The Witch Trials of J. K. Rowling

Yesterday (21st February) a new podcast dropped. Provocatively titled “The Witch Trials of J. K. Rowling” it is billed as “an audio documentary that examines some of the most contentious conflicts of our time through the life and career of the world’s most successful author.” The host is a remarkable lady called Megan Phelps-Roper, an ex-member of the Westboro Baptist Church. Remarkable not least because she is an example of someone who changed their mind via the medium of social media. Join me after the jump for links to the episodes, and a few of the nuggets that I’ve found.

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Lancelot Schaubert – Alchemical Alliteration

Long time friend of the Hogwarts Professor and prolific author Lancelot Schubert has written a guest post. For a fascinating possible link between alliteration, doubled consonants, alchemical symbolism and Christian imagery, join me after the jump!



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The Running Grave – Fandom Sleuthing Roundup

On the 17th of January J. K. Rowling tweeted a picture- the completed manuscript copy of the seventh instalment in the Strike series.

Quickly seeing that type from the page below was visible The Rowling Library posted a contrast enhanced image that showed the opening lines from Dylan Thomas’ poem When Like a Running Grave and a passage from The I Ching.

The Epigraphs

Here at Hogwarts Professor, close reader Percy Lin identified the I Ching passage as the comment of Wenyan Zhuan (文言傳, “Commentary on the Words”) on Hexagram 2  (坤 kūn, “Field”): “其所由来者渐矣。由辨之不早辨也”

It took a long time for things to go so far. It came about because things that should have been stopped were not stopped soon enough.

We are fortunate to have more than one I Ching irregular here at HogPro with close reader Luis E Andrade adding their analysis:

Curiously, the Wenyan Zhuan, the so called Seventh Wing of the Yijing, and not part of the core text of the Zhouyi but part of Han Dynasty exegesis added when it was canonized as one of the five Confucian Classics to become the “Yijing” (易經), only extends to the first two hexagrams in the received, and so called, King Wen sequence. The commentary goes on at length for the first hexagram but it is much shorter for the second, 坤, translated as The Receptive by Wilhelm/Baynes. In particular, the quote used, refers to the portion dedicated to comment the first line of H2 and translated as “When there is hoarfrost underfoot, solid ice is not far off.” Using that as reference, you can see why the comment talks about events that should have been dealt with in time but have run out of their control by neglecting to do so.

The Running Grave Publication Date

This is not the first time that Rowling has tweeted a completed manuscript on Twitter. On 23trd March 2018 she announced that Lethal White was completed. Perhaps because of a noted lifelong struggle with printers, this was illustrated with a USB memory stick. Lethal White was published on the 18th September 2018. On 25th January 2020 Rowling posted a picture of the, as yet unnamed, Troubled Blood manuscript. Troubled Blood was published on 15th September 2020. No manuscript tweet for Ink Black Heart, but she tweeted that it was finished on 3rd December 2021. Ink Black Heart was published on 30th August 2022.

For most recent Strike novels we have a time between completion and publication ranging from 179 days for Lethal White and 270 days for The Ink Black Heart. For The Running Grave, that means a publication date between 15th July and 14th October.

Here’s hoping for an early Summer release!

Kurt Schreyer – Verlaine’s Parsifal

Following from Prof Groves Valentine’s post, Kurt Schreyer, Associate Professor of English Literature at the University of Missouri, and author of Shakespeare’s Medieval Craft: Remnants of the Mysteries on the London Stage has written a Hogwarts Professor Guest Post – Parsifal, Strike, & “Le noir roc courroucé”. Join me after the jump to find out more about the enigmatic (and visually striking) Symbolist poet Paul Verlaine.


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First ‘Running Grave’ Epigraphs Out: Dylan Thomas Poem and I Ching Note

Three Cheers for the sleuths at The Rowling Library!

DV, we’ll soon have the citation from the I Ching and the translation Rowling-Galbraith is using.

Until then, your thoughts? That I Ching piece is suggestive, beyond the Norfolk Commune.

Did Shanker kill Leda or promise, at least, that he wouldn’t say why she committed suicide?