Is Harry Potter a Schoolboy Novel?

PDF Transcript of Is Harry Potter a Schoolboy Novel? A Parody?

This talk, first posted at, is the fourth in a series about the unexamined ideas about Harry Potter that shape and, as often as not, restrict our thinking about the series.

Today we discuss the idea that Harry Potter’s adventures are best understood as Schoolboy fiction, say, something like Thomas Hughes’ Tom Brown Schooldays or Enid Blyton’s Mallory Towers, or a combination of this genre and one other, maybe ‘fairy tales’ or ‘High Fantasy.’

They are, of course, all that — but not just that. Have a look-and-listen or read the transcript above — and then let me know what you think in the comment boxes below!

Tomorrow, I’ll be talking about Fate and Free Will in Harry Potter and whether ‘Choice’ is the be all and end all many think it is. And I’ll be sharing news and dates for the Potter Pundit Summer Camp, four free classes in which I answer your questions about the world’s best selling novels. Talk with you then!


  1. David Llewellyn Dodds says

    I missed this, this summer – a fairly elegant development in brief, of a reading it would be good to wrestle with, and see wrestled with, in detail, it seems to me! Sir Roger Scruton on “Pottering towards the new socialist state”:;

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