Author: J.K. Rowling
Joanne Rowling was born in July 1965 at Yate General Hospital in England and grew up in Chepstow, Gwent where she went to Wyedean Comprehensive.
Jo left Chepstow for Exeter University, where she earned a French and Classics degree, her course including one year in Paris. As a postgraduate she moved to London and worked as a researcher at Amnesty International among other jobs. She started writing the Harry Potter series during a delayed Manchester to London King’s Cross train journey, and during the next five years, outlined the plots for each book and began writing the first novel.
Jo then moved to northern Portugal, where she taught English as a foreign language. She married in October 1992 and gave birth to a daughter in 1993. When the marriage ended, she and Jessica returned to the UK to live in Edinburgh, where Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone was eventually completed. The book was first published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books in June 1997, under the name J.K. Rowling. The “K”, for Kathleen, her paternal grandmother’s name was added at her publisher’s request who thought that a woman’s name would not appeal to the target audience of young boys.
J.K. Rowling lives in Edinburgh with her husband and three children.
Genre: Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Young Adult, Short Stories
Read… on the Stair Master at the Gym while… working on my fitness
Music I listened to while reading these stories: Harry Potter soundtracks
Titles: Pottermore Presents Short Stories From Hogwarts:
- Of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies
- Of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists
- Hogwarts: An Incomplete & Unreliable Guide
Publisher: Pottermore from J.K. Rowling
Publication Date: September 6, 2016
Rating: 4 out of 5 Dogwoods
Summary (from Pottermore):
Pottermore Presents is a series of bite-sized eBooks that dig deep into the Harry Potter stories, with titbits taken from Pottermore’s archives and original writing from J.K. Rowling. The series offers Harry Potter fans added insights into the stories, settings and characters and were all lovingly curated by Pottermore.
The three eBooks will be released on 6 September – just in time for a new term at Hogwarts – and each explores a different Hogwarts-related theme.
Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide dives into the nooks and crannies of the beloved wizarding school itself, unfurling everything from details about the Hogwarts ghosts, to what happens when the Sorting Hat can’t decide on a student’s house.
Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists explores the darker roots of the wizarding world. You’ll learn more about the troubles that faced the Ministry of Magic, the horrors of Azkaban prison and enjoy an entirely new original piece of writing by J.K. Rowling on Horace Slughorn.
Finally, in Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies, Pottermore celebrates the colourful staff of Hogwarts. There’s more to discover about Care of Magical Creatures teacher Silvanus Kettleburn, as well as another new piece of writing from J.K. Rowling on Minerva McGonagall, and her involvement in the second wizarding war.
Although Pottermore promised “original, never-seen-before” writing from Rowling, there is little that we have not already read or learned at one point or another. For example, the majority of the chapter on Hogwarts teacher, and later headteacher, Professor McGonagall, can still be found on the Pottermore website, with just 660 new words written by Rowling. However, I enjoyed having the information in one thematically arranged and condensed e-book format; it was nice to take my kindle to the gym and read about the wizarding world of Harry Potter instead of having to navigate through the Pottermore website. My only wish is that they published these short stories in a compiled hardback print edition – I will always choose print over e-book format.
Here are some of my favorite quotes on some of my favorite characters from the compiled short stories.
On Dolores Umbridge:
“Dolores Umbridge may have looked like an iced cupcake, but she was anything but sweet. She was savage, sadistic and remorseless. When she dared take control of Hogwarts from Albus Dumbledore, she committed all sorts of sinister acts. Under the newly created title of ‘High Inquisitor’ she single-handedly (well, with a little help from Filch) sucked the beloved school of all its joy, put every student in grave danger, and tortured Harry Potter. As far as we’re concerned, she more than deserved her fate at the hands (hooves?) of centaurs.”
On Minerva McGonnagall:
“Known to successive generations of students as ‘Professor McGonagall,’ Minerva – always something of a feminist – announced that she would be keeping her own name upon marriage. Traditionalists sniffed – why was Minerva refusing to accept a pure-blood name, and keeping that of her Muggle father?”
“Minerva was also, like her mother, a gifted Quidditch player, although a nasty fall in her final year (a foul during the Gryffindor versus Slytherin game which would decide the Cup winner) left her with concussion, several broken ribs and a lifelong desire to see Slytherin crushed on the Quidditch pitch. Though she gave up Quidditch on leaving Hogwarts, the innately competitive Professor McGonagall later took a keen interest in the fortunes of her house team, and retained a keen eye for Quidditch talent.”
On Remus Lupin:
“Shortly before Remus’s eleventh birthday, no less a person than Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts, arrived uninvited on the Lupins’ doorstep. Flustered and frightened, Lyall and Hope tried to block his entrance, but somehow, five minutes later, Dumbledore was sitting at the fireside, eating crumpets and playing Gobstones with Remus.
Dumbledore explained to the Lupins that he knew what had happened to their son. Greyback had boasted of what he had done and Dumbledore had spies among Dark creatures. However, Dumbledore told the Lupins that he saw no reason why Remus should not come to school, and described the arrangements that he had made to give the boy a safe and secure place for his transformations. Due to the widespread prejudice around werewolves, Dumbledore agreed that for Remus’s own sake his condition should not be broadcast. Once a month, he would leave for a secure and comfortable house in the village of Hogsmeade, guarded by many spells and reached only by an underground passage from the Hogwarts grounds, where he could transform in peace.
Remus’s excitement was beyond anything he had known before. It was the dream of his life to meet other children and have, for the first time, friends and playmates.”
“Remus functioned as the conscience of this group, but it was an occasionally faulty conscience. He did not approve of their relentless bullying of Severus Snape, but he loved James and Sirius so much, and was so grateful for their acceptance, that he did not always stand up to them as much as he knew he should.”
JK Rowling defends new Harry Potter e-books after fans complain of charging for free writing, Alice Vincent, The Telegraph, September 7, 2016.
7 Things We Learned From Pottermore Presents, the New Harry Potter eBooks, Kate Samuelson, Time, September 6, 2016.