The dedication reads: “For Séan P. F. Harris, getaway driver and foul-weather friend”. In Scotland, however, the timeline has been different and distended. Just making women feel like, ‘yes, it’s worth keeping going’… The authority of her essay has been really important. Ron is the archetypal goofy best friend, so we can only hope that Sean was the same. Bloomsbury published Harry Potter and Philosopher’s Stone in the UK in 1997 and Rowling sold the film rights for Harry Potter to Warner Bros. two years later. Will JK Rowling then appear, as her critics insist, “on the wrong side of history”? I’m not going to see films. “The first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has made very clear her commitment to self-ID, persistently denying any adverse effects on women’s rights,” says policy analyst Lisa Mackenzie of Murray Blackburn Mackenzie, which has been scrutinising the Scottish Government’s actions on gender recognition reform. . While Warner Bros. owned film and video game rights (and, eventually, the studio tour at Leavesden), Universal Parks and Resorts announced its acquisition of theme-park rights to the Potter franchise in 2007. What we are witnessing now is a rebalancing, he suggests, as more information becomes available, especially online. If I’d found community and sympathy online that I couldn’t find in my immediate environment, I believe I could have been persuaded to turn myself into the son my father had openly said he’d have preferred.”. She was bringing up her child on benefits in Scotland, in the mid-nineties, and she somehow used her writing skills to forge a better life for herself,” summaries Cassie Brummitt, academic at the Cinema and Television History Institute at De Montfort University, who wrote her PhD on the development of the Harry Potter franchise. It has been this way all along. She had some of her happiest teenage years in Sean's car. Those I have managed to reach have given scarcely more away. We’re not going to take it anymore.”. The couple’s daughter was born in a short and unhappy marriage, but when Rowling decided to leave there was, in Arantes words: “a violent struggle. So perhaps we need to have some reviews.’”, Lisa Mackenzie agrees. Unsurprising, then, that those at the top of the franchise insist that it will continue developing apace, undaunted, unslowed and ultimately unaffected by the latest controversy. Her parents first met on a train departing from King's Cross Station bound for Arbroath in 1964. Rowling was, she implies, fully aware of the violent backlash that June’s tweets would trigger, yet she pressed send anyway, to strike a blow for freedom of speech. Read the story this way, and the young are shutting down free speech, aided by social media. She wrote in more detail Harry's loss of his parents. A week later, a group of authors resigned from the Blair Partnership over the agency’s response to the controversy, having asked it “to reaffirm their commitment to transgender rights and equality,” but ultimately concluding that it was “unable to commit to any action that we thought was appropriate and meaningful”. Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix", Dolores Umbridge is clearly one of the characters Rowling liked least. Rowling modeled her young hero after her childhood neighborhood friend, Ian Potter, who once lived four doors down from her in her home near Bristol. How so? It’s becoming part of the mainstream discussion. The real-life heroism of Jan and Antonina Zabinski, who helped save 300 Jews and insurgents during the Holocaust, has become a Hollywood movie. “You know you’re going to get a misogynistic response,” says Serwotka. Peter Rowling is not the only difficult man to emerge in her essay. Controversy rumbled. It encouraged readers to join a demonstration outside the Scottish Parliament against a bill that would “be exploited by predatory men who pose a real threat to women and girls”. And while Warner Bros was still in the game, releasing the first of a reported five Fantastic Beasts movies that year, Rowling had expanded her reach here, too. Ian, who is now a damp-proofer, was a mischievous trickster when he was young, forming an unwelcoming habit of placing slugs on his friends' picnic plates and encouraging Rowling to run through wet concrete with her sister. Discover UK showbiz and celebrity breaking news from the MailOnline. Although she writes under the pen name J.K. Rowling, pronounced like rolling, ... remembers her as "not exceptional" but "one of a group of girls who were bright, and quite good at English." © 2021 Biography and the Biography logo are registered trademarks of A&E Television Networks, LLC. Then follows the wobbling, precarious balancing-act that sits at the core of the essay. “He could then go out and use that the next day to get access to a women-only changing room… and commit voyeurism and abuse against those women. However, above all, Rowling used Hermione's strong character to express her feminist conscience. JKR based Ron Weasley on a childhood friend of hers, Sean Harris, who was the owner of the blue Ford Anglia and had a wicked sense of humour if Ron is anything to go by. The world that we have been left is mostly trash and we’re done. And, says Mackenzie, “the persistent failure of government and other public authorities to make clear statements about the parameters of existing anti-discrimination laws have meant that the issue has been left to be slugged out in the public square, in an atmosphere of increasing tension and antipathy.”. — J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) January 18, 2016 When Rickman died in 2016, a fan asked Rowling what it was that she told him about Snape. What would it mean for the Wizarding World she had dedicated the last 30 years of her life to building? Someone help me out. (Her eldest, Jessica, born of that short first marriage, is now described on the YouTube channel where she posts makeup tutorials as “studying administration”.). Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter in "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone". Trans women are women too, contends Devor. Even though he didn't ride a horse, he drove a car. Robbie Coltrane as Rubeus Hagrid in "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone". One small community has remained conspicuously silent. Because, in fact, it is not quite true that everyone on the planet had expressed a view. WHEN Sean Harris found himself the source of a dedication on Harry Potter: The Chamber of Secrets, he no doubt felt some pride at his school friend's cryptic message. Instead, it wobbled, launched a second consultation then postponed its conclusions to focus on the pandemic. She did not blunder into this argument. Doors close, with a smile. You examine the clues forensically. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. "I did not set out to make Hermione like me, but she is . No,” he says. Wimpund? In 2014, a study published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology claimed that reading Potter books left readers more sympathetic to stigmatised groups such as immigrants, refugees and, yes, LGBT+ people. That’s just been amazing. Merely credited as a producer on the Potter productions, she would both write and produce these new prequel movies. A septuagenarian president refusing to wear a mask, police brutality against ethnic minorities, and now… this. Not only did schoolfriend Sean Harris encourage Rowling to take up a career as a writer - lending her money when she was at her most desperate - but he also provided the model for one of the books' central characters, Ron Weasley. On 10 June, the hashtag #IstandwithJKR took off among Twitter users eager to show their support for Rowling (though it was hijacked by detractors, too). “You do the meeting because you want to draw out the response, and that’s what [Rowling]’s done. Why would a wealthy, powerful cis woman be “triggered” by the word choice in a rather obscure article about menstrual products? Writing Speed. In her 10 June essay, Rowling lays out the reasons that trans issues began to interest her. “When she gets very stressed, she’ll detach herself and only trust one person, and that’s herself,” he says. In April last year, Rowling’s PA was found to have misused a business credit card. Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone". Those lower down the paygrade? From Quiz: The Life of J.K Rowling (click to play it). Then he could go home that night, fill in the form again and change back.”, That, she argues, would never be the case: “in countries where they have taken away some of the reliance on medical criteria… it is still a legal process. Potter keeps on paying the bills, even in his twenties. For Sean P.F. Harris, getaway driver and foulweather friend Explanation: Jo met Sean at her secondary school, Wyedean, when she was eleven. There will be no interviews, no appearances, no inner-circle insights, they all insist. “While some of her comments obviously polarised on social media,” says Bock, “it will be very interesting to see if the general public care about all the hubbub. It is almost as pronounced as that noted by a New Yorker journalist granted a rare interview in 2012: “The conifer hedges in front of J. K. Rowling’s seventeenth-century house, in Edinburgh, are about twenty feet tall. But Rowling no longer works in cafes. “Not because there’s no desire there to boycott and not because there isn’t a huge community of people who support trans folk and want to see change… But the Harry Potter machine, the wizarding world machine is very large…”, Steelman, on the other hand, can foresee a longer-term whittling away of the Potter cool-factor. ‘They’ll call us transphobic!’ ‘They’ll say I hate trans people!’”. Sean Harris, the school friend who lent her the deposit for a flat and once drove a turquoise Ford Anglia that would be immortalised forever in Potter lore. Kat Miller, however, views this generational divide differently. She enjoyed listening to … “I don’t think JK Rowling is leaving her home and actually murdering a trans person,” says Steelman, “but that isn’t what you need to do anymore to have that impact. “What’s JK Rowling like to live with?” Murray is asked as the couple travel by private jet. Answer: Multiple sclerosis . And now Warner Bros. is having to do damage limitation.”. According to Biography.com, JK Rowling based the character of Ron on her real-life best friend, Sean Harris. Question by author 123laura123. “So everyone else gets blocked out, and she becomes more and more stressed and less and less able to accept any help. “It’s also clear that one of the objectives of denying the importance of sex is to erode what some seem to see as the cruelly segregationist idea of women having their own biological realities or – just as threatening – unifying realities that make them a cohesive political class.”, “I expected the threats of violence, to be told I was literally killing trans people with my hate, to be called cunt and bitch and, of course, for my books to be burned,” writes Rowling. J.K. Rowling didn’t really enjoy her teenage years. Will 60 to 90 per cent of teens “grow out” of gender dysphoria, as Rowling suggests? “All his legal paperwork will change overnight to say ‘F’ on them,” she continues. Come September, around the publication of Rowling’s new Cormoran Strike book, Troubled Blood, and more accusations of transphobia, her detractors took up a different battle cry. Were the timings of Rowling’s own interventions, and the provocation of her own traumas, tied to Holyrood’s management, or lack-thereof, of GRA reform? From JKR.com: “He was the first of my Friends to learn to drive and that turquoise and white car meant FREEDOM and no più having to ask my father to give me lifts, which is the worst thing about living in the countryside when te are a teenager. “You know, we’re done. Then came 2011, a landmark moment in the franchise’s evolution, says Brummitt. If so, why now? “Self ID gives predators the green light,” shouted the ad, placed in the Scotsman on 6 March this year, by the group formed to oppose Scottish government reforms. From JKR.com: “He was the first of my friends to learn to drive and that turquoise and white car meant FREEDOM and no more having to ask my father to give me lifts, which is the worst thing about living in the countryside when you are a teenager. Interestingly, Hagrid was one of the first Harry Potter characters Rowling created. Never miss out on gossip, celebrity photos, videos, divorces, scandals and more. The only way to accurately gauge that is to see if they open their arms – and, more importantly, their wallets – if, and when, another Harry Potter film drops.”, That does not, however, mean that it isn’t causing some heavy headaches within the franchise. “There is no part of me that feels that I represented myself as your children’s babysitter or their teacher,” she said in the New Yorker interview. Everyone seemed content with this checkmate by the queen, and for good reason. Harris, getaway driver and foulweather friend Explanation: Jo met Sean at her secondary school, Wyedean, when she was eleven. In 2017/18, the figure totalled 1,806, resurfacing Rowling’s memories of her own, sometimes difficult, childhood: “I’ve wondered whether, if I’d been born 30 years later, I too might have tried to transition,” she writes. By comparison, when 58 famous names including Tom Stoppard and Lionel Shriver went public with their support for Rowling via a letter in the Times their average age hovered somewhere in the 60s. In the seven days from 14 September, 28,475 original tweets, reaching a likely audience of more than 91 million, bore the ominous hashtag #RIPJKRowling. She knew the response was going to be misogynistic and sexist, and she’s done it anyway because that’s what that women’s rights activism has become. “…accusations of TERFery have been sufficient to intimidate many people, institutions and organisations I once admired, who’re cowering before the tactics of the playground. Now, this is normal. The beloved hymn and its author John Newton, a former enslaver, have inspired a new Broadway musical, but the true history is complex and ambiguous. My Critique of the Authors Work Jk is the best writer at hooking you into the story. That meticulous privacy means piecing together the life of Joanne Rowling – the woman, not the Harry Potter deity – is like completing a cryptic crossword. Minna Fry, former marketing director of Bloomsbury, once described “these layers of people to protect her… people who I think made her feel safe,” calling the author, “quite thin-skinned”. Wiry red hair and a wonderful sense of loyalty would be a plus. Sean Harris, the school friend who lent her the deposit for a flat and once drove a turquoise Ford Anglia that would be immortalised forever in Potter lore. Trans people need and deserve protection. Sean Harris, her best friend in the Upper Sixth owned a turquoise Ford Anglia, which she says inspired the one in her books. Rowling’s stream of tweets and eventual essay on sex and gender appear the polar opposite – written and published in a state Rowling describes as “triggered”, they are unmediated, controversial and authentic. But rather than let it die out, more tweets followed, that day and the next. Over the course of seven days, a total of 12,296 original tweets bore the hashtag, reaching a probable audience of around 7 million people. The Tortoise Slow Newscast pieces together the story of the Harry Potter author’s very political, very personal interventions on gender and identity. The group held 27 meetings across the UK during the consultation process and at virtually every one, says Serwotka, the women who attended were “intimidated… heckled and pushed.” The group’s strategy, she says, remained firm: forge on with every meeting, not only to ensure that the women’s voices were heard but also to air the ugliness of their opposition in public. In June, Rowling’s American publisher Hachette was forced to quell an apparent staff mutiny, when a group of employees objected to working on Rowling’s new children’s story, The Ickabog. Nor were fans silent. It appeared that almost everyone on the planet had expressed a view in 280 fiery letters or fewer. You have to dig through a rather drier document: Joanne Murray vs Amanda Donaldson. Over the past months, almost all my requests to speak to those close to Rowling have met with polite – but firm – rebuttal. It seems a risk she’s willing to take. For Sean P.F. #IStandWithMaya #ThisIsNotADrill”. George Floyd’s death was filling streets with protests, lockdown was only fractionally easing, and it was LGBT+ Pride month. For Sean P.F. The identity of Ron Weasley's real-life inspiration has not been fully revealed, but Rowling did admit that Harry's best friend is based off of her own and oldest friend, Sean. The literary agent who launched JK Rowlingto international stardom has passed away, his representatives said last night. And while it is likely to have little commercial implication for the Wizarding World, it has sent profound shockwaves through her own: putting a spotlight on the things that define us as individuals and as a society, probing the boundaries of both identity and freedom of speech. Harris, getaway driver and foulweather friend Explanation: Jo met Sean at her secondary school, Wyedean, when she was eleven.From JKR.com: “He was the first of my friends to learn to drive and that turquoise and white car meant FREEDOM and no more having to ask my father to give me lifts, which is the worst thing about living in the countryside when you are a teenager. The generational divide is so deep that it extends beyond grassroots politics and into celebrity. I see it going in the direction of a decoupling of the idea that who we are in everyday life in terms of our gender expression needs to be connected to our physical bodies… we will increasingly see people having the freedom to be very fluid and changeable in how they express their gender and that we will have… an infinite range of options available to us.”. Last 30 years of her the sheriff ’ s also founder of authors. 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