Rita Skeeter, a minor character in the novels.

ThRita Skeeter Harry Pottere style allows Rowling to poke fun at the tabloid press, a real-life bugbear that she has accused of invading her privacy and that of her family.

Skeeter observes that Harry and friends are “no longer the fresh-faced teenagers they were in their heyday” and speculates about the state of Harry’s marriage to Ginny Weasley.

She says Ron Weasley’s red hair “appears to be thinning slightly,” and notes witheringly that Harry still wears “the distinctive round glasses that some might say are better suited to a style-deficient 12-year-old.”

The story discloses that Ron now runs the family joke shop, while Hermione is a — literally — high-flying civil servant, Deputy Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement.

Skeeter also writes sniffily about a “prolonged period of what, in my young day, was called ‘snogging’” between two younger members of the party.

The article is part of a series of pieces written by Rowling about the 2014 Quidditch Cup for Pottermore. The final article will be published on 11 July, and will see Ginny Potter, now a journalist, cover the cup final, between Brazil and Bulgaria.

There are also updates on other characters, including Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood, as well as glimpses of a new generation of teenage wizards.

Rowling has long said that “Deathly Hallows,” would be the last Potter novel, but has produced other Potter-related material, including spin-off story collection, “The Tales of Beedle the Bard.”

Rowling has also published a novel for adults, “The Casual Vacancy,” and two detective thrillers under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.

Gringotts Comes Alive at Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter-Diagon Alley opens to the public July 8 at Universal Orlando Resort in Orlando, Fla. Diagon Alley expands the park’s original Harry Potter attraction, which was modeled after Hogsmeade Village and opened in 2010.

gringgots-diagonalley

Guests at the new attraction will have the opportunity to experience the sights and sounds made famous in the Harry Potter franchise including, a trip through Gringotts Wizarding Bank (complete with firing breathing dragon), Knockturn Alley, Ollivanders, the Leaky Cauldron and more.

Check out the Behind the Scenes video:

rowling QUOTES

11 Quotes by J.K. Rowling | You Will Love the Last One

J.K. Rowling is such an inspiration for all of us, and apart from her wonderful Harry Potter series, she is credited with many inspiring quotes, brought out through her own experiences of life. We are pleased to put down the 11 of them:

  1. I was set free because my greatest fear had been realized, and I still had a daughter who I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became a solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.

  2. Poverty entails fear and stress and sometimes depression. It meets a thousand petty humiliations and hardships. Climbing out of poverty by your own efforts that is something on which to pride yourself but poverty itself is romanticized by fools.

  3. Never be ashamed! There’s some who’ll hold it against you, but they’re not worth bothering with.

  4. Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike.

  5. Why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me.

  6. The most important thing is to read as much as you can, like I did. It will give you an understanding of what makes good writing and it will enlarge your vocabulary.

  7. People ask me if there are going to be stories of Harry Potter as an adult. Frankly, if I wanted to, I could keep writing stories until Harry is a senior citizen, but I don’t know how many people would actually want to read about a 65 year old Harry still at Hogwarts playing bingo with Ron and Hermione.

  8. I would like to be remembered as someone who did the best she could with the talent she had.

  9. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.

  10. However my parents – both of whom came from impoverished backgrounds and neither of whom had been to college, took the view that my overactive imagination was an amusing quirk that would never pay a mortgage or secure a pension.

  11. “Fat’ is usually the first insult a girl throws at another girl when she wants to hurt her.I mean, is ‘fat’ really the worst thing a human being can be? Is ‘fat’ worse than ‘vindictive’, ‘jealous’, ‘shallow’, ‘vain’, ‘boring’ or ‘cruel’? Not to me; but then, you might retort, what do I know about the pressure to be skinny? I’m not in the business of being judged on my looks, what with being a writer and earning my living by using my brain…

    I went to the British Book Awards that evening. After the award ceremony I bumped into a woman I hadn’t seen for nearly three years. The first thing she said to me? ‘You’ve lost a lot of weight since the last time I saw you!’Well,’ I said, slightly nonplussed, ‘the last time you saw me I’d just had a baby.What I felt like saying was, ‘I’ve produced my third child and my sixth novel since I last saw you. Aren’t either of those things more important, more interesting, than my size?’ But no – my waist looked smaller! Forget the kid and the book: finally, something to celebrate.

    I’ve got two daughters who will have to make their way in this skinny-obsessed world, and it worries me, because I don’t want them to be empty-headed, self-obsessed, emaciated clones; I’d rather they were independent, interesting, idealistic, kind, opinionated, original, funny – a thousand things, before ‘thin’. And frankly, I’d rather they didn’t give a gust of stinking chihuahua flatulence whether the woman standing next to them has fleshier knees than they do. Let my girls be Hermiones, rather than Pansy Parkinsons.”



Interested in J.K. Rowling's Biography?
JK Rowling biographyGet your hands on “Who is J.K. Rowling?” by Pamela D. Pollack & Meg Belviso.

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Emma Watson graduation ceremony

Emma Watson Graduates From Brown University

It wasn’t a Hogwarts-style ceremony, but a degree from a top Ivy League university is just as good, right?

Emma Watson walked across the stage at Brown University on Sunday in Providence, R.I., where she graduated with a degree in English literature.

The renowned actress, who is most well known for her role as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter franchise, has been enrolled at the institution since 2009.

Since beginning her studies at the highly venerated university, the 24-year-old Brit has also starred in five major Hollywood films.

Harry Potter christmas gift

Fan-Made Harry Potter MOOC Does Hogwarts Better Than Pottermore

A group of intrepid Harry Potter fans have made your childhood wish come true, creating a website called Hogwarts Is Here, where you can take free, online classes in the same subjects studied by Harry, Ron, and Hermione.

HiH (as the site refers to itself) has turned Hogwarts into a series of Massive Open Online Courses, letting users “enroll” in the wizarding school. Nobody tell J.K. Rowling, though, because this site does the interactive Hogwarts experience better than the author-sanctioned Pottermore

Hogwarts castle replica
Hogwarts Castle Replica

Hogwarts Is Here is essentially what it sounds like: an online university. It has all of the classic Potter classes, like potions and transfiguration. And the curriculum is impressively thorough. The textbooks you can purchase from Diagon Alley (after you set up your Gringotts bank account, of course) are nothing for a muggle to scoff at. The HiH version of A History of Magic “written” by Bathilda Bagshot has 17 chapters, covering topics like “Magic’s Beginnings” and “Major Religions and Magic: Judaism”. Most “chapters” are only a few paragraphs long, but according to the site’s FAQ all content was created and written (and some are still being written) by “volunteer fans” – that is some serious HP dedication and knowledge.

So how do you take a real wizarding course? On Slate, Alex Heimbach wrote about her time as a HiH student: you sort yourself into a House, pick a dorm, and then sign up for classes, which are composed of nine lessons with assignments. That’s right, there’s classwork for this online Hogwarts that is actually graded (you can still explore the site without doing any work, but you’ll forever be a first-year). Heimbach explains:

One assignment for Transfiguration asked for 300 words exploring possible loopholes in one of the exceptions to Gamp’s Law—an expansion on a comment Hermione makes in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows about the five things that cannot be created with magic. My essay, which discussed how you might circumvent the law against creating money by transforming less valuable items into more valuable ones, received a C, thus proving wrong the kids who teased me for being such a Hermione.

Hogwarts Is Here is quick to point out that it has no affiliation with J.K. Rowling or Warner Bros., and is an independently created fan site. It doesn’t charge any money, but it is accepting donations. The fact that it uses HP material could pose a problem though, especially when it starts to get more attention, considering it’s giving the licensed Pottermore a serious run for its money.

Pottermore came out with huge hype, but scored mixed reviews (“More like PotterSNORE” is our personal favorite). HiH is a welcome supplement. With HiH and a trip to Universal’s expanding Potter theme park, we can all pretend our 11th birthdays didn’t come and go without an owl dropping a Hogwarts letter on our doorstep.

quidditch

J.K. Rowling writes history of Quidditch World Cup for Potter Fans

The website Pottermore recently posted the first part of an essay by Rowling on the history of the Quidditch World Cup, the championship of the popular sport in the ‘Potter’ world. It’s only the newest original material from Rowling revealed on Pottermore.

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Matches marred by violence and fan protest, bitter feuds in the governing body and a “logistical nightmare” for the host nation.

This may sound like a worst-case scenario for the upcoming football World Cup in Brazil but it actually describes the previously unknown history of its Quidditch equivalent.

To the delight of Harry Potter fans, J K Rowling Friday published the first of a two-part history of the Quidditch World Cup on the Pottermore website she set up to expand the magical “universe” of her boy wizard novels.

Although Quidditch the sport – in which players flying on broomsticks propel balls into ring-shaped goals – owes more to rugby, Rowling’s World Cup history seems to have taken inspiration from the petty squabbles surrounding football.

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“A source of vehement disagreements, a security risk for all who attend it and a frequent focus for unrest and protest, the Quidditch World Cup is simultaneously the most exhilarating sporting event on earth and a logistical nightmare for the host nation,” Rowling writes.

One Romanian player in the 1809 tournament had to be stopped from strangling two referees, she writes, and when the final between his nation and New Spain (Mexico) didn’t go to plan he jinxed an entire forest, resulting in a seven-hour battle between trees and wizards.

Violence also marred the 1994 Quidditch World Cup in the UK, when supporters of Lord Voldemort caused mayhem on Dartmoor.

Quidditch through the agesJK Rowling has been seemingly inspired by the petty squabbles of professional football.
Just like Sepp Blatter – the colourful president of football’s world governing body Fifa – the head of the International Confederation of Wizards Quidditch Committee has not governed without controversy.

In 1971, Rowling writes, Australian Royston Idlewind was contentiously appointed international director of the ICWQC and caused outrage when he tried to ban wands from matches.

A boycott by threatened fans followed. In the end, supporters took in their wands disguised as a “new style of musical instrument” which emitted loud raspberries (sounding similar to the vuvuzela that caused so much irritation during the 2010 South African football world cup), forcing Idlewind’s resignation.

A spokesman for Pottermore said that the first instalment of the history had already proved one of the most popular posts on the site, and the second will be published next Friday, featuring “amusing recaps of some notable recent matches that have been held every four years since 1990”.

Susan Jurevics, Pottermore’s chief executive officer, said: “We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to publish such an imaginative and engaging story from J K Rowling about the history of the wizarding world’s most exciting sport.”

Rowling is, however, more of a rugby fan and on Friday urged her three million Twitter followers to support Scotland in the Six Nations championship – promising the History of the Quidditch World Cup as a reward.

She has even claimed Scottish rugby is appreciated in the secret magical world, with wizards admiring “the strength and courage of Muggles prepared to engage in sport so brutal” but supporting only Scotland – going as far as to establish the Wizarding Supporters of Scottish Rugby Union: “Discussing Scottish rugby has become one of several covert identifiers for wizards meeting in front of Muggles and seeking to establish each other’s credentials.”

Related Product: Quidditch through the Ages – Get in US | UK|India

harry potter book covers

21 Harry Potter covers from around the world

The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling has been translated into 67 languages and has sold over 450 million copies worldwide.

To reach a global audience, the series has had a slew of different covers. We wanted to share this cool mash up depicting 21 of the cover styles – including one made by a fan – in one graphic.

harry potter book covers

 

The line up is as follows:

1) U.K. Children’s
2) Bloomsbury Signature Edition (U.K.)
3) U.K. Adult’s
4) New U.K. Adult edition
5) U.S. edition – standard
6) New U.S. edition
7) Swedish
8) Dutch
9) French
10) Dutch pocket edition
11) Danish
12) Italian
13) Finnish
14) German
15) Japanese
16) Spanish
17) Chinese
18) French adult
19) M. S. Corley Edition (fan-made)
20) Ukrainian
21) German adult