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Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Harry Potter fans, we have news. JK Rowling did not start writing the series in Edinburgh

For long, readers believed that Edinburgh was the place where Rowling started writing her universally famous fantasy series. Well, that does not seem to be the case.

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi | Published: May 25, 2020 1:09:18 pm
jk rowling, harry potter, jk rowling twitter, harry potter jk rowling, harry potter birthplace, indian express, indian express news JK Rowling also made some other revelations. (Source: AP)

Once a literary character becomes famous, a lot of narratives are spun around its origin, which add to the myth. JK Rowling’s famous Harry Potter is one of them and for long, readers believed that Edinburgh was the place where Rowling started writing her fantasy series.  In fact, The Elephant House Cafe there is considered to be the hallowed place where the author started writing the first novel.

However, in a recent tweet Rowling has dispelled all those beliefs. Answering an oft-asked query, she wrote, “I was thinking of putting a section on my website about all the alleged inspirations and birthplaces of Potter. I’d been writing Potter for several years before I ever set foot in this cafe, so it’s not the birthplace, but I *did* write in there so we’ll let them off!”

She then went on to further to say, “For instance, I never visited this bookshop in Oporto. Never even knew of its existence! It’s beautiful and I wish I *had* visited it, but it has nothing to do with Hogwarts!”

And finally, she revealed the true birthplace of Harry Potter and well, it’s London. “This is the true birthplace of Harry Potter, if you define ‘birthplace’ as the spot where I put pen to paper for the first time.* I was renting a room in a flat over what was then a sports shop. The first bricks of Hogwarts were laid in a flat in Clapham Junction.”

In a series of tweets, she mentioned the real places that seeped into her fiction. For instance, a building in Manchester helped her invent Quidditch.

Breaking some more hearts, she went on to reveal that contrary to popular belief, Hogwarts was not based on of Edinburgh’s schools. “I sometimes hear Hogwarts was based on one or other of Edinburgh’s schools, but that’s 100% false, too. Hogwarts was created long before I clapped eyes on any of them! I did finish Hallows in the Balmoral, though, & I can’t lie, I’d rate it a smidge higher than the Bournville.”

And there is a sneaky bit of backstory on Severus Snape. It was a sign that made it in her book. “Real Harry Potter inspiration alert: I walked past this sign every day on my way to work when I was living in Clapham. Much later – post-publication – I revisited the area & suddenly realised THIS was why ‘Severus’ had leapt into my head when thinking of a 1st name for Snape.”

Well, now you know!

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