Deathly Hallows Discussion Point #2: The Opening Quotations

Ms. Rowling decided to open Deathly Hallows with quotations from Aeschylus’ Libation Bearers and William Penn’s More Fruits of Solitude. Penn (1644-1718) was a notable Quaker and non-conformist; Aeschylus (524-486 BC) was a notable Athenian soldier and playwright. The play from which the Aeschylus quotation is from, the Libation Bearers, is the story of Orestes, a young man with a scar on his forehead, and his taking revenge on the muderers of his father, Agamemnon. Both quotations are about life after death and both the reality and accessibility of those who are dead that we have loved. Why do you think Ms. Rowling chose these two passages from these two authors? Does it point to a core meaning for the book?


  1. I think I understand the meaning of the quotation from Penn: that friendship and love are immortal.

    I’m not so clear about the Aeschylus. What is the “cure in the house” and what is the help that is sought from the “blissful powers underground”?

  2. chrusotoxos says

    Hi reyhan.

    As far as I can tell you, the tale of Orestes is one of the darkest myth in Greece. The story goes back a few generations, the whole family was cursed, but what interests us here is that while king Agamemnon was in Troy, his wife Clitemnestra took a lover and seized power. When the king came back, she killed him. Her daughter Electra sent away in secret her younger brother, Orester, because she was afraid that her mum would kill him too. This is told in the first play of the trilogy. The second part, Libation Bearers, tells about Orestes’ return as a young man, both to claim to throne and to avenge his father’s death. That’s why the chorus says that ‘the cure is in the house’ – house means the royal family – no outsider can avenge Agamemnon. And the gods of the afterlife approve of Orestes, and he finally kills his own mother.

    What I don’t understand, though, is that the trilogy has a third part – Eumenides. Orestes has a lot of troubles after killing his mum, because it is a terrible crime. He’s pursued by the goddesses of Remorse and has to be purified. That’s what the Eumenides tell – how Orestes went to Delphi and god Apollo cleared him of all charges.

    So one would think ill-advised to quote the Libation Bearers for a final HP book, knowing that the vengeance demanded by the chorus will lead to further danger.

    Can anyone explain this?

  3. hotochan says

    I’ve never read the Libation Bearers .. which I guess as a “good” English major I should go back and read at some point.

    However I did read the quicknotes at

    Libation means “The pouring of a liquid offering as a religious ritual.”

    Finding that out and reading sparknotes .. it does make sense now. The libation bearer would be Harry .. he carries the burden even though Dumbledore never told him the full truth (just as the Chorus pushes things along for their own reasons with no explanation). That is a running theme thru all of the HP books, even from the very start when the trio went down the trapdoor .. Ron tells Harry before he sacrifes himself to the Queen on the chestboard that it’s got to be Harry that goes on.

    I also read the points about making supplication to the Furies to quench their thirst for blood .. First off, Harry had to carry the burden and by allowing himself to die as the sacrifice, this act poured Voldemort out of him .. then when Harry made the choice to come back and finish Voldemort off for good, I think if this was in the ancient Greek times, the Furies wouldn’t have been able to find fault in him because Harry was the victim and had already died .. He came back from the dead and finished the cycle that was started when Voldemort killed Lily and James.

    Just my opinion .. if anyone else knows more about the Libation Bearers please let us know.

  4. My thought on the “flayed baby” and the intriguing choice of a William Penn quote: Society of Friends (aka Quaker) beliefs from George Fox through Penn on down is that there is “that of God in each of us,” a “divine spark” which we can tend and grow or let wither as we will. The “flayed baby” in the King’s Cross of Harry’s near-death scene would be the feeble but very real scrap of what’s left of Tom Riddle’s humanity/divine spark, which is why Harry makes the remarkable choice to offer, not Voldemort, but Riddle (“you dare?” asks the one who would deny his humanity/divine essence) one more chance to repent, and to lift up that bit of sobbing, neglected self, before the train comes to take him back to whence he came.

    Just a thought . . .

  5. ChristyCarew says

    Hi Professor…

    Just wanted to say before I comment that I have been devotedly reading your site for some months now and only just registered to be able to log in and comment! After I finished at about 10 am Saturday morning, I was obsessively refreshing the hogpro website to see if you had finished and were posting yet!

    I loved the two quotes at the beginning of the book, although it was only until the end that I understood the contexts. I would love to hear more from someone who has studied the two texts in question and can reveal some deeper insight!

  6. professor_mum says

    John — Recall that we called out the tale of Orestes in WKAD. It was in reference to RAB, but I feel that we deserve at least a half-point of extra credit in this regard.

  7. I am also a long time reader, but new poster! Thank you especially for the weeks leading up to the 21st! This site kept me going. Cheers!

    Perhaps, J.K.R. provides her own answer to Orestes problem of revenge. Harry doesn’t seek revenge. He offers repentence, and in the end, it is Voldemort who chooses death. Harry remains blameless, because he does not kill Voldemort.

  8. The Red Hen and Professor Mum need no extra credit because they do not sit exams; they are the standards by which all future prognosticators will be measured…

    The Aeschylus quotation, on first reflection, is there for two reasons: (1) Ms. Rowling is a classicist and probably disturbed that more people don’t make the Orestes/Harry connection, especially in light of the Prophecy (and was there another way to invite her uninitiated serious readers to the Oresteia?) and (2) there is a theme throughout the books of the survival of the dead in the living who loved them. This quotation is an invocation of the beloved dead for their help in overcoming a wrong — and we see Harry do much the same thing “In The Forest” on his way to his sacrificial death (and victory over death).

    William Penn’s quotation is on the same theme (without the agony or bloodlust of Orestes!) and makes a secondary point. Penn, as Quaker and non-conformist, is one of Ms. Rowling’s historical models for the “underground” resisting the Ministry; though the Nazi parallels are many and obvious, the tradition of resistance to tyranny in England is much more about government regulations concerning worship and the State Church (Catholic and Anglican!). Ms. Rowling may be “instructing while delighting” a la Spencer in urging her readers to dare to be non-conformists in a morally courageous way after the fashion of Penn and the Society of Friends (a very different brand of non-conformity than is the rule of individualism in the West today).

    Those are my first thoughts. What do y’all think? Has anyone looked up who says these lines in The Libation Bearers? That would be instructive…

    Two more off-the-cuff reflections about these opening quotations:

    (1) Ms. Rowling opens the story with quotations from authors that are almost certainly all but unknown by the great majority of her readers — citations she has not felt necessary to make in any other book and authors she has never mentioned in interviews. The simple uniqueness of her doing this to open her finale screams, “look very closely!”

    (2) Aeschylus was a warrior and veteran/hero of the Battle of Marathon whose epitaph says nothing about his writing plays. Penn is a Quaker and pacifist who is remembered not for his writings as much as “Penn’s Woods,” the state where I live, which was founded as a place for the more difficult Christian sects to be transported to live as “non-conformists.”

    Aeschylus fought the good fight in arms to keep the Persians from extinguishing the free polis of Athens and all of Greece. Penn went to jail rather than cut his beliefs about man and God to the prescribed fashion of his government and the State Church.

    Both quotations are about the life of the dead in the hearts of those who loved them and each is from the polar opposite of the heroic Western tradition (warrior/pacifist). Potter, of course, embodies both ideals in the Battle of Hogwarts, offering himself as non-resisting sacrifice and defeating Voldemort in combat.

    There is a lot to these quotations, methinks. What are you all thinking? Did you read the quotations at the start and then again at story’s finish? What was she thinking in choosing these quotations?

  9. Well, Dumbledore does not teach pacifism. And Harry is also not in general a pacifist. His unarmed surrender in chp 34 is not really pacifism, but answer to the quest for the solution to the death question. In my (not entrirely) humble view.


  10. This just in from Christopher Densmore, Curator of the Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College on William Penn; nota Bene!

    Harry Potter and William Penn

    When I opened the new and final volume of the J.K. Rowling’s saga, HarryPotter and the Deathly Hallows, I found the narrative preceded by two quotations, one from Aeschylus and the other from that arch-Quaker, William Penn (1644-1718). Being director of a Quaker library, the idea that even a little bit of William Penn was now being disseminated with the twelve million or so copies of the latest Harry Potter book is gratifying.

    The quotation, “Death is but crossing the world, as friends do the seas.” is from Penn’s More Fruits of Solitude (1702), a book of aphorisms that was a sequel to his earlier Fruits of Solitude (1693). The two works have been reprinted many times in the past three centuries. They were even included in the first volume of the Harvard Classics along with the journals of Benjamin Franklin and (Quaker) John Woolman.

    While Harry Potter literally (if one can use that term for a fictional character) takes up the sword, where the Quaker William Penn (figuratively) put down the sword, there does seem to be much in the ethical position of Potter and Penn that would seem to be sympathy. “A good end cannot sanctify evil means; nor must we ever do evil, that good may come of it.” (Fruits, 537) “Force may subdue, but love gains.” (Fruits, 546).

    The full text of Penn’s books are of course available at Friends Historical Library, but the text is also available in print (I can recommend the edition that is included with Penn’s Peace of Europe) and on-line.

    Christopher Densmore, Curator
    Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College

  11. Those two quote ended up being an afterthought for me. I had managed to remain spoiler free, even through standing around Barnes and Noble till I had my book. So when I started to read, I did something I never do–I carefully turned the pages until I found the first page of the first chapter. I never once looked at the Table of Contents until the day after I finished. So I didn’t even know those quotes were there.

    I understand Penn’s quote more than I understand the Libation Bearers one. It just seems oddly out of place to me. Revenge? Harry may have started on his quest wanting revenge for his parents, but in the end, it was about saving others rather than seeking self-satisfying (and selfish) revenge. I’m lost on this quote.


  12. chrystyan says

    I thought perhaps that the first quote was a point to myth or fairy tales–that there can be something similar or a likeness to something else within them.

    In Penn’s quote I see God as omnipresent and those who trust in him live in the Eternal present whether on earth or in heaven. Because He lives we live in Him and He in us and enjoy communion with the saints. I also see this verse from the love chapter, I Corinthians 13:12: For now we see through a glass (mirror?) darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part, but then I shall known even as also I am known.

    Perhaps also a tip of the hat to Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love–and a longing for “peace on earth good will to men.”

  13. meredith says

    I thought the Aeschylus quote was fairly straightforward — it’s about the horrors of death and war and ends by asking the gods to give triumph to “the children.” Rather fitting (not to mention beautiful and haunting).

  14. I’ve studied the Oresteia, albeit not to any extent to make me an expert, but I think pointing to the resolution in the Eumenides is going in the right direction.

    What Orestes learns isn’t really that it’s okay to kill your mother to avenge your father. In fact, the Eumenides has almost nothing to do with Orestes himself. When we performed it in college, our lead actor got quite bored at this point, in fact.

    The centerpiece of the Eumenides is the trial before Athena, with Apollo defending Orestes on the one side, and the Furies accusing him on the other. There are many layers of meaning far beyond its application to Harry Potter, of course, but I’ll take a stab at what I think Rowling was invoking.

    All hope rests on the children of the House of Atreus, on Elektra and Orestes primarily. Apollo, embroiled in an eternal fight for power against the older goddesses, the Furies, urges him to kill his mother to set things right. But in the Prologue of Agamemnon, the first play, the Chorus warns us that vengeance will never clear the house of its curse. Blood can’t do it, because blood caused it.

    The terrible events unfold, and Orestes, like Harry, harkens to those who tell him to fight violence with brutal violence. But, in the end, Orestes is cleared of the charge and saved from the Furies’ wrath, not because the murder he committed was justified. Athena remarks that if she lets that stand, then the Furies will rightfully destroy the world in their rage until there’s no more blood to spill. Instead, she offers them a choice – to transform themselves into guardians rather than avengers, a position of far more glory.

    They lay down their just right and become exalted goddesses.

    Now it’s not a perfect analogy, and there’s a heck of a lot more feeding into ancient Greek theatre (especially this piece!), but it seems there’s an interesting parallel there. Harry transforms his world, much like Orestes, through Athena, did.

    It may be a reach, but that’s what I took from it.

  15. esoterica1693 says

    This just occured to me when I was reflecting on the young Dumbledore over on that thread. The Libation Bearers quote also works to describe his situation as well as Harry’s.
    “the stroke that hits the vein,
    the hemorrhage none can staunch,
    the grief,
    the curse no man can bear”
    is a poetic description of his situation as he: first, succumbs to prejudice as a result of what Muggles did to his sister and the impact on his father and mother,;and then, as he bears the incredible grief of what *he* did in response. His grief and guilt for his sister leads quite literally to ‘the curse no man can bear’ when he attempts to use the Resurrection Stone. He was never able to fully make amends for her death, at least not in his own mind, and the rest of his life was devoted to trying to conquer the many forces of prejudice which had led to both his sister’s torture and his falling in w/ Grindelwald. No one else could make amends. In the end he has to rely on the next generation, the children, to achieve the victory he could not.

    I suspect JKR chose the quote b/c of its resonance w/ Harry, not AD, but I think it works for him too, making it an even more apt opening quote–since in a way DH is in part a comparison/contrast of the two men and how they each cope w/ their gifts and flaws and the choices they make.

  16. JumpBack says

    Never one to read too closely and make any connections outside a work of fiction (oh what I miss), I took the two opening quotes as a bad sign when I first read them quickly, which was about 30 seconds before I jumped into the story. In discussions with my daughter about who might die in the book, the opening quotes I thought were ominous.

  17. fastboy21 says

    my memory might be a little off…it’s been a while since I read these myths, but didn’t Orestes, brother of Electra, marry Hermione in the end?

    i don’t think this was in the Oresteia, but rather some other alternate Orestes author.

    Anyways, just throwing it out there. I don’t remember enough about the stories to comment other than that when I read the quote I thought of Orestes and (no doubt primed by holding a HP book) thought immediately of Hermione.

  18. From the Wikipedia article on Orestes, lifted from a public domain Encyclopedia Brittanica:

    Before the Trojan War, Orestes was to marry his cousin Hermione, daughter of Menelaus and Helen. Things soon changed after Orestes committed matricide: Menelaus then gave his daughter to Neoptolemus, son of Achilles and Deidamia. According to Euripides’ play Andromache, Orestes slew Neoptolemus just outside a temple and took off with his cousin, Hermione. He seized Argos and Arcadia after their thrones had become vacant, Orestes became ruler of all the Peloponnesus. His son by Hermione, Tisamenus, became ruler after him but was eventually killed by the Heracleidae.

  19. John Lewis says

    think Severus Snape is the key to understanding the quote from Aeschylus’ the libation bearers at the Beginning of the book. He is haunted by guilt that Voldemore killed the one he loved(Lily)
    He feels the guilt of her death and atones for it by pouring his liquid memories out to Harry. Without this final corner of the puzzle Harry would have been at a loss. Thus Severus Snape gets his revenge on Voldemore… the “cure is in the house” the Slytherin house that is. And the help received is from Severus, the “Powers underground”. Voldemore kills Severus Snape by “making supplication to the Furies to quench their thirst for blood.” He believes this will power up the Hallows… Of course at this point I am fitting things together a little off the cuff….but the Story doesn’t come together without Snape. Snape is the unlikely hero..the anti-judas.

  20. A Wikipedia “watchdog” ( has removed Harry Potter from references to The Oresteia in the arts and popular culture, the stated reason being that “It’s solely an epigraph to one of the novels.” See Seems to me that the Orestes link has been pervasive since Book 1, including references both subtle (Harry’s scar) and obvious (Hermione has only one place in Greek literature: Orestes’ betrothed), and the quotation in “Deathly Hallows” invites even further comparisons. Maybe the “watchdog” simply has not read Harry Potter or does not feel Harry Potter meets his personal literary standards to merit a reference in the article?

  21. Im a very new member and have some problems to understanding these quotes:

    first in the william penn:
    1- i know divine is something that connected to god then what is “glass” means? a mirror? a mirror that friends can see each other?

    2- what “that though they may be said to die” means despite the fact that they maybe dead ???

    3- “in the best sense, ever present” means in the best state like always has been?

  22. JohnABaptist says

    Coming to this discussion from John’s reference here: , I might add my observations.

    I find the two quotations to be Lady Rowling’s statement that “…and then the conversation turned…”[Lyrics, “Keep Feelin’ Fascination,” Human League].

    That is to say for 6 long volumes, she has carefully crafted in us the pagan view of Death as a destination and a destiny. Building in us the same horror of Death that drove the Chorus in Orestes to chant their Canticle of Vengeance. Indeed I was fully prepared to chant it with them: “Go Harry! Go Ron and Hermione! Shatter the Horcruxes! Kill Voldemort! Avenge Sirius, avenge Dumbledore. For by Voldemort’s hand, they have met Death and are with us no more. Give me Vengeance! Lift this burden from my heart.”

    And then she gives us Penn: Death becomes not a destination but a journey; not a fearsome enemy but a dear friend. One who owns the Valley between here and our final home. A genial host, who throws an encouraging arm across our shoulders and shares with us the vicissitudes of the journey through the shadows of his Valley and warmly parts from us at the door of our Father’s House, much like Death and the Third Brother in Beedle the Bard’s Tale. Thus reminding us that Sirius and Dumbledore are not really gone, just in a distant land that they now call home, and though they may never come back to join us here, we shall surely, at the appointed time, go forth to join them there. Penn chants the Canticle of Love.

    This, Lady Joanne says, is our Alpha and Omega–where we have been and where we are going to journey by volume’s end. The contrasting views of the Pagan and the Christian. The Old versus the New Testament viewpoint on Death.

    BTW: Has anyone else noticed that the ratio of the length of the first six volumes of the Potter Saga to its final volume is effectively identical to the ratio of the length of the Old Testament versus the New Testament in the Holy Bible? Purely Coincidental of Course:-)

  23. Serious literature is often influenced by major human themes, events or historical figures. It is a hallmark of mature writing.

    This is J.K. Rowling’s final Harry Potter book, and perhaps the appearance of the William Penn and Libation Bearers quotations are to illustrate the story’s larger significance. Many consider Harry Potter books to be for children, and call them “light fare.” It is clear, by Rowling’s choice of these quotations, that she does not completely share this perspective. There is something very true and important about these stories.

    Penn influenced John Locke, and actually won a pardon for him while he was a political fugitive. Locke’s ideas became the foundation of American and French democracies. While Penn was one of the primary influences behind the U.S. bill or rights. These are towering figures in history.

    The Greek legend of Orestes and Agamemnon is also a very prestigious source for a quotation. The Greeks are well known as a source of ancient wisdom.

    Authors often link characters and events in their stories to major works of fiction and major historical events as they create a holistic pattern in their own fictional worlds. The pattern “feels real” because it is. It is based on real history and real experience, or on stories that reflect the realities of the human condition. This lends an element of realism to good fiction, as it is actually molded after true experiences and events, though these events are disguised and rearranged in a fictional form. Sometimes the original meaning of the fictional works and historical events which have inspired and influenced an author are completely lost, but often, major truth inevitably remains, either because it is inherent to reality and human life or because the author intends it. This “synthesis” can make fictional works important beyond the mere facts and action of the stories themselves, because there is a TRUTH behind them that none can see.

    The quotation from Libation Bearers is about how “corrupted houses” cannot be changed from outside but must be changed from within. The Greek Myth involves the return of an exiled son, Orestes, to Greece. Orestes, like Harry Potter, shares a tattoo on his forehead. The chorus from the Greek play is suggesting that the young shoulder the responsibility of liberating their “corrupted houses” from the entrenched forces of corruption. A corrupt ruling family in a Greek Myth is the equivalent of a corrupt government in modern times. But the Greeks were too powerful to be defeated from without, they needed reform from within. This model of change is profound in Rowling, but she never makes anything that amounts to a specific criticism, though its present day relevance is obvious. (The West, especially the United States and its militarized allies cannot be reformed from the outside or defeated through conquest…they can only be changed from within.) But Rowling may be intending to apply this criticism to bureaucracies like Universities, or to corporations that abuse their workers…and not governments.

    Friendship is defined as the vehicle through which resistance to evil and positive change can occur. But more importantly, the William Penn quote is telling us that all meaning in life comes from friendship with other people. Read that quote carefully, because we are living in a time where the dominating culture is spreading ideas that are antithetical to this concept.

    Death is but crossing the world, as friends do seas; they live
    in one another still. For they must needs be present, that love
    and that live in that which is omnipresent. In this divine glass,
    they see face to face; and their converse is free, as well as pure.
    This is the comfort of friends, that though they may be said to die, yet
    their friendship and society are, in the best sense, ever present,
    because immortal.
    —William Penn, More Fruits of Solitude.

    Here is what it means:
    If we only cross the world, and have no friends, we are the living dead. Just like when friends are parted by seas and distance they die a little, for the only way a human being lives, is in the heart of another human being.

    To be alive and to have true love and to be a part of God, humans must be together.

    When brought into God’s world by togetherness, humans are mutually loyal, committed, intimate, free, safe, and valued by one another.

    This is the comfort of friends, and though they may be said to die, in truth they never do…for the life of a true friend extends beyond the boundaries of their own bodies, into immortal heaven, and into the hearts of others.

    Consider human life from the vantage point and on the timescale of civilization. In their time on Earth except for the recent present, humans have arranged themselves according to bonds of family and friendship. Society has been organized according to Kin-Based relationships and tribal friendships based on mutual reciprocity. This began to change into an organization based on territory, and has changed again, into an organization based on property and wealth. This new organization does not value friendship as permanent and enduring the way it was valued in the tribe. It has thus degraded the value of human life as well and eroded human ties to one another. The conditions that Penn notes between friends: “togetherness, humans are mutually loyal, committed, intimate, free, safe, and valued by one another” are not present in material culture. This can be felt profoundly by anyone whose ever seen a group of back stabbing new york socialites, shallow Hollywood pseudofriends, or greedy wall street brokers, they are not alive in God’s world, because to live, loyalty, commitment, intimacy, togetherness, virtue, and trust are necessary. Every man is born, but not every man really lives.

  24. I am a college student in a mythology class and I’m doing a paper on the use of classical myth in modern times. I was really excited when I found an Aeschylus quote in Deathly Hallows! I asked my professor, and he said that would be an interesting topic. This discussion was FASCINATING, but unfortunately he requires scholarly/peer-reviewed sources. Does anyone know of anything like that? I’m afraid that might be hard to find for a book that is fairly recent.

  25. LStewart:

    Welcome to Hogwarts Professor! I’m afraid you’re SOL in looking for peer reviewed pieces on the Aeschylus epigraph that fronts Deathly Hallows. If you go here, though, you can read something invaluable about Orestes, the Libation Bearers, and Harry Potter.

    Show it to your professor. He’ll accept it.


  26. Montgomery is also a member of my church body. He rocks!

  27. Another suggestion would be to seek the uses of CS Lewis in mythological peer-reviewed sources because he has been around long enough to have those. You could then cross reference to the most current uses in Harry Potter. Your Professor knows that there won’t be much peer-reviewed material – if any – on Harry Potter, but would probably accept your project as it shows a proper evaluative technique. Ask first, though, to see if such would be acceptable.

    I am reading currently MYTH ALLEGORY AND GOSPEL: An Interpretation of J.R.R. Tolkien/ C.S. Lewis/ G.K.Chesterton/Charles Williams which looks at Lewis, Tolkien, Chesterton and Williams in precisely this sort of myth relational study and it has numerous citations to what I believe are peer-reviewed articles. This book is older, from 1974 and is edited by John Warwick Montgomery. It was published by Bethany Fellowhip, Inc. (ISBN 0-87123-357-6 for the hardback and ISBN 0-87123-4 (pbk.)) and should be available from your library at college or obtainable on inter-library loan. The footnotes will be very useful to use as will the essays in varying depth. As I read it I am struck by the connections I make to JK Rowling’s use of myth and symbol.

    Our Professor here is the peer to which all the reviews should be subject! I have read in some academic studies of Potter but these are limited to the first 4 or 5 books in general. There is nothing to compare to the hogwartsprofessor at present for this material. You might wish to get the books John has authored on inter-library loan and use them in similar fashion. To purchase them, follow the Zossima link or see Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

    Best of luck on your research and paper. I should like to read it if you would care to submit here to John and he could forward it on. Or we could exchange email addresses if you so desired.

  28. John Warwick Montgomery! Here’s a story…

    Montgomery is an Inkling scholar from the earliest thoughts of such a thing and his Myth, Allegory, and Gospel was a landmark book in iconographic criticism in the sea of deconstruction. Every ‘Looking for God’ title ever written (mine included) can be called with justification “footnotes to Montgomery.”

    So what?

    The man who is responsible for my first book, Hidden Key to Harry Potter, whose name I won’t mention here because he is modest enough that I think he’d prefer to be anonymous. knew Montgomery well. He knew, too, something I didn’t. Montgomery is an alchemy in literature and history scholar. He sent the subject matter expert a copy of Hidden Key — and the book’s first review was a near rave from a Dean of Lewis and Tolkien scholarship.

    And if you don’t think that endorsement helped Tyndale decide to buy that title and risk the backlash of their market (Christian bookstores), you need to re-think that one. I owe Montgomery a debt both in how I think about great books and for the big lift his blurb gave me as a writer back in 2002.

    The Hidden Key is “must” reading for Potterites, whatever their religious orientation. — Prof. Dr. John Warwick Montgomery, Christian Apologist, Barrister, Educator, and Author of “Myth, Allegory, and Gospel” and “Cross and Crucible”

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