J. K. Rowling and the Missing Greyhound Tweet

Saturday was a busy day for me, it was the final for the Wales Rugby championship to be played at our national stadium and I was there for the afternoon alternately watching the games and celebrating with colleagues. I was aware via alerts on my phone that there was some twitter activity between J. K. Rowling and a well known English Lawyer Jolyon Maugham. By the time I got home, tired (and it must be admitted in a fairly advanced state of liquid refreshment), I turned in for an early night.

When I awoke the next morning there was an alert on my phone for a @JK_Rowling tweet. It looked like the start of a story or anecdote, although the tweet was listed as 6/, presumably the sixth tweet of a series. Pressing the alert sent me to the message “Tweets are unavailable” which is usually the sign that the tweet has been deleted. I confirmed this by checking her timeline, and sure enough the tweet wasn’t there, nor were there any signs of the other tweets in the series.

In the past when Rowling deletes a tweet quickly, due to an error, there is some chatter about this on Twitter. In the past we have also seen occasions when entirely fake tweets have been presented as the tweet that was deleted.

In this case there was silence. I checked all of the replies to her @JK_Rowling twitter account for twenty minutes before and after the time the alert was sent and there was nothing. I was expecting to see at least one or two replies to a deleted tweet. I checked the online haunts of fellow Rowling obsessives, and it seems none of them received this alert.

The tweet contained nothing objectional and appeared to be the start of a story : Rowling was preparing to turn in for the night, when the dogs asked to be let out. Her greyhound started making a commotion as if it had found something. The existence of the greyhound helps to date this story, she adopted a greyhound called Sapphire in late 2007, whereas she currently has two west highland terriers called Bronte and Emma.

Was the tweet real? It isn’t impossible for some clever fellow to spoof a twitter alert, but this isn’t easy and I have to question why, if they were to go to so much trouble, they wouldn’t have something a bit more incendiary. I have a screenshot, but this really is trivial to fake, and I do not include it here for that reason.

My guess is that J. K. Rowling was drafting a series of tweets to publish at some later date, when she accidently published one. Realising this as she did it, she quickly deleted it. Once a tweet is deleted, Twitter will stop pushing notifications. Mine was one of the few that was pushed before the delete was registered. If this is true, keep an eye out for a greyhound story shortly!


New Rowling Twitter Header: Aylmerton Country Road in Vicinity of Previous Pic

If that village name seems familiar, the Aylmerton parish church is an old friend: the round tower aedifice of St John the Baptist’s. See Beatrice Grove’s Round Tower Churches and Rowling’s New Twitter Header for information about this church, the history of the architectural style, and a little about the region, the North Country of Norfolk.

Great work, @CormStrikeFan, in finding the exact location of this image!

Rowling Twitter Themes: Women in Iran, Trans Violence, and Government Idiocy

When a feminist in New Zealand is attacked by trans activists, what is the headline in The Daily Mail the next day?

JK Rowling blasts ‘repellent’ New Zealand ‘mob’ after British trans critic Kellie-Jay Keen is doused in tomato sauce and evacuated by police before she can speak at rally

  • ‘Transphobe’ Kellie-Jay Keen hit with tomato juice and may not continue her tour 
  • JK Rowling has since hit out at trans rights protesters in New Zealand and the UK

As disturbing as the attack of Gender Theory Extremists was, I’m skeptical that the story would have merited a mention by Fleet Street if the world’s most famous author hadn’t flagged it with a series of tweets on her twitter platform to her 14 million followers. Many of those followers are journalists who recognize that Rowling’s name in a headline is click-bait gold.

Rowling-Murray clearly understands this as well and uses her unique second-job as online-influencer to highlight transgender violence and attacks on freedom of speech (not to say ‘reason’), to keep the world’s attention on the plight of women in Iran, and to call out government officials for their efforts to reduce women’s rights in the UK.

Join me after the jump for examples of all three themes on Rowling’s twitter feed. [Read more…]

St. John the Baptist Church – Twitter Header

New J. K. Rowling twitter headers are coming thick and fast, this time it is a lovely image of St. John the Baptist parish church in Aylmerton, Norfolk. Prof Groves quickly identified the church as a type typical of Norfolk and situated close to the A148 Cromer to Holt Road.

St. John’s is tantalisingly close to Cromer Pier, just 3 miles via a fairly busy main road. Two twitter headers showing Cromer Pier, and this new one showing Aylmerton church. We are sure to be seeing much of this area when The Running Grave is finally published.

Beatrice Groves – The Running Grave: Strike 7, the I Ching and the Yarrow Stalks

New information is coming thick and fast for Book 7, which we now know is called The Running Grave! Are you, like me, confused about ancient Chinese divination? Do you know your yarrow stalks from your divination coins? What on earth can this have to do with Norfolk? Help is at hand: Beatrice Groves, Research Lecturer and tutor at Trinity College, Oxford, and author of  Literary Allusion in Harry Potter, has written a Hogwarts Professor Guest Post: The Running Grave: Strike 7, the I Ching and the Yarrow Stalks.

[Read more…]