Ravenclaw Reader Launch Special Extras: Deadline Moved to Sunday Night

RavenclawReader-KindleYou may have heard that there is a new book on J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels, Ravenclaw Reader, an anthology of talks given at a St Andrews University conference on this subject.

I’m excited about the collection, what it means for our understanding of the Hogwarts Saga, and about the offer Unlocking Press is making during the book’s first week of publication. If you buy during the launch period (and follow the steps detailed here), then, in addition to the ‘wow’ book, you get:

  • Four videos of talks from St Andrews, including the two Keynote presentations;
  • Mp3 audio files of three other talks;
  • Q&A webinars with Potter Pundits on Severus Snape, the Fairy Tale structure of each novel, the Forbidden Forest, and the Dursleys; and
  • a chat with me about literary alchemy, symbolism and ring composition.

Ron 2If this is news to you (where have you been all week?), there is a BookLaunch page that is loaded with information about Ravenclaw Reader. It includes a video in which I talk about the collection, introduce a lecture on Severus Snape filmed at St Andrews, and then explain how you can access the free webinars, videos, and audio downloads this week if you buy the book before Sunday at midnight.

We talked about this earlier in the week at HogwartsProfessor.com here and I interviewed the St Andrews PhDs who edited the book on MuggleNet Academia here.

The deadline was tonight at midnight. Friends I have been in touch with yesterday and today, correspondents around the world, have asked me to push back tonight’s deadline to Sunday midnight so the friends they are writing and contacting through socal media have time to sign up. Fair enough! But the doors close Sunday midnight (well, Monday morning when I get up).


If that weren’t enough, Amazon has discounted the book 10% during the launch! It’s an interactive conference with the world’s leading Potter Pundits for the cost of a shuttle ride from your hotel to the airport. So…

Buy the book or ebook and send me the confirmation of purchase; I’ll send you an invitation to the members site with all the extras. Talk with you there on Monday!


  1. I’ve found that perhaps the most interesting exchange in the “Reader” was between Sarah Reschan and Dr. Amy H. Sturgis.

    While I admit to having some doubts about both their respective positions regarding both the Harry Potter series and Dystopian fiction proper, I’d be wrong to admit that together they bring attention to the current cultural patterns that might be influencing the nature of modern fiction in both the particular and in general. I don’t have much to offer except for three separate ideas that, once interrelated, may offer something of a third alternative.

    First, in terms of the claim that the “Potter series” fits into the dystopian niche, I’m not so certain. While a good overview for the current dystopic trend in YA books is given in terms of Farah Mendelsohn’s “The Inter-Galactic Playground” and Noga Applebaum’s “Representations of Technology in Science Fiction for Young People”, nonetheless I think something needs to be pointed out that has been talked about a lot on this blog. I’m speaking of the fact that the elements that went into the making of the Hogwarts Saga are drawn mainly from medieval and Renaissance source material. In fact, I think Rowling’s stories might owe more to the work of obscure names like Frances A. Yates, D.P. Walker, and Aby Warburg more than Huxley, Norton, Anderson, or Orwell.

    Looking at the story in terms of Rowling’s “possible” source material then, an alternative way of viewing her presentation of the Wizarding World might be as an almost historical panorama of the blooming of the historical Renaissance culture and perhaps an idea of the beginnings of its decline. One semi-related item (if not a Rowling source) that demonstrates how an entire epoch can be fictionally represented from decline to fall was provided by one of the Inklings, in the form of Charles Williams stage pageant “A Myth of Bacon”. In brief, it is a retelling of the life of Francis Bacon through a series of snapshots from pivotal moments in philosopher/scientist’s life. In doing so, I think Williams is able to layout a picture of childhood idealism succumbing to unsuspected hubris in a way that calls to mind Boethius’ “Consolations of Philosophy”. In particular, Williams seems to suggest in a fictional encounter between Bacon and Shakespeare (yeah, don’t start!) that the key flaw in Bacon is a failure to keep a proper balance between Imagination as informed by Reason. Without the Reason reigning in and bring the wildest flights of fancy down to earth, and without Imagination to stir hope and a proper sense of wonder, the mind is at loose ends without a compass. The play in question can now be found on the webpage of the Charles Williams Society.


    Granted, there isn’t much in the way of proof here. What is being offered is just a third possibility to the discussion.

    As for the question of dystopian fiction, a third text that might be consulted is Gary C. Ciuba’s Walker Percy: Books of Revelations. Dealing with the fiction of Southern Louisiana author Walker Percy, in particular Ciuba relates the idea of how Percy’s stories play on and satirize the ideas dystopian fiction in relation to three types of philosophical genres: Apocalyptic, Gnostic, and Eschatology. According to Ciuba, Percy maintains a steady Eschatological course between the two unsteady extremes of Apocalypse and (false) Gnosticism. The perfect example of what I’m talking about can be found on pgs. 19 – 20, where Percy lays out a Boy-meets-Girl-Boy-must-get-Girl-before-Bomb-falls scenario which neatly encapsulates the ideas both he and Ciuba describe. Granted, there is perhaps no necessary link between Apocalyptic and dystopian fiction, however I think Ciuba’s text makes an interesting contribution to the discussion. In particular, Ciuba’s exegesis of Percy’s fiction might shed some light on what real life forces (such as modern nihilism) are shaping the current crop of YA and dystopic stories. Just a thought anyway.

    P.S. a good review of Ciuba’s text can be found here:


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