“Harry: A History”

It’s out! I haven’t got a copy yet. I put up this thread for you to talk about it with other All-Pro’s.


  1. Thanks for transferring this here, John. I still haven’t gotten beyond the foreword. My problem is I’ve got too many good things to read right now. I suppose there are worse problems to have.

  2. Well, John, you are not mentioned in the chapter “Banned & Burned,” which is essentially Melissa’s recounting of her interview with Laura Mallory. I’m not sure she really treated this chapter in the best way. There are certainly obvious problems with what Mallory believes. But there are also obvious problems with what Anelli believes. There’s no good examination of either one. Of course, that’s my first impression after skimming the chapter; hopefully I’ll get a more clear picture after a full reading.

    The only positive mention of religious figures was of one Catholic priest who recommended the books & of a clergy person who’s on staff at The Leaky Cauldron. Nothing on Connie Neal that I could find. I’ll do more reading.

  3. I mentioned this in private to John, but I’ll talk about it here, too. I was quite disappointed in my skim through the chapter “Banned & Burned.” I would much rather have had less of Laura Mallory & more of a wide ranging synopsis of the Christian reaction to HP, both good & bad.

    In other words, focusing on the, how shall we say, fundamentalist & non-thinking Christian response is like shooting fish in a barrel. One doesn’t usually have to do too much to show how out of touch & uncritical some of those responses are.

    But an examination of the positive & more critical, in a good way, Christian reaction would’ve have been much more interesting & also helpful. I hope that I can find some little of that in Melissa’s book but I don’t have high hopes. Will just have to keep reading to find out!

  4. RevGeorge wrote on another thread (which I am copying here)


    I’m holding Melissa’s book in my hot little hands right now. Came just a few minutes ago by UPS. Unfortunately, there is no index; only a list of footnotes in the back. I will have to read the entire book, I guess, to see if you or any other scholarly commentator or site are mentioned.

    I’m also hoping in her assessment of the Christian reaction to HP that Melissa doesn’t just focus on the Harry Haters but gives a nod to those who recognized the Christian symbolism & themes in the works. Which of course were never really analyzed in the larger fandom because they were either not reported very well or overshadowed by the late unpleasantness at Carnegie Hall.


    Have just read the foreword to Melissa’s book by JKR. It is worth the price of admission & somewhat touches on what we have discussed, i.e. how objective can an author truly be about her own work.

  5. A little update on my progression through Harry, A History. I’m midway through chapter 3. It is a very readable book so far & very engaging & fascinating. Right now, it’s mostly about Melissa’s involvement in the HP fandom, how she got started & all. It is very interesting.

    So, I wanted to say something a bit positive after my more critical comments above. Will keep reading.

  6. Well, I’m only half way through Chapter 4 right now. It’s a long one detailing the initial acceptance of HPPS & then it being taken up by its respective publishers.

    I did find one line to be hilarious in Mr. Beahm’s review: “third, it’s written by a bonafide journalist, so you can be sure that the book lives up to its subtitle…”

    He must not realize the characterization that most journalists have in JKR’s world. 🙂

  7. George Beahm, author of several Harry Potter ancillary titles, wrote the following review of Harry: A History on its Amazon page:

    5.0 out of 5 stars Your ESSENTIAL first-class ticket to the Harry Potter phenomenon writtten by an insider, Melissa Anelli., October 23, 2008
    By George Beahm

    Though there have been dozens of books, all unauthorized, about J.K. Rowling and the Harry Potter phenomenon, this one is unique for several reasons: first, it was written with the full cooperation of Rowling, which means that there’s material you’ll not find in any other book about Harry Potter; second, it features a foreword written especially for the book by Rowling, who shares her considerable enthusiasm not only for the book but its lovely and talented author, Melissa Anelli; and, third, it’s written by a bonafide journalist, so you can be sure that the book lives up to its subtitle: the true story of a boy wizard, his fans, and life inside the Harry Potter Phenomenon.

    The last part, “life inside the Harry Potter Phenomenon,” is at the heart of this book and its author, who runs what is unquestionably the single best Harry Potter website, The Leaky Cauldron. Because of her breadth of knowledge about the Harry Potter fandom, her extensive connections in that fandom, and her infectious enthusiasm for all things Harry Potter, this book is what Disney theme-park insiders call the “E” ticket: the best, grandest, most exciting ride imaginable.

    Not to put TOO fine a point on it, but if you have any interest in Harry Potter whatsoever, even a smidgen, in the Harry Potter phenomenon that captured the hearts and minds and imagination of millions of people worldwide, THIS is the book to buy; THIS is the book to read; and THIS is the book to treasure.

    As to the actual contents, frankly, I’d prefer you to discover that for yourself: This book is a roller-coaster ride through the ups and downs of the Harry Potter phenomenon, so Do you REALLY want me to point out where all the surprises and delights are, or the comments that Rowling provided? I thought not. All you REALLY need me to do is point out the queue line, so you can board the ride and hang on for dear life!

    A first person narrative, with all the immediacy that that voice provides, Ms. Anelli’s prose strikes just the right balance between academic writing (oh, God, we’ve seen too much of that in this field) and straight journalism a la Hemingway in which the writer is clinically detached from what s/he sees. This is New Journalism or, in this case Wizard Journalism, in which the author creates narrative magic: A first-hand look by an insider at what will likely be the most popular literary creation of our time, a boy named Harry.

    As the book comes to a close, it comes full circle: It started out with HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, and, appropriately, it ends there, as well. The ride stops. The reader gets off and realizes you’re back in the mundane world, our world of Muggles, not magic. (Insert a deep sigh here.)

    Any faults? Well, three minor quibbles, actually. I would have liked to see a hardback edition, with sewn signatures, on high-quality paper, in addition to the in-print inexpensive trade paperback that will, over time, fall apart as its pages yellow (we’re talking pulp paper here, folks); I’d like to see an index, which the book badly needs; and I’d like to see a color photo section, not merely in black-and-white, because the colorful world of Harry Potter demands it. Perhaps in a revised edition to come, the author can incorporate the momentous events of 2008 (the landmark legal decision regarding the aborted publication of THE HARRY POTTER LEXICON, and the publication of BEEDLE THE BARD), as well in an expanded edition so she can put the suggested finish and trimwork on the book.


    If Hogwarts had accepted transfer students from the United States, Ms. Anelli would surely have been among its student roster. A Gryffindor student, she would have been omnipresent with her Quick Quotes Quill and a magical camera to capture, to chronicle, and to record for posterity, probably in THE DAILY PROPHET, the comings and goings at the world’s finest magical institute of learning — hoggy hoggy Hogwarts! Instead, Ms. Anelli chose to write for us Muggles in a book that can best be described as magical.

    Time to cast a spell, folks: Accio, HARRY, A HISTORY!

    Truth in Advertising: I have no connection whatsoever with The Leaky Cauldron its its creator/web mistress, Melissa Anelli. I’ve also written a couple of books, both unauthorized, about Rowling and her fictional universe.

    Not having read the book, I cannot evaluate the merits of his review as a book review. I’m curious what others, who have read or not read the book, think of Mr. Beahm’s enthusiasm for Harry: A History.

  8. He says she would be a Daily Prophet journalist imbedded in Gryffindor! With Quick Quotes Quill…


    How many chapters are in the book, revGeorge? You’re up to Chapter 4 and Stone hasn’t been published?

  9. Actually, in chapter 4, HPPS is published in the UK already. We get that in the early parts of chapter 4, with Jo sending the manuscript to an agent & then the agent finding a publisher, Bloomsbury. A lot of the second half of 4 is taken up with how Arthur A. Levine got the rights to do publications in America & places outside of the UK. It’s also dealing with the initial media reaction to the success of the book & also the formation of the myth of Jo Rowling as single, down on her luck, on the dole mom.

    Funny thing in there. One of the early cheerleaders for Harry in America is an NPR correspondent & book reviewer who…wait for it…also happens to be a practicing Wiccan Priestess! Her initial interest was drawn by the cover & the magical allusions. But later on after she read the book, Anelli’s account simply says she & her family loved it.

    Levine also sent emails to some prominent authors like Pullman, Terry Brooks, & Le Guin, calling Harry a fresh voice in fantasy & a story with a lot of heart underneath it. Hmm, wonder what they thought of that?

  10. John, the book has 17 chapters plus a foreword by JKR & an epilogue. There are notes in the back, acknowledgments, & a bibliography but as I noted before no index. Which Baehm also noted as a minor failing in the book.

  11. Arabella Figg says

    Re Baehm’s review. I’m feel like I, myself, am about to cough up a hairball. My gag reflex is going warp-speed.

    This gushing swain has been swilling too much Love Potion #9. Hemingway? Lovely and talented? Runs what is unquestionably the single best HP website? A sure transfer student? This mash note was embarrassing to read. And…we’ve seen too much academic writing in this field?

    Oh, please.

    This review is so offputting, I may never read the book. Thanks for the reports, RevGeorge, and cutting through the marshamallow fluff.

    Now our Muggle cat Casey Rose has a thing for marshmallows, we have to handle them carefully…

  12. schmalchemy,

    Certainly the book so far seems to be all you say it seemed like when you heard a reading of it. It is gushy, a bit long in places that could be trimmed up. It’s more like someone talking rather than writing.

    But that being said, I don’t think the book should be dismissed out of hand. There is no doubt that Melissa has a rather unique perspective on the history of the HP phenomenon & of the fandom in particular. I think that itself is an important aspect of understanding how these books have enchanted so many.

  13. schmalchemy says

    Having heard Melissa Anelli speak at a conference where she was reading aloud from one of the first chapters or perhaps the prologue, I have to say I was not impressed. The writing seemed gushing and lengthy and sorely needed editing. In other words, her “excitement” of the announcement of the proposed date of HP and the Death Hallows went on and on for about six or seven pages could have easily been culled to a page or less. That reading was enough to make me decide right then and there that I had no desire to ever read it. Although many of the others were all agog, I didn’t share their enthusiasm (I guess that’s the difference between being a kid and being an adult…I’m an adult).

  14. I’m still doubting whether I want to buy it… I don’t really like ‘the big HP sites’ because they make so much money off it, but the book does really seem interesting to me…

    However, why is Melissa considered to be so special? I’ve also worked for an HP site for a very long time, the only difference with TLC is that ours isn’t as famous / well visisted – does that really give her such an unique perspectieve? (yes, she did conduct all of those interviews etc, but I’m referring to her *own* perspective)

    Anyway, has anyone read it yet?

  15. Palantir,

    I meant Melissa has such a perspective because of her inside track to JKR. The kind of access that the author would grant to her is, sad but true, not something most other people are going to get. This is one of the blessings of Melissa’s inside access but also one of the curses because it too often turns into a hagiography type of reporting.

    As for reading the book, I am midway through chapter 4. I haven’t progressed any further because I got distracted by a really good piece of fanfic, which I normally don’t read but can be suckered into by a good story. 😉

  16. Palantir,

    I agree with revgeorge’s comment above you. Like it or not, Melissa does have a unique perspective because she has been in the midst of the Harry Potter phenomenon. She has interviewed J.K. Rowling several times. What person gets to do that? Now I will reserve any judgment until I finish the book (I’m up to chapter 5), but I will say this. The whole Harry Potter fandom is full of different perspectives. I always enjoy listening to people telling their story about how they came upon the series. If anything, this book hopefully will lead to others doing the same and share their story. Maybe not everyone will write a book (or even blog about it), but isn’t it exciting to say that you, me, and everyone else were a part of this phenomenon? If Melissa’s book is any indication, it also reveals an “important aspect of understanding how these books have enchanted so many” as revgeorge wrote earlier. 🙂

  17. Well, I’m through chapter 5 now, which is mostly about the HP phenomenon taking off on the Internet. I’m not looking forward too much to chapter 6, since it seems to be about wizard rock.

    Thoughts on chapter 5. Mostly an account of Melissa’s involvement in the growing Internet fandom with some additional information on this phenomenon in general. This way of writing may be off putting to some people as it seems to be almost as much about Melissa as it is to the history of HP. But then Melissa isn’t writing a scholarly treatise of the history of Harry but she’s writing of this story from the perspective of her life inside the phenomenon. Which has its pluses & minuses.

    Some more thoughts. Well, let’s just say that if you are or were a Harry/Hermione shipper, you will not be pleased with some of this chapter. If the pain is still too great for you, you might want to skip from the 1st full paragraph on p. 85 to the 1st full paragraph on p. 87.

    The other interesting thing about this chapter was the initial reaction of HP officialdom to the burgeoning HP Internet fandom. Jo herself was rather ambivalent towards it. But when Warner Brothers acquired the rights to HP, they asked Jo if they could try to “corral, loosely, the fan sites,” she thought of it with some relief.

    WB in its corporate & legalese wisdom started sending out cease & desist letters to fan sites without remembering that lots of these sites were run by teenagers or even pre-teens. Needless to say, the backlash of negative publicity forced WB to back peddle on the issue, to where they mainly focused on sites selling unauthorized merchandise & doing really graphic HP pornography.

    So, unless people had fought back, WB, in its infinite wisdom, could’ve strangled the HP fandom in its infancy.

  18. *Harry: A History* was at #206 on Amazon.com tonight which is very high altitude indeed! The title is #1 in three different sales categories and raising sales on all Harry Potter titles.

    For which boost, this Potter Pundit doffs his cap and bows to Miss Anelli in gratitude. “Thank you for the birthday present!”

  19. Well, I finally finished the book. Interesting but ultimately more of a fan’s perspective of the phenomena of HP. A very inside fan’s perspective but a fan’s perspective nevertheless. It is mostly, I think, the story of Melissa’s journey through fandom just as much as it is a story of the history of the HP phenomenon. Not a very critical or scholarly approach but more stream of consciousness or stream of feelings & impressions.

    From the back cover: “Anelli takes us on a personal journey through every aspect of the Harry Potter phenomenon–from his very first spell to his lasting impact on the way we live and dream.”

    It lives up to the personal journey part. And it takes us through lots of aspects of the fandom like wizard rock, shipping debates, the Internet growth, release parties, etc. But it certainly doesn’t cover everything. Certainly it doesn’t cover the scholarly and critical analysis of HP as a work of great literature. I read through the chapter on Laura Mallory again & I still think that chapter falls far short of a good look at the religious response to HP.

    Her writing is too gushy at times, too lengthy & too fan girlish but if you can get past that, there is some good information there. And it draws you into the feelings of being a fan, especially in the lead up to the release of DH. I felt more connected to the phenomenon of HP, even though I came to it rather late, right after HBP was published I think. I didn’t go to any premieres or midnight release parties or wrock concerts or get to meet any movie stars or the author of the series but I felt drawn into that by Melissa’s writing.

    She certainly fails, though, at showing us how HP has a lasting impact on the way we live & dream. There’s really not much about that at all except in a tangential way. But no chapter itself on that. John’s books and Travis’ upcoming book have & will have done much more for us on that point than I think Melissa could ever do. But who knows if that was even part of her goal & just something that got slapped onto the back cover? So, I suppose I should give her a break on that.

    She does do a little bit of ax-grinding on some points. I’ve mentioned before & I’ll mention it again, if you are or were a recovering Harry/Hermione shipper, you will not like this book. I found two more spots, & rather lengthy ones, besides the one I mentioned previously above, where she flouts her view of how could anybody not know that it was Ron/Hermione. The Interview Which Must Not Be Named is featured prominently. However, she does bring out a point from JKR, where Jo admits that Harry & Hermione do have some moments when they connect & that things could perhaps have been different if Ron wasn’t around.

    Melissa also takes the typical cultural elitist, spirit of the age reaction to Dumbledore’s supposed outing at Carnegie Hall. Out of 10 pages in the Epilogue she spends a page and a half harping on how great it was and how wonderful. It all comes off as “look how open minded we are & tolerant & if you have problems with it, then you’re somehow a bigot.” It was all rather a simplistic reaction on her part, I think, and apparently she hasn’t given it any more thought since her initial reaction. Either you’re for Dumbledore’s supposed gayness or you’re against. If you’re for it, you’re good, tolerant, & loving; if you’re against, you’re close minded, bigoted, possibly even hateful. But like I said, it’s the typical pc reaction, everything must be tolerated except intolerance and anything we, the beautiful people, don’t agree with.

    So, in final reflection, I find her book to be a mixed bag. Interesting at times but not particularly useful. This book will probably sit on my shelf & I might read it in the future but I will more likely reread John’s books & Travis’ book over & over again because they get to the heart of the matter about HP. Oh, and btw, John, your books are listed first in the bibliography but that’s because it’s in alphabetical order. Melissa does say she referenced all the books in the bibliography, though, so maybe she’s read yours to some extent.

    So, there’s my review, such as it is. 🙂

  20. Red Rocker says

    Thanks, revgeorge, for the excellent review. Good description of what’s covered, and the tone, and what’s not covered. The best part of it is the fact that you read the book from the point of view of a shared perspective: we may have our occasional differences, but on essential HP stuff you and I see pretty much eye to eye. So I feel I know what I’d probably think of this book.

  21. Thanks, revgeorge, for your review. You have confirmed my suspicions that her book would be, in some ways, an opportunity for her politically correct agenda to seep into the reporting on the HP fandom. I will confess up front that I am not a fan of Anelli, as I find her “know-it-all” attitude tiresome and immature.

    I will not be buying the book. I may check it out of the library, if they get a copy. Or I may not, as revgeorge has done such a nice job of reviewing the book that I feel as if I have already read it.

  22. Red Rocker & jensenly, thanks for your kind comments. I tried not to be too negative in my review of Melissa’s book but what I commented on was what stood out for me.

    Thinking about it again, I am very disappointed with that chapter on Laura Mallory, because that’s mainly what it was: Melissa vs Mallory. I think Melissa tried her best to let Mallory put forth her view in her own words but it was also like a debate as well, where Melissa gets the last word because she’s writing up the debate. Even the Mallory stuff I wouldn’t have minded if only we’d had something more in depth on the positive religious response to Harry. This would’ve been a perfect place to draw in John or Connie Neal but nothing.

    The only positive mention was of a Catholic priest, a clergy person on staff at Leaky, & Melissa’s own religious beliefs. Of course, she also has the typical anti-authority position of so many Americans. I’m a Catholic but if the Pope or the Church teaches something I don’t like, well, that’s it for the Church then. Basically the Church must be subordinate to me rather than me placing myself under the authority & teaching of the Church and working within that if I have questions or disagreements.

    I mention the shipping stuff for those who were traumatized by it. I didn’t mind it so much myself because I like the romance in the books. It made the books and the characters more real & approachable. And anybody who’s gone through high school can identify with the growing interest in the opposite sex and then the trials & tribulations of actually interacting with someone you like in a romantic way. Plus, I was never a shipper in the pure sense of the term. I didn’t care who ended up with whom so long as it was written well and felt right. But I can see how people got so caught up in those debates, & it’s because Jo actually made us care about the characters and about what happened to them.

    I mentioned the pc stuff but something else that needs to be clear is that Melissa is a Jo partisan. She is definitely not doing objective journalism. She writes as not just a fan of Jo’s work but of Jo herself. We saw this quite clearly in the lawsuit regarding Vander Ark’s book where Leaky disassociated itself with the Lexicon even before any legal questions were decided simply because Melissa et al on Leaky thought that if Jo didn’t want this book done then it shouldn’t be done, end of story, no questions asked. I think if you pressed her on things that she herself loves and engages in like wizard rock, fan fiction, & Internet fan sites, she would be consistent & say that if Jo didn’t want them, then they shouldn’t be there.

    The Lexicon book lawsuit wasn’t mentioned in this book but Melissa does mention Steve Vander Ark & the Lexicon very briefly but positively.

    With all the critical comments on the book, I still, in a sense, enjoyed reading it, primarily for the reasons I mentioned in my first review, that her journey through the fandom and the HP phenomenon draws the reader into that journey as well. I think the book’s worth the read just for that, if you think you can get beyond the other stuff.

  23. Another thing is that while I was reading the countdown to the release of DH & the resultant expectation & trepidation in the fandom, I got teary eyed. Because the release of DH marked a big transition in the HP phenomenon. All the speculation was over and we knew what happened. We could never go back to a time when we didn’t know the ending.

    But I also felt encouraged because the speculation about the series and the ending of the series wasn’t the end of everything HP. All that was nice but we knew it had to end someday. If that’s all you were looking forward to in the series, then afterwards it would be very depressing or even time to move on to something else.

    But if you were in it for the story and for the deeper meaning, then, as Travis has said so many times, the best part was just beginning. Because the real discussion of the books could begin & the real mining of their meaning for us would go on. We don’t have to move on from HP because if it’s a great book, as so many have postulated, then it will always speak to us in some way, in a way that touches the core of our humanity.

  24. I have to wonder, did George Beahm get paid to write that review? Even if I end up liking the book (if I ever read it), that was way too gushy. I have spent a lot of time, and used to spend more on the forum, at TLC. At one point I was part of the team that now works on the essays – but quit when I realized I just didn’t have that sort of time to spend on reading and evaluating all those theories, interesting as some of them were.

    However, I didn’t spend much time chatting with Melissa. I’ve found her “interviews” to be, as regeorge so aptly said, the gushing of a fangirl. Not appropriate for a reporter. It would be forgiveable if she weren’t actually a reporter, but since she is, I expected better questions, and certainly better follow-up questions. Which is probably why I haven’t rushed to buy the book. If I see it in the book store and can get it at a discount, I’ll likely buy it out of curiosity, and so I can add it to my groaning Harry Potter book shelf.

    All that being said, the reason I am interested is because I was part of the fandom, going to every midnight release, every midnight showing of the movies, and spending a lot of time on-line on several different forums chatting about HP, or being part of RPG. Oh, and I did make it to one convention. So I’m sure reading Melissa’s book would be a fun walk down that particular memory lane.

    I am disappointed, but not surprised, that Melissa doesn’t do much with the religious reaction, from both sides. One of the reasons I spent so much time at the TLC forum was the interesting discussions about HP and Christianity, most of which were fairly civil. However, I don’t remember Melissa ever being part of any of those topics, but she had to have been aware of them. So, it’s odd that she didn’t do something with that. But then THAT treads on the ground which Melissa really wouldn’t step when she had those interviews with Jo. Those interviews had the potential of being great, given that Jo was so receptive to Melissa and Emerson and then to Melissa, but they always fell short.

    Well, anyway, revgeorge – thanks for the review. You’ve given me a lot to think about. And I too, am so glad to have John’s books and Travis’s upcoming book to read when I want some in-depth reading about Harry Potter.


  25. Arabella Figg says

    Thanks so much RevGeorge for all your work in doing your reviews, taking us through Ms. Anelli’s book. I absolutely second your “Another thing” comment above.

    Kitties know lots of “other things”…

  26. Red Rocker says


    This has nothing to do with the Anelli book, but with something in your last comment. You mentioned your grief (which is what I suppose the tears expressed, rather than, say, joy) over that moment of time when we waited for the end of the story, grief because we could never go back to that time.

    Two thoughts.

    First, I remember being fully aware then of what a special time that was, never to be repeated, waiting for the final revelations, a time of infinite possibility because the ending had not been written (it had, of course, but we did not know it). I remember the reams and reams of speculation on this site and at SoG. I remember how privileged it felt, to be a part of unfolding history.

    And second, it does not make me tearful to think of that time, because the final revelation, the end of the story, was so much better than anything we had conceived of. Totally satisfying, and beyond satisfying: transcendent. Harry’s walk and King’s Cross were perfect. There was nothing I would have added, and nothing I would have taken away. It’s rare that I get that from a work of fiction.

    The only negative part of the experience for me was to read the critical comments from the Disappointed. I remember feeling incredulous, then dismayed, and finally angry. But I’ve forgotten those feelings for the most part. But the book – and my response to chapters 34 and 35 – remains.

  27. Red Rocker wrote: “it does not make me tearful to think of that time, because the final revelation, the end of the story, was so much better than anything we had conceived of. Totally satisfying, and beyond satisfying: transcendent.”

    Well, my moment of teariness, which I’m sure isn’t a word but works for me, came out of the moment in the reading of the book and the ending of the series. So, being caught up in the book accounts for that.

    But I didn’t stay grieving for long because I immediately knew what you put so well. The ending was much better than we could’ve conceived of. It was satisfying. When I come to the end of the Epilogue and read the words, “All was well,” I go away feeling & knowing that all was well.

    And we’ve still got Harry. The full story and all the riches it has. We can enjoy it at our leisure and mine it more deeply for those gems of transcendence.

    I’ve gotten the feeling, and I may be wrong, that a fair few people were mainly enwrapped in HP for the speculation and now that the story’s over, that’s it for them. They enjoyed it for the speculation and for knowing what happens in the end but when it was over and there was no more expectation they moved on. Or else they wander about now just waiting for Jo to open her mouth & give them just a little bit more.

    Which is fine if that’s what they want to do. But I think it misses the continuing treasures of the actual books themselves. Which we continue to enjoy and revel in here & over at The Hogshead.

    As for the Disappointed, well, Jo herself said that DH would be a polarizing book. I, myself, love DH. It has taken first place on my list of favorite HP books. Not that I don’t love them all but some are a bit more loved than others. 🙂

  28. revgeorge – I was pleased to read your comments regarding Melissa’s inability to be truly objective when it comes to JKR. While I don’t want to pound on Anelli, I think it’s important to recognize her bias and how it influences her “reporting”.

    I believe Steve Vander Ark put it right out there on the table when he was quoted in The New Yorker as saying “I can’t blame her (Anelli) for liking her status.” After all, he said, Rowling “is God and Melissa is her prophet.”

    There was quite a bit of backlash over at the TLC with regard to his comment, but I remember thinking, “He’s quite right”.

    I also appreciate your insight on the anti-authority religious position so prevalent in American culture today. As a Catholic, I agree with your observation that far too many people pick and choose what Church teachings they wish to embrace. Perhaps it comes with age, but I am much more humble in accepting the tenets of the faith than I was when I was younger.

    I appreciate your candor with respect to the book and you bring up many excellent points.

  29. Melissa has been releasing snippets of her interviews with JKR that she couldn’t fit into her book. I found this one to be interesting. Jo says,

    “if people want information on my characters, then they have to accept that I’m going to give them the information on the characters. And if they don’t like it, that’s the nature of fiction. You have to accept someone else’s world because they made that world, so they probably know a little better than you do what goes on there.”

    If you want to read the whole quote in context, the link is

    Be aware, though, that it’s found in the context of the shipping debates.

  30. Arabella Figg says

    Thanks, RevGeorge. I found the first comment by Audrey (I didn’t read further) after the post to the most interesting and reflective of probably a lot of H/H people’s feelings. She expresses her thoughts elequently and I thought it sad she avoided online fandom because of feeling condemned. This goes to show the damage the interviewers’ comments caused; Rowling, I still think, was a bit indiscreet, probably caught up in the moment. However, I agree that she “knew” her characters, should not have been dictated to, and that the angry scene between Ron and Hermione at the ball was the revelation.

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