The Gringotts Goblins and accusations of anti-Semitism (again)

On the 4th January, Newsweek broke the story that Jon Stewart a comedian and television host had accused J. K. Rowling of antisemitism due to the appearance of the Goblins in Harry Potter. Perhaps unsurprisingly in a tabloid story, within the first few paragraphs the article contradicts the headline:

Stewart said: “I do not think J.K. Rowling is antisemitic. I did not accuse her of being antisemitic. I do not think that the Harry Potter movies are antisemitic.”

This has not prevented multiple news outlets and twitter commentators of repeating the line that Rowling is an antisemite.

Dr. Beatrice Groves has convincingly rebutted the accusation in her Bathilda’s Notebook posts:  Rowling’s Goblin Problem? and The Sword Until Recently Known as Gryffindor’s. Very little can be added to this wonderful analysis, but trawling through twitter does throw up a couple of easily disprovable augments:

“There is a Star of David on the floor of Gringotts Bank!”

The Gringotts scene in Philosopher’s Stone was filmed in Australia House the home of the Australian High Commission in London. The building (and the floor) was completed in 1918 and the floor contains a Six pointed Star of Australia denoting the six states of the Commonwealth of Australia.

“J. K. Rowling wrote about ‘secretive, hook nosed, greedy bankers’, of course she was coding Jews!”

This is not the description that Rowling uses.

The goblin was about a head shorter that Harry. He had a swarthy, clever face, a pointed beard and, Harry noticed, very long fingers and feet.

J. K. Rowling has some history of calling out antisemitism where she sees it, and has been defended in this most recent attack by the Campaign Against Antisemitism.

I’ll leave the last word to Jon Stewart who it now appears is the unwilling hero of this new stick to beat Rowling with.



Roses from Rowling – What is the Marilyn Manson Connection?

On January 31st 2020 the American ‘Shock Rocker’ Marilyn Manson posted his thanks to J. K. Rowling for the surprise receipt of a gift – a bunch of red roses. Almost immediately comment and speculation about this bouquet from fans of both Rowling and Manson (and a surprising intersection of both) flooded the internet. Thoughts of the meaning behind the gift ran from the romantic to a possible source for the epigraphs in Troubled Blood. In the event Rowling’s marriage still seems secure, and the epigraphs in Troubled Blood turned out to be the far more satisfying Faerie QueeneThis leaves fans of detective fiction, such as we, with a problem – we have a loose end. Join me after the jump to find out how, or if this loose end will resolve.

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Rowling’s American Family

The Rowlings: Jo, Di, Bryony and Ben

It may not be common knowledge but J. K. Rowling has close family who are American citizens – living in the USA and working in the creative arts and who have spoken publicly of their connection to the more famous J. K. Rowling.

They are her two Rowling cousins, the children of her father’s brother, who are pictured on the right with Joanne and Dianne. After the jump find out more about author and voice actress B. J. Rowling and her musician brother Ben.

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The Christmas Pig and Old Rabbit

A few weeks ago, I saw a feature film called A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood starring Tom Hanks as Fred Rogers and Matthew Rhys as the journalist Lloyd Vogel [Tom Hood]. The film follows Vogel as he interviews Rogers for what was to become a very famous article in Esquire Magazine. I found the film extremely moving, largely for its exploration of what it is to be a child, from a remarkable man who never lost that ability. As an aside, Fred Rogers and the character of Mr Rogers was entirely unknown to me prior to this film (as I believe he is to most people in the UK).

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Lynne Corbett – Rowling’s Astrological Inspiration

Last week the Daily Mail published some paparazzi photographs of J. K. Rowling entering the River Café in London. This café of course is the setting for Strike’s investigation into Owen Quine’s disappearance in The Silkworm. The Mail’s interest was due to this being a rare public appearance in a well known celebrity haunt, but my interest was drawn to who she was with, and a link to another book – Troubled Blood.

In the acknowledgements to Troubled Blood Rowling states:

to William Leone and Lynne Corbett for inspiration and for checking my calculations;

The friend who accompanied J. K. was Lynne Corbett: fashionista, published astrologer and life coach. Join me after the jump to find out more about her life, and how it intersects with Ms Rowling.

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