A New Year and a New Twitter Header

On Sunday 1st January, @CormStrikeFan who runs the wonderful Strike Fans website tweeted a cheeky request to J. K. Rowling: “Waiting for @jk_rowling to change her Christmas header photo to something Strikey”. Wonderfully and unbelievably she responded the following day!

 

The new header is a picture of Cromer Pier a location we last saw in the header from 4th March 2022. After a brief visit to King’s Lynne in The Ink Black Heart, it now seems certain that Strike will return to Norfolk in book 7.

The news about Montgomery was so cheering that Strike didn’t much mind his first glimpse of a windmill, or the change in landscape to wide flat fens and marshland. He never went voluntarily into Norfolk and in fact had a slight prejudice against the whole county, because the worst of all the many places to which Strike’s novelty-chasing, peripatetic mother had taken her son and daughter to live had been a Norfolk commune, a place Strike sincerely hoped no longer existed.

The Ink Black Heart Ch. 48

Let me know what you think of the new header in the comments down below.

 

Comments

  1. Nick,

    Out of curiosity, the header of Cromer Pier made me do a brief search of Norfolk folklore. The result is I was able to find at least two interesting local items with cleat connections first to “Harry Potter”, and second to her literary inspiration.

    To start with, it turns out Norfolk is the home of Black Shuck, a phantom dog who stalks the countryside, and is often regarded as a feared and famous legend in its surrounding neighborhood. To give an idea of just how famous this phantom black dog is, he was the inspiration for Sirius Black’s Padfoot Animagus form. In addition, though, he might be said to have a thematic relation to Cormoran Strike’s adventures in the Mystery genre, inasmuch as he was the inspiration for Arthur Conan Doyle’s “Hound of the Baskervilles”. Some good info on Shuck can be found here, along with other Norfolk folk figures:

    https://www.edp24.co.uk/news/20719471.weird-norfolk-13-fantastic-folklore-tales-norfolk-black-shuck-bloody-mary/

    Two sites linking Conan Doyle’s and Rowling’s inspiration to the Shuck legend can be found here:

    http://www.wildeye.co.uk/black-shuck/houndofthebaskervilles.html

    And here:

    https://blogs.princeton.edu/cotsen/2022/10/black-shuck-the-spectral-dog-a-new-sighting-in-a-newbery/

    Another interesting Norfolk legend with ties to Rowling’s literary, generic compost heap is a local ghost known as Dorothy Walpole, the Brown Lady of Raynham Hall. She’s said to haunt the titular Country Hall, and yet the key thing here is that she is also the aunt of Horace Walpole, the writer who pretty much pioneered the nature of the early modern Gothic novel, with the publication of his literary effort known as “The Castle of Otranto”. In fact, Dorothy’s story is such that it makes me wonder if Walpole might have drawn on her to compose his own ground-breaking ghost story.

    What I can say for certain is this. I wasn’t expecting to run across a girl whose life reads like that of a Rowling heroine, and yet that’s kind of story Dorothy seems to have had; a loveless marriage, the desire for freedom, a daring risk, and price that meant either imprisonment, death, or both at once. Her life appears to be a neat compendium of themes and situations that Rowling is constantly drawing on in her work. A good summary of Dorothy Walpole and her themes can be found in the link below:

    https://hauntedpalaceblog.wordpress.com/2016/10/16/part-one-the-mysterious-brown-lady-of-raynham-hall-who-was-she/

    So adding all of these lists of Norfolk legends leaves me curious about a number of things. For instance, I wonder if this means we’ll be seeing references made to both Black, Shuck, the Brown Lady, and the Walpoles at some point in the course of the next Denmark Mystery. Personally, I wouldn’t mind at all if Rowling were to do a riff on “The Hound of the Baskervilles”. It’s only the best mystery novel of all time, in my estimation. So seeing her try to homage or parody it in some way would be pretty darn great. I also wonder if the ghost of Lady Walpole will be used as another thematic thread in the idea of the abuse of women. I’ll have to admit, Rowling has made me curious to see what’s next.

    I’ll leave off with the following account of a run-in that a friend of Charles Dickens is rumored to have had with the ghost of Mrs. Walpole:

    https://esoterx.com/2018/05/19/frederick-marryat-and-the-brown-lady-of-raynham-hall/

Speak Your Mind

*