The ‘True Book’ in Troubled Blood: Hypothesis, Premises, and Overview

As promised last Saturday, I hope in the weeks prior to Ink Black Heart‘s publication to write an introductory review of the ‘True Book’ pages Rowling inserted into Troubled Blood. There are several glaring gaps even after two years spent discussing The Presence’s longest and most challenging novel; the most egregious fail is the absence of serious exploration of the book’s most unique quality, which is to say, the author-illustrated pages of its primary embedded text.

Today’s post is an overview of the series to follow in which I will take a closer look at each of these pages; I call this an “introductory review” because my primary aim is not writing anything definitive but to foster discussion of Bill Talbot’s True Book and Rowling’s purpose in deploying it the way she has.

Let’s start with my working hypothesis, several corollary ideas, and my argument’s three premises. [Read more…]

Placeholder Post: Cormoran Strike Errors Corrected In Later Editions

As the Cormoran Strike series grows in length, complexity and number of readers, more and more errors are noticed by sharp-eyed fans. Just as with Harry Potter, some of those errors are being corrected in later editions.

This post is being compiled to both collect all Hogpro posts on book errors we have found, and as a place to report any corrections or changes readers spy in later editions. Please list in the comments sections.

MISTAKES: 

  1. Errors first noted in Cuckoo’s Calling.
  2. Errors from Lethal White.
  3. Errors from Troubled Blood
  4. The life and times of Donald Laing gets its own post. 
  5. Rowling/Galbraith is not good with dates. 
  6. I mean, really, really not good. 

CORRECTIONS:

  1. The most elaborate (and probably least necessary, since the will was still invalid!) correction was the addition of Aussie-Vashti-Saleswoman Mia Thompson to The Cuckoo’s Calling. This was the most elaborate correction seen in Ms. Rowling’s work to date, requiring the addition of a new named character and edits of multiple chapters.

2. One error caught quite early, and therefore present in only the first printing of Troubled Blood, was a continuity error when Strike and Robin were enjoying fish and chips in Skegness. Strike discovered he was out of cigarettes. He suggests buying some. Then, Robin is surprised by Gloria Conti’s message.  After their exchange on this topic, Strike “lights himself another cigarette.” Then, a mere few lines later, they “set off in search of cigarettes.”  This error was fixed in later editions of the hardback, the audiobook and the paperback.

3. The TB audiobook also initially changed the name of Strike’s oldest woman friend from Ilsa (“Ill-sah”) to Isla (“Eye-lah”). Thus was largely corrected in later editions.

4. Hogpro reader PerLish kindly pointed out that the “newborn Lucy” who was left in St. Mawes with four-year old Strike has now been amended to “2-year-old,” in the paperback version of Troubled Blood, making the siblings’ relative ages consistent with the rest of the series.

When I passed this information on to the Strike.fans Twitter group, participant @LudicrousMonica checked her Troubled Blood paperback and found a few others:

5. In Chapter 21, “Irene and Janice’s row” is corrected to “Irene and Margot’s row.”

6. The original chapter 36 had Cynthia Phipps offering to make coffee, then coming back and pouring everyone tea, then refilling Roy’s tea, then Roy taking “another sip of coffee.”  It has been corrected to be 100% tea. Note:  We missed this error in our summary post.

7. Thankfully, Robin is now remembering going to three funerals in her life. She first speaks of her grandfather’s funeral, when she dropped out of university.  Strangely, however, the following paragraph, about Rochelle Onifade’s cremation, still begins with “The only other funeral…” Mrs. Cunliffe’s services–and the fact that Robin nearly missed them–still don’t get a mention.  Rather bizarre; if you are going to correct it, why not do a full job of it? Surely space wasn’t an issue, after the wordage devoted to Mia Thompson?

Alas, Dave Polworth’s mother is still in Schrodinger’s Cat limbo. 

I hope this post will inspire holders of all the paperbacks to go back and take a look to see what else has been changed.  Please enter in the comments so we can maintain a master list.

Guest Post: True Stories of Wizardry in England in the Days before the International Statute of Secrecy

Tony McAleavy is the author of The Last Witch Craze: John Aubrey, the Royal Society and the Witches, which was published in the UK in June 2022. As someone who gave a talk in 2010 and published an expanded essay on ‘Why Rowling Chose 1692,’ in which I explored the idea that the Wizarding World is the surviving remnant of the Spiritual Seeker sects, which is to say ‘Christian Magi,’ I am fascinated by this subject and begged McAleavy to share in a Guest Post here the outline of his research into the subject of real world “conjuring” in the UK’s tumultuous Seventeenth Century.

He agreed — and I think you’ll find as I did that his essay below largely explodes the prevalent misconceptions about a hard line in history separating scientists from magi from Christians. It’s a whole lot more complicated and fascinating than our conventional History-Time-Line Pigeon Holes allow. Thanks to Tony McAleavy for this wonderful Guest Post, which I trust you will enjoy as much as I did.

True Stories of Wizardry in England in the Days before the International Statute of Secrecy

Tony McAleavy

I have been researching real life wizardry and witchcraft in Britain and America in the late seventeenth century for my new book, The Last Witch Craze. JK Rowling proposed that 1689-1692 was a turning point in the relationship between the magical community and Muggles. She imagined how, after the catastrophe of the Salem trials when 20 people accused of satanic magic were executed in New England, the decision was confirmed to introduce the International Statute of Secrecy and make the practice of wizardry and witchcraft invisible to the non-magical world. Of course, Rowling was writing fiction but my new book suggests that her historical insight was fundamentally correct. The early 1690s was indeed the end of an era. Before that several wizards operated discreetly but not secretly. Afterwards they kept quiet about their practice.

I focus on three prominent men who I believe were active wizards in London 1660-1690. One of these magicians was John Aubrey. He openly promoted his belief in premonitions, potions and charms in a book he wrote towards the end of his life called Miscellanies. He grew up surrounded by magical practices in rural Wiltshire. As a boy, Aubrey saw female servants at the family home examine the ashes in the hearth at the end of the evening in order to foretell the future. [Read more…]

Reports from LeakyCon 2022 in Orlando

As readers here know, my track record with predictions is best described as “spotty.” I’ve had some decent ‘hits’ in guessing about future Harry Potter story turns and Strike twists but the ‘misses’ have been spectacular. My two most involved theories, ‘Periscope Harry’ in Unlocking Harry Potter and ‘Heroin Dark Lord‘ on this site, were so far off from the reality of what Rowling was planning that you’d think any semblance of shame would prevent my further speculation.

I like to note, however, when one of my best guesses turns out to be spot on, which seems to be the case with respect to the recent Leaky Con 2022 gathering in Orlando, Florida.

I predicted in early May that this fan convention would be a woke festival of Rowling Reviling. It wasn’t much of a prediction really, because Mischief Management said on the back pages of their web site in the fine print that this was the mission of the post Covid, post Trans Tweets Tsunami, Leaky Con. It didn’t take a Trelawney or a gift with a Crystal Ball to forecast that a group’s mission statement, to which all players have signed on, will guide the event in question. From that post here in May: [Read more…]

Updated: Ring Composition Pillar Post

I was unable, believe it or not, to discuss at any length Rowling’s signature structure, which is to say ring composition or chiasmus, in my PhD dissertation. I alluded in its conclusion both to the published notes of a talk I gave on the subject in 2010 and to a HogwartsProfessor Pillar Post on the subject in which links were collected to what I have written here as well as other Rowling Readers.

The problem was that I hadn’t finished that Pillar Post. Would I be able to complete anything like a complete collection of HogwartsProfessor posts and podcasts on the subject before the thesis readers looked for it?

I won’t know the answer to that question until my viva voce examinations at the end of the month. The good news, though, is that I have updated the page and it’s a decent compendium and introduction to the subject, if I say so myself. I explain, for instance, the connection between ring composition and Rowling’s psychomachia and literary alchemy.

The Ring Composition Pillar Post awaits your comments, corrections, and suggestions of pages here and elsewhere I have neglected.