Highgate is New Rowling Twitter Header

Rowling switched out her Twitter page ‘header’ this morning with a shot from Highgate Cemetery. For a history of her Twitter headers and the relationship with the work we learned later she was writing, see Nick Jeffery’s comprehensive posts on those subjects, All J. K. Rowling’s Twitter Headers and The Rowling Headers – in Context. For thoughts about the April header just replaced, read about it at New Rowling Forest Twitter Header: Beasts 4, Strike 7, or Project X?

Oxford’s Beatrice Groves, author of Literary Allusion in Harry Potter, wrote about Highgate Cemetery most recently in her post, The King of Beasts: Fantastic Beasts and the Beast Within, and will share her thoughts here tomorrow on this new picture, to include ideas about what it suggests about Rowling’s current project. Stay tuned!

Inside No 26 Denmark Street

In May, Strike sleuth @LudicrousMonica posted a London Borough of Camden planning application for 26 Denmark Street, allowing fans a first look at the plans and history of the London Office.

No 26 Denmark Street has had two quite major planning applications submitted since Robert Galbraith first started to publish the Strike novels. The first in 2014 to convert the three separate dwellings on the first, second and attic floors (second, third and fourth in US parlance) into one triplex dwelling. And now the application is to extend the ground floor into 22 and 23 Denmark Place to increase the size of the venue. Join me after the jump to take a look at the history of the building and a look at the plans from 2014 using the documents from the council website.

[Read more…]

Unicorn Hunting in Secrets of Dumbledore

 

Beatrice Groves has talked of the importance of the Asian unicorn – the qilin, and its European equivalent in Secrets of Dumbledore. This is dramatically represented in six paintings of unicorns at battle in the restaurant scene. The clearest images I can find of the final five painting are in the ‘behind the scenes’ trailer posted by Film Riot (hat tip Beatrice!).

Now super sleuth Vincenzo Leone has identified the inspiration behind the first of the paintings (credit again to Dr Groves’s wonderful spot!):

Death of the Consol Publius Decius was painted by Rubens in 1616 as one of a set of eight models for a series of tapestries. The painting depicts the death of Decius in the battle of the republican Romans against the Latins in Italy. At a crucial moment in the battle the Consul sacrifices himself by charging his horse into the enemy as an act of spiritual devotion foretold in a prophetic dream.

Do any of the other paintings seem familiar? Let me know in the comments down below.

What does the German Title for Ink Black Heart Mean?

Yesterday, twitter user ChrisMarple shared that the German translation title has been released, and it is Das tiefschwarze Herz. This struck me as a bit odd, as I couldn’t see the German word ‘tinte’ for ink.

As beautiful as the English language is, it can be somewhat imprecise. Depending upon which word is stressed The Ink Black Heart can mean:

A black heart made of ink.

Ink in the shape of a black heart.

An inky-black heart.

The heart may be the bodily organ, or may refer to the centre or core of a thing. All of this of course will be great fun for an author such as Rowling to create multiple reflections and resonances of the title. So what of the German title?

Das tiefschwarze Herz means ‘The deep-black [or jet-black] heart’, with no mention of ink. Another possible translation could have been Das tintenschwarze Herz, the lack of capitalisation making clear that ink-black / tintenschwarze is an adjective, and not to be confused with the noun druckerschwärze meaning printer’s ink.

So what does this mean for the new instalment? For German readers at least, this book is about an inky-black heart, and less likely about a tattoo. As a cautionary note, my German is at schoolboy level at best, any comments and corrections are welcome.

Fantastic Beatrice – and Where to Find Them

In the run up to the cinematic release of Fantastic Beasts 3: The Secrets of Dumbledore Dr. Beatrice Groves, Research Lecturer and tutor at Trinity College, Oxford, and author of  Literary Allusion in Harry Potter, has written five articles exploring the influences and allusions J. K. Rowling may have woven into the new film. The first two of these were hosted on Hogwarts Professor and the final three in Bathilda’s Notebook hosted by Mugglenet.

In anticipation and celebration of the upcoming release, now is the time brush up on all things Beasts, collected for your reference below:

[Read more…]