Lumos Foundation – 2021 Virtual Gala

J. K. Rowling’s signature charity that supports the deinstitutionalisation of children: the Lumos Foundation will shortly be holding it’s annual charity gala. This year it will be a virtual event scheduled for Saturday October 2nd 3:30 – 4:30 PM EST (8:30 – 9:30 PM GMT). You may remember some past events such as the 2018 event with Whoopi Goldberg, but this year with Covid precautions, it will be an on line activity allowing even more people to become involved.

The Gala will be hosted by Alec Baldwin and will feature J. K. Rowling reading excepts from The Tales of Beadle the Bard and with ticket prices starting from $25 this could be a great way to donate to this charity.

Join me after the jump to find out more.

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Harry Potter Discussion on BBC Radio – Beyond Belief

Beyond Belief is a radio program from the British Broadcasting Corporation broadcast weekly on BBC Radio 4 that explores the place and nature of faith in today’s world. Yesterday we were treated to our own esteemed headmaster Prof. John Granger, author of Literary Allusions in Harry Potter Dr. Beatrice Groves and co-host of Harry Potter and the Sacred Text Vanessa Zoltan joining the host Ernie Rea to discuss the Christian allegory and religious themes in Harry Potter.

The program can be accessed here from around the world, and it really is a very fun and informative listen. Please join me after the jump for my own notes from this fascinating program.

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J.K. Rowling with Simon Armitage the Poet Laureate – The Interview

More than two weeks ago, The Hogwarts Professor, John Granger posted the extended version of J. K. Rowling’s interview with the Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom, Simon Armitage. (Saved for posterity by Patricio Tarantino of The Rowling Library.) Mr Armitage is an excellent interviewer, and Ms Rowling seems to be more at ease than I remember her being for a very long time. Because she is so relaxed, perhaps, she has revealed more new information than many were expecting.

I fully expect serious readers to be discussing this interview for some time to come. In an absolutely herculean effort Mary Granger has created a typescript of the hour long interview to aid our studies. I have only filled a few gaps caused I suspect by Simon’s lovely (but strange perhaps to the American ear) Yorkshire accent. If you do spot any errors. please let me know in the comments below.

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Stranger than Fiction? Recent Case with Similarities to Troubled Blood

Last week, as I was perusing my local news, I was shocked by a recent case, not just because it is a horrible crime in my very peaceful rural community, but also by the eerie similarity to the events of Troubled Blood. I’ll save specifics until after the jump to avoid spoilers forAvery County, NC anyone who has not yet finished the novel (probably none of our crowd here, but just in case).

To set the scene, I must stress that Avery County, North Carolina, is not London, England, or even Charlotte, North Carolina. If Cormoran Strike were looking for work in my neck of the (literal) woods, he’d have trouble making a living. Certainly, we have our fair share of the usual rural storiesAmazon.com: Troubled Blood (A Cormoran Strike Novel, 5): 9780316498951:  Galbraith, Robert: Books, the sort of sad situations created by tragic choices, like drug and alcohol abuse or domestic violence. I must confess that I own a police scanner, and I am friends with many members of our small troop of law enforcement heroes (the K9 officer who patrols the high school when I teach embedded college courses there is one of my favorite officers, and his human is ok, too!), but our “big crimes” are often more comic than tragic. Two years ago, we made national news when pranksters stole the huge carved wooden Sasquatch who stands out in front of my favorite garden center. He was later found in the woods, of course.

But last week, when we first heard of the terrible story out of the Linville Falls community, it was a different situation from the start, a situation unfamiliar to us, but very familiar to Strike and Robin.

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Guest Post by Beatrice Groves Part 2: The Beast Within: Shakespearean Clues in Strike

As promised, here is part two of Bea Groves’s brilliant look at the clues hidden in the very walls of the watering holes visited by our favorite Denmark Street detective! Enjoy, and please join the conversation in the comments!

In yesterday’s post I discussed @zsenyasq’s find of a Leda mural at the Rivoli Bar in the Ritz, and noted that if Strike does comment on this image, it will not be the first time he has been paying attention to symbolic images in drinking establishments.

Strike visits The Tottenham early in the opening novel of the series and ‘examined the painted panels on the ceiling; bacchanalian revels that became, as he looked, a feast of fairies: Midsummer Night’s Dream, a man with a donkey’s head’ (Cuckoo’s Calling, 49-50). The painted roundel is indeed a little difficult to decipher and it seems highly likely that we see in this description of Strike’s dawning comprehension, Rowling’s own realisation of their Shakespearean source as she looked at these scenes – either as she scouted London in preparation for writing Cuckoo’s Calling, or perhaps earlier, drinking in this pub when she was herself a temp in Denmark St. [Read more…]