Ink Black Heart – the Dedications

Sunday morning the super fans at The Tottenham posted on their Instagram account a clip of Robert Glenister reading the dedication page from The Ink Black Heart.

It is a short clip, but allows us to begin our investigations.

To Steve and Lorna, my family, my friends, and to [two]  bulwarks against Anomie, with love.

Steve and Lorna are almost certainly the same as Steve and Lorna Barnes from the acknowledgements in Silkworm.

Lorna and Steve Barnes, who enabled me to drink in The Bay Horse, examine the tomb of Sir Marmaduke Wyvill and find out that Robin’s hometown is pronounced ‘Mass-um’ not ‘Mash-em’, saving me much future embarrassment.

The Bay Horse and the tomb of Sir Marmaduke are all located in Mashem, so it’s reasonable to assume the Barnes’s are local to this area. It’s also reasonable to assume this Lorna is the sister to Neil Murray, who acted as bridesmaid at the Rowling-Murray wedding and teased her about meeting Morrisey.

There to more than one way read the dedication:

To Lorna and Steve, [they are] my family, [and they are also] my friends, and [they are also] two bulwarks against anomie.

To Lorna and Steve, [and to:] my family, [and also to:] my friends, and [also] to[:] bulwarks against Anomie.

The first credits Lorna and Steve as being more than family and friends, it credits them with being her moral centre, despite the opportunities that money and influence might present. See Prof Freeman’s excellent primer to anomie. The second gives a broader dedication to all who help against anonymous trolls and internet ne’er-do-wells. Which it is will finally be revealed on publication.

Speaking of internet ne’er-do-wells the twitter account for Anomie has found this dedication, and thanked the author for the mention:

Strike on Twitter – Sixteen Characters in Search of a Story

Last week, while idly scrolling through Twitter, I came upon a fun bunch of accounts created after characters from the Strike novels. Two in particular caught my eye: Anomie was apparently created very quickly after the new plot synopsis was released, and Roddy Fforbes, who we never meet and is mentioned only twice in Troubled Blood. 

I have collected below the new accounts, while we are waiting for The Ink Black Heart why not follow? They are all acted in good humour, and not above poking fun at the ‘official’ accounts. I predict lots of shenanigans, as these accounts discover how their new story unfolds.

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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.

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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.