Talk:J. K. Rowling/Archive 4

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Since when has JK Rowling been Scottish?

That is how she refers to herself. Referring to her as "British" is a reasonable compromise. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Clydey (talkcontribs)
Does she? Never heard that. Serendipodous 07:58, 22 July 2007 (UTC)
I see her referred to as Scottish all the time. I was sifting through google yesterday for definitive examples of either "Scottish" or "English". The only interview I found asked her a question on Scotland and how it felt to be Scottish. I can only imagine it's based on parentage or for having lived there for a while with her Scottish husband. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Clydey (talkcontribs)

She hasn't referred to herself as Scottish ever, because she isn't. She is sometimes INCORRECTLY described as Scottish purely because she is based there. There's even a ancestry thing online somewhere that shows about 99% of her ancestors were English. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Yeah, and Alexander Graham Bell is 100% Scottish. That doesn't stop Canada trying to claim him. There's a short interview where she is asked about Scotland and what it feels like to be Scottish (the exact wording escapes me). —Preceding unsigned comment added by Clydey (talkcontribs)
Oh come on - are we going to have to go through this once a week now? J. K. Rowling is English, born to English parents in England. British is a compromise, yes, but not a good one. As you can probably tell from the number of times this comes up there is a great deal of nationalism between the constituent parts of the UK with each part very eager to "claim" certain celebrities as their own but that doesn't alter the fact that she is ethnically English. AulaTPN 08:22, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
Oh and Clydey, please sign your posts in future. AulaTPN 08:27, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
In fact I am going to change it back. Clydey you cannot claim she is Scottish because she was not born in Scotland and has no Scottish parentage and even though she has lived there for a considerable time it is not possible to become a naturalised Scot. Her nationality is British but her ethnicity is English and it would seem from my travels through Wiki that standard practice when referring to people from the Isles is to detail their ethnicity. Further, the vast majority of your edits seem to be solely concerned with attributing famous people as being Scottish. You seem to be a single-purpose account engaged in POV-pushing across Wikipedia. I urge you to consider your edits more carefully and not to revert my change. The consensus has always been to list her as English. AulaTPN 08:33, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
My purpose is to ensure that Scots get the credit they deserve. I am not attempting to distort the facts. She is often referred to as Scottish and I did read an interview where she was asked how it felt to be Scottish. I am not randomly trying to label people as Scottish. I am not delusional.
You know those pages to which you refer, the ones where I was allegedly trying to push an agenda? Not one of those people were listed as Scottish, despite clearly being Scottish. Scottish people are British when it suits the English. Leaving a successful Scot's nationality ambiguous opens up the possibility of that person being mistakenly referred to as English. Most of world are ignorant to the fact that England is not Britain.
I am not unreasonable. I have agreed that Mark Knopfler should be referred to as British, even though he was born in Scotland. I am not about to sit back and watch great Scots be claimed by every country other than their own. It is a joke. Please get off your high horse. Ok, here's a challenge for you. Out of the pages you were referring to earlier, highlight one instance in which I have distorted the facts. My interest is in removing ambiguity and emphasising the facts. What I did was no different to you taking issue with J.K. Rowling being listed as Scottish/British. Do you get it now? Clydey 13:36, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
Sheesh. If this matters so much to you, join the SNP. Independent Scotland, no ambiguity. Let her get a Scottish passport and decide for herself. Serendipodous 13:37, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
I have no desire to engage in a tit-for-tat argument, I am not on a high-horse and I think your goal is admirable however I would encourage you to consider to points. 1) Edits to Wikipedia must be done on the basis of consensus - that's how things work. The consensus at the moment is to list as English - that can always change. 2) You cannot *possibly* believe or hope to claim that J. K. Rowling is Scottish. As a much more perspicacious editor wrote the last time we had this discussion one can not be Scottish by nationality as one cannot be a citizen of Scotland. Therefore we can only talk of someone's ethnicity in this case and J.K. is most definitely and incontravertably English. Sorry you don't seem to like that but those are the plain facts. AulaTPN 13:43, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
In essence you are discounting someone's place of birth and emphasising their ancestry? What I mean by that is someone with Scottish parents, although born in England, would be referred to as Scottish, correct? I am just trying to clarify your point. I don't think there is a consensus on how one defines ethnicity on here, whether birthplace takes precedence over parentage.
Again, I go back to Alexander Graham Bell. It's pretty clear that the man was Scottish, yet on many, many webpages he is described as an American. If Scotland is lucky, he is referred to as a "Scottish-born American". If we're really, really lucky and the Americans are feeling generous, he is a "Scottish-American". Funnily enough, this also applies to his father, a man who never gained American citizenship.
It's funny how success has that unique ability to modify/split someone's ethnicity. Bell spent his summers in Canada to be close to his father. He was listed as one of the "100 Greatest Canadians". 'Nuff said really. I think I got off the point a little. Yeah, as far as J.K. Rowling goes, I was merely following what I found on goggle. If I'm a bit off the mark, I'll gladly concede. I found it strange that she was so frequently described as Scottish, however.Clydey 14:09, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

I think this whole issue is stupid. JK Rowling is British. That's her nationality. Her ethnicity shouldn't matter to anyone any more than her race should. All ethnicity is is what combination of myths and stories one chooses to believe about where one came from, most of which are made up anyway. Is it really that important? Serendipodous 14:12, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

Clydey that's not what I'm saying but that's beside the point. Seren, I do think it's a fairly pointless argument but to attempt to assert that J.K. is Scottish is ludicrous. I don't necessarily have a particular point to push save that as far as I could tell, the consensus was to describer her as English and that there is an extreme amount of nationalism pushing from the other consituent members of the UK. I notice for instance that any Scottish address which is listed as "... Scotlant, UK" instantly has the "UK" removed. Whereas I have no particular objection to the removal, other than that adding "UK" is factually correct, it seems to me that the standard practice on Wiki when it comes to the UK is to go down to that level of granularity rather than stop with just British. And if there is one apparent rule for articles pertaining to the rest of the UK then it should surely apply to the whole of the UK so as to maintain consistency? AulaTPN 14:47, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
I wasn't having a go at you, Aula. I was quite genuinely seeking clarification on the point you made. And it is not ludicrous to label J.K. Rowling as Scottish in light of how often she is referred to as Scottish. It might very well be wrong, but it is hardly ludicrous. You will notice that I have conceded in this case and have not reverted it to "Scottish" or "British". Clydey 15:03, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

This is what Wikipedia will reap from having created this entirely illogical double-standard in reference to subjects relating to the United Kingdom. There is no other country I can think of where Wikipedians see themselves able to comment on someone's identity rather than simply labelling their nationality. It seems incredibly obvious to me that the only way to sort this out should be to label any British person as being British - add in their Scottish, English, Welsh or Irish allegiances if relevant in addition to their nationality, and only consider removing British where they have made an actual statement that they don't view themselves accordingly. Personally this whole British/Scottish/English etc thing has really lowered my respect for Wikipedia. --Breadandcheese 18:05, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

I completely agree, although long-time watchers of this talk page might not believe me! The unfortunate double-standard, due to the very nature of the United Kingdom, which has arisen here is crazy and short of a new Wiki Policy to combat this I don't see how you could ever hope to sort it out? I don't mind which way the decision falls, whether everything and everyone gets labelled British or English/Scottish/Welsh, as long as it is consistent but given how vigorously any attempt to apply the terms "British" or "UK" to anything which is not solely English seems to be met with reversion, it would seem that to keep things consistent would imply keeping English things as English? What do you think, can we push for a new policy or is that going to be viewed as the height of pedantry? AulaTPN 18:33, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
Interestingly enough (or maybe not) there's been quite a discussion about this over at the Village Pump policy article. While no official policy has fallen out of the discussion as yet, the consensus seems to be leaning towards accepting that this is a quirk of the way the UK works as a sovereign state and sticking with English, Northern Irish, Scottish, Welsh rather than British. One of the justifications seems to be that the UK government itself recognises the nations as separate countries. AulaTPN 22:30, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the heads-up. I rarely if ever check the Village Pump, so I'm glad I didn't miss the heat of this discussion. I'd very much like to create a new policy. While I'm not one of those people who thinks that UK need be everywhere (I'm quite comfortable with, say, "Nowheretown is a town in Somewhereshire, England" - but infobox locations and such should clearly identify the country as what it is. I also note it seems to be a small number of people who revert away all mentions of the UK - often ones with self-confessed political allegiances not shared by most. --Breadandcheese 05:40, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

Now, Tony Blair is referred to as British even though he was born in Scotland. Why? Well, for a starts his passport clearly states, British Citizen. There is no such thing as an English or Scottish nationality and the sooner it dies out the better. Gavin Scott 01:25, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

What the heck was wrong with that image?[edit]

Why was the image of JK at Radio City deleted from the Wikimedia Commons? For years people have been complaining that only images taken by users can be uploaded, but when we finally have one, it gets deleted. Do the Wiki admins not want any images for this article? Because if they don't, they shouldn't program those bloody automated checklists complain when an article doesn't have any. Serendipodous 08:39, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

Funny, I was just watching these edits and I have no idea? Maybe we can persuade the uploader to reupload and add the copyright information? Or maybe we can persuade the uploader of the image which replaced it to add the copyright information for that one?AulaTPN 08:41, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
Right, I found the original copyright info and have passed it on to the admin at commons who deleted it and asked them to reinstate the image here. AulaTPN 08:52, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
Ok so the reason it was deleted from commons is that it was determined to have been a screenshot from TV so I doubt that there's any chance of getting the image back. AulaTPN 11:25, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
Bugger. When will these pedants accept that taking a picture of JK Rowling is virtually impossible, and allow us to post a promo pic instead? Serendipodous 12:51, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
Who knows? I certainly can't understand why it seems to be good enough for 95% of the other BLP articles but not for this one? AulaTPN 13:13, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
Yes I was wondering why this article was missing an image. It seems odd that this page lacks an image, considering her new novel was just released. No offense, the article is great anyway. Thanks, Meldshal42 21:46, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
Could someone ask for a photo, preferably someone of Admin status? Here's the contact info for Scholastic, who have provided the Press with numerous images. 10:00, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

Media Inquiries Corporate Communications

We will once the Wikimedia Foundation changes its direction and stops trying to promote a fully free encyclopedia. That will unleash the gates for more promo pics. Unfortuantely, the directive is quite clear, and the English Wikipeida is a huge exception in any kind of non-free image – most other language Wikipedias only allow free iamges. hbdragon88 06:42, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

is there anybody take J.K.'s picture anywhere anytime? Pmuean 14:30, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

Don't you think that someone sometime has taken a picture of Rowling at a charityreading or before she got so famous? Couldn't it be wise to contact some of the biggest fanclubs? sv:Suz 2 August 11.07 (CEST)
Done. I happened to see her getting an honorary degree from Aberdeen, when my wee brother was getting his degree... Sjhill 14:27, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
You, sir, are an absolute star! This has been driving us insane for months! Thank you. AulaTPN 17:24, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

money, money, money???[edit]

Why does the introduction talk mostly about how much money Rowling made? Doesn't that demean her achievements as a writer? OK, mention that she made a ton of money, but that more than 2/3 of the intro should be about money is too much, inho.--345Kai 02:13, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

Critical response[edit]

This section contains the view of only a single critic, which makes it seriously misleading. There is a wide range of opinion about the quality of her books amongst literary critics, and this ought to be reflected in the section. JH (talk page) 20:32, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

I removed it. Discussion of the books doesn't belong in a biographical article. Serendipodous 20:44, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

Church Affiliation[edit]

Has anyone seen a direct quote from JKR regarding which church she attends/is a member of? The American Prospect from 2002 (as well as many websites) states that she is a member of the Church of Scotland, which is Presbyterian. Wikipedia (and other websites) lists her as a member of the Scottish Episcopal Church (not cited), which is Anglican. The latter makes sense as she attended Church of England schools growing up. --Cdman882 02:03, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

See: Religious opposition to the Harry Potter series#Rowling's response. The article "Charmed, I'm Sure" describes how her daughter was baptised into the Church of Scotland.[1] The Tatler [2] describes her as an "Episcopalian" but doesn't mention the Scottish Episcopal church. This could simply mean she was baptised into the Church of England, which doesn't really mean much for an English-born Englishwoman, since pretty much everyone born in England who is of English ethnicity is baptised into that church, whether they call themselves religous or not. Serendipodous 05:29, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

I know this is a confusing matter, but I propose we either change Rowling's church affiliation back to "Episcopalian" or leave it as "unknown" on the Wiki page. I say this for several reasons. First, as noted above, various articles refer to her as either "Episcopalian," "Church of Scotland," or "Presbyterian." However, the Scottish Episcopal Church is still sometimes called the “Episcopal Church of Scotland” or “Church of Scotland” (its original name as the established church of Scotland, until it was officially replaced by the Presbyterian Church in 1689), and also remains part of the worldwide Anglican Communion. I think this clarification of an otherwise equivocal term helps to make sense of the confusion with some stories labeling her “Presbyterian” and others “Episcopalian”. On top of that, there is the the “J.K. Rowling and Neil Murray Marriage Profile” in the marriage section of, stating that “Joanne Rowling and Dr. Neil Murray were married on December 26, 2001, in the library at their home in Perthshire, Scotland” in “a private 20-minute ceremony” led by “minister, J.S. Richardson of St. Columbia’s Episcopal Church in Edinburgh.”[3] When you put all of the known stories about her church affiliation together, it clearly sounds like she was raised Anglican in England and remains Anglican (a.k.a. Episcopalian) now that she lives in Scotland. Using the phrase "Church of Scotland" has simply confused some people, including reporters. What do other people think of this proposed change for the Wiki article? --Mcanaca 02:26, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Claiming she is a member of the Church of Scotland makes it sound like she is active in the church. This quote seems to explain her religous beliefs and doubts:
She is a Christian (Episcopalian) and says, "like Graham Greene, my faith is sometimes about if my faith will return. It's important to me."
Article: 'There would be so much to tell her...'Interviewer: Geordie Greig.Publication: Tatler Magazine. Date: January 10, 2006. '
I second the motion to change it.Libertycookies 08:41, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Nicolson's Cafe[edit]

I noticed the article Nicolson's Cafe was deleted and we now have a red link. It seems like a wiki-worthy article since it is a site of pilgrimage for Potterheads, and maybe a photo and address would be interesting. I never read the deleted article, so maybe it was deleted for good cause. Should the hyperlink be eliminated or a new Nicolson's Cafe article posted? Libertycookies 10:51, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

I don't think Nicholson's exists anymore. Last I heard it was a Chinese takeaway. Serendipodous 14:18, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
Still think it's a notable and worthy article. AulaTPN 14:39, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
If it doesn't exist anymore, all the better for us to have an article. No one can claim it is a commercial advertisement for Nicholson's, and we can (hopefully) find a vintage photo. Libertycookies 16:41, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

Her "middle name"[edit]

"Joanne Kathleen Rowling" produces 494,000 google hits. "Joanne Rowling" produces 170,000. How else can it be shown that this middle name is "often assumed"? Serendipodous 14:24, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

It says on the inside right hand flap of the jacket of Deathly Hallows that she is Joanna Kathleen Rowling
Why don't we just cite a few articles like this one from Forbes or this entry in the Encyclopedia Britannica:

Karanacs 15:44, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

Her pseudonym is JK Rowling, not Joanne Kathleen Rowling - hmm possbily debatable but you're probably right to leave it at that. Prior to the release of Deathly Hallows I would have obviously agreed with you but on the inside cover of my copy, the publishers have decided to confuse matters by expanding her pseudonym. AulaTPN 19:37, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

According to Rowling she has no middle name, she adopted the middle name Kathleen after her grandmother to give her JK Rowling in response to her publishers who believed that it sounded like a male author and would appeal more to the target market of boys. I will have to find a source for this however.CalWalker 10:04, 28 August 2007 (UTC)


The article reads, "Rowling read for a BA in French and Classics at the University of Exeter." The biography on her official website reads, "I left school in 1983 and went to study at the University of Exeter, on the south coast of England. I studied French, which was a mistake; I had succumbed to parental pressure to study 'useful' modern languages as opposed to 'but-where-will-it-lead?' English and really should have stood my ground. On the plus side, studying French meant that I had a year living in Paris as part of my course. After leaving university I worked in London."

So, she read for a degree, and then she left university. But neither source states definitively whether she, in fact, completed the course of study. Did she graduate with her BA? Poldy Bloom 20:47, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

Mitford's Communism[edit]

What relevance is there in writing "Rowling's heroine, one-time Communist Jessica Mitford"? Rowling doesn't appear to be a Communist, nor does she claim to be one. Nor do I see any reference to Mitford's Communism being the reason that Rowling looked up to her. I'm not sure how it fits in the article, and it looks like a clumsy attempt to smear Rowling. 05:25, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

I've given up trying to debate Libertycookies on this issue. If someone else wants to take up the slack, they're welcome. Serendipodous 10:57, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
It is relevent because she is Rowling's self described heroine. Mitford was a Communist at one time and never was ashamed of it. It in fact defines much of her and her beliefs. However, if anyone else can give a brief summary of Jessica Mitford in a few words please propose below...we could lose the "one-time", but then you miss the fact that Mitford left the Communist Party USA. Radical socialist muckraker, maybe? Mitford shouldn't be whitewashed just because of editor prejudices against political philosophies. Libertycookies 19:30, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
Lib, This article isn't about Jessica Mitford, it's about JK Rowling. The issue here isn't whether Mitford should be "whitewashed"; the issue is whether, and in what way, Mitford has affected Rowling or her literary output. Rowling herslef has given a number of very detailed explanations of precisely the kind of influence Mitford has had on her (see Harry Potter influences and analogues#Jessica Mitford), without once claiming that she inspired her to become a Communist or an anarchist. JK Rowling is not a Communist. If she were, she would be living in a co-op and not an $8 million town house. JK Rowling is not an anarchist. If she were, she wouldn't be best friends with the Prime Minister of her country. Deathly Hallows is out, and it is loaded with very un-Communistic religious allegory. On a side note, I have to ask, do you have any other purpose, any other calling, in editing Wikipedia apart from trying to make an idological link -any ideological link- between JK Rowling and Jessica Mitford? Anything at all? Because you don't seem to do anything else. I edit Harry Potter articles, but I also edit articles on the Solar System, on Tudor history, and Terry Pratchett's Discworld series. I can't imagine your level of obsession is psychologically healthy.It's been a week now, and your fears of the book being a mind-bomb have yet to materialise. Don't you think it's time you let this go? Serendipodous 11:26, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
"Leftists influences" I can accept, but "one time communist" is pushing it. Removed the latter. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 17:52, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Jossi, you don't even have to read Mitford's autobiography to pick up that she was a Communist, just open your eyes. But if you want to whitewash who she is, how can I possibly stop an Admin?Libertycookies 20:59, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

90pix|thumb|Labor lawyer husband, Bob Treuhaft, and Jessica Mitford.

Hey Seren, where do you get the idea that Rowling must be a communist simply because she admires one? RE: her friendship with GB proving that she isn't a Communist, you are aware that Gordon Brown edited the Red Paper on Scotland in his younger days, right?[4] Her association with him hardly proves she is anti-communist. On a personal note, your own behavior crosses WP:OWN with your claims and protection of articles and your prejudice of Leftist political philosophy.

I said that her friendship with the prime minister proves she isn't an anarchist, not a Communist. Even Communists believe in political heirarchy. Anarchists don't. Serendipodous 05:22, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
Only if you take a very narrow definition of Anarchism is that true. Anarcho-syndicalism supports a labor friendly government and is class-conscious, advocating solidarity and direct action, not unlike a certain British writer. Even anarchists like Fawkes only wanted to overthrow a repressive government to allow a new one to take root. The Russian revolution and Spanish Civil War had many instances of Anarchists collaborating with Communists. And btw, it is only your POV that she is friends with GB because she supports the status quo....or is it because he is a departure from Tony Blair and the status quo of the last 10 years? Libertycookies 06:55, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

I doubt Rowling means to redistribute her wealth (other than voluntarily to orgs that she approves of) or anyone elses, but her books clearly advocate questioning authority and revolting when necessary. Or did you get a different edition of Deathly Hallows that endorses conservative values and the status quo? Libertycookies 20:44, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

I take exception with equating questioning authority with Communism. You could say one of democracy's central tenets is questioning authority and revolting when necessary. That's why we have elections periodically, and both the US and France had pretty bloody revolutions in trying to become democracies. In the UK, the Magna Carta was pretty revolutionary, but it is definitely not a sign of communism either. I don't think it matters one way or the other if Mitford was a Communist. She's now listed as an influence on JKR, and anyone who doesn't know about her can click the link and make their own inferences. Karanacs 21:11, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Not the point I was trying to make, but I agree democracy should question authority. The US was founded by a bunch of rebels. A book about one of the radicals that helped fan the flames of democracy, Citizen Tom Paine was a gift from Dobby to Jessica Mitford in A Fine old Conflict. Rowling and Mitford are certainly both radicals. Libertycookies 21:30, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Mitford was a radical, yes. I don't think we can say that Rowling is a radical from the information available. The character Harry Potter might be a radical, but that doesn't mean Rowling is (some of Stephen King's characters are psychopaths, but that doesn't mean he is one or that he advocates brutal murders).Karanacs 13:33, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
We certainly could call her a radical, or at least a radical thinker...what's wrong with that? It's the unopposed status quo that is responsible for anarchy in Iraq and a perpetual war on terror, not the radicals, anarchists, and commies...the Left is so out of power that it's hard to blame them for anything. Here's a Rowling quote on being radical:Libertycookies 18:01, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
"At first Exeter [University] was a bit of a shock. I was expecting to be amongst lots of similar people-- thinking radical thoughts. But it wasn't like that. However, once I'd made friends with some like-minded people I began to enjoy myself." JK Rowling, pg 34 Conversations with JK Rowling Scholastic.

Citations for the development of the Harry Potter books[edit]

I'm not quite sure where to add this and how so if anyone can, please do. I've also posted this in the talk pages of Harry Potter and the seventh book. Berserkerz Crit 18:44, 7 August 2007 (UTC)


Her favorite artist is Caravaggio, but other than the generally Christian motifs of his work this is possibly too trivial to mention in the article? [5] Libertycookies 23:29, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

Comic Relief donations[edit]

According to this, her two charity books have raised £15.7 million ($30 million US) for Comic Relief and she has personally given £22 million. That adds up to £37.7 million (about $75 million US). Comic Relief's webpage says that they have raised £67 million so far. If the figures here are true, she has generated more than half of their total earnings ever. I don't doubt that she's charitable, but that doesn't sound realistic. Ninquerinquar 22:48, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

Recurring Themes[edit]

In response to someone's suggestion yesterday, I've created a new talk page template for highlighting recurring themes and added it to the top of this page. Any thoughts? AulaTPN 09:26, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

Good job, Aula, you've summarized the themes pretty well. Now the only question is how to force people to read it (see below). Karanacs 16:59, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

It only counts as a family if you're rich...?[edit]

Why is "Family Life" only talking about when she's rich? Shouldn't that have mention of all the stuff that happened before? (I bring it up because it makes it awkward to find, at a glance, what age her oldest child is) Darien Shields 23:00, 17 August 2007 (UTC)


"This was a second marriage for both Rowling and Murray, as Murray had previously been married to Dr. Fiona Duncan in 1996. They separated in 1999 and divorced in the summer of 2001." The wording here is a little iffy -- at first glance, if you don't look too closely at the numbers, it sounds like Rowling and Murray were divorced as well. Fix?--Yubishines 02:04, 18 September 2007 (UTC) WOW that was alot!

Is this article FA worthy?[edit]

If not, what needs to be done? Serendipodous 16:53, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

get a Peer review LizzieHarrison 17:22, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

The lead needs to be expanded[edit]

Any thoughts on how to do it? Serendipodous 09:08, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

I would love to see this article to reach FA standards, it certainly has the potential. The lead is looking good now, but as a suggestion, we could also add when she first thought of the Harry Potter series, when she started to actually write it (I think it was the same day she came up with the idea), and ultimately when the first book was published. To get this article to a higher standard the citations need to be cleaned up a little; mainly by having one uniform way of retrieval dates in the citations. So far, some of them are 2007-09-05, whilst the others are formed like 5 October 2007. Personally I prefer the later. Since I first got involved with this article I have done quite a bit of tidying to the citations but I'm just so busy now. Hope this helps a little, happy editing. Eagle Owl 17:52, 5 October 2007 (UTC)
I've now tidied the citations and I must say I was left rather cross-eyed! At least it's done now. Eagle Owl 18:43, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Birth Place is Wrong![edit]

I have Conversations with J.K. Rowling, by Lindsey Fraser. Wikipedia has the wrong place. It is Chipping Sodbury near Bristol, or just Chipping Sodbury. Rubyandme(not logged in, sorry)

Her birth certificate says she was born in Yate. It's not really an issue. The two towns are right next to each other. It's like saying you were born in New York when in fact you were born in Scarsdale. Serendipodous 13:01, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
These two places may be very close to one-another, but they are still not the same. Identity in the UK can be very important for the British, more so than "new" countries. Darkieboy236 13:41, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

look guys, JK Rowling was born in chipping sodbury- i have Conversations with J.K. Rowling as well, but still, seriously? it says it online EVERYWHERE- even mail her a question if you need to. just send it to her scholastic publishers or something. Zyla rose 19:02, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

The only way to solve this would be to get ahold of Rowling's birth certificate. It would be fairly easy to do, just expensive. If anyone wants to do it, they're welcome. Serendipodous 19:05, 14 October 2007 (UTC)
She was born in Yate. Says so on her website RyanLupin (talk/contribs) 19:07, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

Recent Lawsuit[edit]

According to this article, Rowling is sueing the ourganizers of a religious indian event ecause they built a replica of Hogwarts. Should that be included in the article?

Looneyman 19:30, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

There's already an article on Legal disputes over the Harry Potter series.Serendipodous 19:59, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Rowling talks about her religion and its presence in the books[edit]

I already posted this at Talk:Religious debates over the Harry Potter series, but this report should help in regards to Rowling's personal religion and how it's reflected in the books. Best, Fbv65edel / ☑t / ☛c || 00:42, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

Influences in infobox[edit]

Most other author infoboxes on Wikipedia do not separate each name in the "influences" list with a line break. Doing so here seems like a waste of space. Also, is there a reason the authors are not in alphabetical order? I know Rowling has cited Austen as an influence more frequently than the other listed authors, but quantifying influences is so hard (did Nesbit really influence her more than Tolkien? And less than Lewis?) that I think alphabetizing is the way to go here, to avoid vagueness. Hobbesy3 23:45, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

Edited the infobox. Also took out Tolkien. Yes it's likely Rowling, like every other modern fantasy writer, lifted a bit from Tolkien but she's never openly credited him as an influence, so adding him is a bit disingenuous. Sheesh. Should have noticed that before, but I never pay attention to infoboxes. I don't see the point of them. If you're not willing to get information by reading an article, what's the point of having an article to begin with? Serendipodous 07:26, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

New series[edit]

I originally removed this statement that was added yesterday: In November 2007, Rowling said she was working on "a half-finished book for children that I think will probably be the next thing I publish.", but I mistook this for The Tales of Beedle the Bard. Judging from this source ("Rowling completes first post-Potter book", Associated Press/MSNBC, 1 November 2007. Accessed 1 November 2007.), it is not referring to The Tales, but can someone else please confirm this. Eagle Owl 12:05, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Funny; the quote doesn't even appear to have been transcribed by Accio Quote yet. Still, it seems from the context of the article, which is the only place it appears to date, that this is a separate book. I do seem to remember her speaking on Radio 4 about that as well. Serendipodous 14:02, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

jk rowling is quite the auhor..yetr i have not heard any new info n her writing a new umm yeah...if she id\s writing a new book..plezz let me know..user talk:white owl788

Well, I heard she was working on a detective novel, but isn't remotely close yet. I also heard Beedle was scrapped, but due to certain circumstances, I didn't get to see why on the news. --Gen. S.T. Shrink *Get to the bunker* 04:34, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
Apparently, the "detective novel" was a joke by Ian Rankin. Serendipodous 08:22, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
Edit I found this in list of fictional books from harry potter: Rowling recently completed a book also entitled "The Tales of Beedle the Bard", featuring the four stories listed above and "The Warlock's Hairy Heart". She wrote this as her "farewell" to the book series.[2] Only seven copies of the book are being printed, and all of which were hand written and illustrated by Rowling. One copy of the book will be auctioned by Sotheby's in December 2007 to raise money for The Children's Voice, a charity that helps vulnerable children across Europe. The other copies of the book have been given away as gifts. --Gen. S.T. Shrink *Get to the bunker* 04:38, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
That's in the article, under "philanthropy" Serendipodous 08:22, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
Ok. --Gen. S.T. Shrink *Get to the bunker* 00:06, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Not British but...[edit]

Ok, i'm not even remotely British, English, nor do I even live in Europe, but is she technicaly Dame Joanne Rowling because she is now a member of The Order of The British Empire? I'm not sure, and it does seem like someone would have caught that, but I would like some clarification please. --Gen. S.T. Shrink *Get to the bunker* 04:32, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

No. You only get "Dame" if you get a DBE. She only has an OBE. Serendipodous 08:23, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
Oh, thanks very much for that. --Gen. S.T. Shrink *Get to the bunker* 00:06, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Is she really called Murray?[edit]

I know she remarried, but I have never seen her referred to as Joanne Murray. Do we have any evidence she took her husband's name? I may have missed something in one of the references... Rachel Pearce 14:48, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

She uses her maiden name professionally, but her married name privately. The citation in the "Name" section refers to her seeking a lawsuit under her married name. Also, she frequently arranges private functions and conducts private business under her married name, as reported in an article in the Tatler. This is done, no doubt, to keep her personal and professional lives separate.Serendipodous 15:43, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

More on Rowling's religious views[edit]

Were you raised religiously?

"I was officially raised in the Church of England, but I was actually more of a freak in my family. We didn't talk about religion in our home. My father didn't believe in anything, neither did my sister. My mother would incidentally visit the church, but mostly during Christmas. And I was immensely curious. From when I was 13, 14 I went to church alone. I found it very interesting what was being said there, and I believed in it.When I went to university, I became more critical. I got more annoyed with the smugness of religious people and I went to church less and less. Now I'm at the point where I started: yes, I believe. And yes, I go to the church. A protestant church here in Edinburgh. My husband is also raised protestant, but he comes from a very strict Scottish group. One where they couldn't sing and talk." Maybe a slight reword for the article? Libertycookies (talk) 23:48, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

It would be better placed in Religious debates over the Harry Potter series. Serendipodous 08:45, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

I've removed the Honours section[edit]

It's basically a trivia section, and the list of ever more esoteric honours (Jim Henson?) was becoming ever less relevant. Besides, I don't see how we could ever make it comprehensive. Surely we aren't expected to list EVERY SINGLE kudos Rowling has received from absolutely EVERYONE? Serendipodous 17:53, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

Linking dates[edit]

I thought I'd better make a note here before I do any radical revert. An edit made by User:TinyMark back on December 1, removed all linking of dates throughout the entire article, citations and all. I'm just a little concerned as I'm sure I've read somewhere that all full dates must be linked, and if so, this un-linking may affect the featured article chances. The article can easily be reverted to the edition on December 1 as not much has changed (the edits since can easily be added again by myself if I revert). What does everyone else think? Eagle Owl 11:37, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

I really don't know the answer to this. Might be a good idea to raise it on the FAC page. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Serendipodous (talkcontribs) 12:20, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
Hi! As you can imaguine it was quite a lot of work to do that edit. I don't seee why that date someone accessed a referenced article is a reason for a link. If you click on the day or year link you will get no information pertaining to this article. So what's the point??? There doesn't seem to be specific guideline for this, but IMHO it seems like overlinking to me. TINYMark (Talk) 14:39, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
You are supposed to link dates in order to let the user preferences show the dates in the user's specified style. See the MOS and the detailed info. The date linkage should be put back. Karanacs 18:02, 4 December 2007 (UTC)


My edit changing nationality from English back to British has been reverted, quoting "wiki-consensus". Can you provide a link to this consensus? I still feel it reads oddly in its current version. Rachel Pearce (talk) 14:55, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Here's the last time it was discussed in detail on this page: Talk:J._K._Rowling/Archive_07#Scottish.3F, and consensus then was to stick with English. Karanacs (talk) 21:09, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for that, though I haven't time at this moment to trawl through the Village Pump to find the consensus statement. But I still feel it is like describing Americans first as "Californian" (or whatever) or Australians as "Victorians" (or whatever) (like the Monty Python skit about "Eminent Victorians"). I would expect their nationality on the lede and details of their heritage, birthplace etc. later on in the article. Just my tuppence/2 cents worth. Rachel Pearce (talk) 21:39, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
I saw that discussion, but it is not consensus for English over British. It's consensus that it shouldn't say Scottish. There is no such thing as an English passport, her nationality is British. The lead should match the infobox in my opinion, which says British. V-train (talk) 21:52, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
I agree. Plus the only thing I have found in the Manual of Style (Biographies - Opening paragraph) says:
Nationality (In the normal case this will mean the country of which the person is a citizen or national, or was a citizen when the person became notable. Ethnicity should generally not be emphasized in the opening unless it is relevant to the subject's notability.)
Well she is a British citizen and a British national. Rachel Pearce (talk) 22:12, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

This is all very simple: English is her ethnicity, British is her nationality. On Wikipedia, we use a subject's nationality. Therefore, Rowling is a British author. faithless (speak) 23:08, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

But English isn't an ethnicity. I'm actually in favour of saying British here, since I think it gives a more accurate impression than the more narrow English and is more accessible to non-British readers, but don't base this on English being an ethnicity! English is a sort-of nationality. Skittle (talk) 15:33, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, but English is an ethnicity. See English people for more information. Cheers, faithless (speak) 20:42, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
I saw the article. It doesn't suggest that English is an actual ethnicity, although at one point it could usefully describe people of Angle/Jute/Saxon ancestory. It is actually rather coy about the whole thing, because experience of England and history show what an odd idea English as current ethnicity is. I have never heard anyone who used 'English' to describe themselves intend it as an ethnicity. Skittle (talk) 02:53, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
Also note that the very first sentence of the article says that the English are 'a nation and an ethnic group', so even if you are taking the 'ethnic group' meaning as being currently useful and actually what people occasionally mean, it is by no means the only meaning people use it for. If the English are a nation, as the article says, then her nationality is English as well as British. Again, I am in favour of using 'British' here, but I don't want the reasoning based on misunderstanding. Skittle (talk) 02:56, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
I did not mean to imply that the only meaning of the word English was for the ethnic group; there are several and at one point it was indeed also a nationality. But the English are an ethnic group, the same as French, German, Irish, Japanese, Arab, Chinese, Hawaiians, aboriginal Australians and the list goes on. An ethnic groupis a population of human beings whose members identify with each other, usually on the basis of a presumed common genealogy or ancestry. The most relevant meaning of "English" for our purposes here is the ethnic group definition; had she been born a few hundred years earlier, her nationality and ethnicity would both be English. While her nationality has changed (since the country of England no longer exists), her ethnicity hasn't changed. faithless (speak) 03:15, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
But that's the thing; her nationality is both English and British. Someone can have Jamaican parents and be English. I'm English, but if you're going to go back even as far as my grandparents I couldn't be said to ethnically belong to one group if English is an ethnicity seperate from the other 'groups' in the British Isles. I'm not even 'mostly' English if you take it as an ethnicity. And yet, nobody would deny that I am English. English is currently a nationality (or nationality-like-thing) in that there is an English nation. That this nation does not have self-governance is neither here nor there. It's a bit like the states in America; you surely wouldn't claim that 'Texan' is an ethnicity? And yet it is a very real way of describing people, and it also probably wouldn't be used to describe someone's nationality in the lede of their encyclopedia article. Does that help? Skittle (talk) 03:39, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
Of course Texan isn't an ethnicity. The US and UK are kind of similar in this respect: Someone can be English (part of the English ethnic group), English in that they live in England and British in that the UK is the country where they live. If such a person has a Wikipedia article, we will only describe them as British (I believe we agree on this point). The vast majority of Americans are part of a European ethnic group (German, Irish and English being the most common), be a Californian because that is where they live and be an American because they live in the US. That person would only be described as an American. I agree with you that you can be English without being ethnically English, but that isn't relevant here. I hope that makes sense. faithless (speak) 04:01, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
But describing anyone as ethnically English makes as much sense as describing someone as ethnically American or ethnically Texan. This is relevant here because saying J. K. Rowling is an English author is not commenting on her ethnicity, which some people have used as reasoning for not saying she is an English author in the lede. Also, because "English is her ethnicity, British is her nationality" is simply inaccurate and suggests a rather different relationship between English and British than exists. When an English person writes that J. K. Rowling is an English author, they are not trying to comment on her ethnicity. If we use poor reasoning in this decision, people who want to write that she is an English author (rather than British) will use that as support, because as far as they will be able to see the decision will be based on a misunderstanding. To make matters worse, denying the nationality status of 'English' is exactly what a lot of the people who insert 'English' into these articles fear the editors who revert them are doing. Skittle (talk) 04:24, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
Of course English is an ethnicity. What criteria do you judge ethnicity on? No England-born British national of Indian descent ever calls him/herself English. What makes being English any different (or more special) than being Walloon, Basque or Tuscan? Serendipodous 04:54, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

(outdent)(editconflict) But that just isn't accurate. "American" or "Texan" can never be an ethnicity, because there are no such ethnic groups as American or Texan. Conversely, the English people are an ethnic group. Yes, the words "English" and "nationality" can have different meanings, but in the context we're discussing, nationality means citizenship. Therefore, someone from the UK is always referred to as British, regardless of whether they are from England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. For our purposes, the idea of an "English nationality" does not exist, as that country no longer exists. So if someone refers to a person as English, the only conceivable way that that could be correct at all is if they are referring to the person's ethnicity. Take the state of Vermont, for instance (since it is comparable to England): it was formerly an independent country (for a short time between independence from Great Britain and joining the Union), so if you lived there at that time you would have been a Vermonter. A WP article on a Vermonter from that time could refer to them as such. Today, even though there are still Vermonters, they are all primarily American, so that's all we care about. Likewise, while there are indeed still non-ethnically English English people (that was tough to type :-)), they are first and foremost British, since they are UK citizens. In my experience, most of the people who go around changing "British" to "English" or "Scottish" or whatever are motivated by a nationalistic, ethnocentric pride rather than making an honest mistake, and this is why I make it a point to tell those people that we go by nationality rather than ethnicity. I think we're getting closer to understanding where the other is coming from. Well at least I think I see what you're saying, and understand where the confusion was coming from. Hopefully I've expressed myself eloquently enough that you understand where I'm coming from, too. It seems silly that we're arguing over something we agree on. :-) Cheers, faithless (speak) 05:18, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

It's peculiar, this strange mixup. It only appears to affect the British. For some reason the ethnic groups in Britain feel they are superior to all others in Europe's multitude of patchwork countries, and deserving of special treatment. You don't see French Bretons, Belgian Flemings, or even the Spanish Catalans make these kinds of complaints. Serendipodous 05:23, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
Did you read the article you linked to?
In an article for The Guardian, novelist Andrea Levy (born in London to Jamaican parents) calls England a separate country "without any doubt" and asserts that she is "English. Born and bred, as the saying goes. (As far as I can remember, it is born and bred and not born-and-bred-with-a-very-long-line-of-white-ancestors-directly-descended-from-Anglo-Saxons.)" Arguing that "England has never been an exclusive club, but rather a hybrid nation", she writes that "Englishness must never be allowed to attach itself to ethnicity. The majority of English people are white, but some are not ... Let England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland be nations that are plural and inclusive."
"So if someone refers to a person as English, the only conceivable way that that could be correct at all is if they are referring to the person's ethnicity." Then absolutely every single English person I have ever heard use the word to refer to a person cannot be conceivably correct. Nice. In my experience, most of the people who go around changing "British" to "English" or "Scottish" are motivated by nationalistic pride, but would be utterly baffled at the suggestion that ethnicity came into it anywhere. If you started talking about ethnic origins with the average English person who fits the criteria for what I think you are thinking of as 'ethnically English', you might get the phrase 'typically English, you know a bit of everything', you might get people talking about celts and vikings and normans and angles and saxons, you might even get words like 'cornishman' or 'yorkshireman' thrown in, but you wouldn't get people describing their ethnicity as 'English'. The 'ethnic groups in Britain' aren't asking for special treatment, they're baffled that anyone would think they're anything other than mongrels with no clear dividing lines. Skittle (talk) 13:45, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
Your last point is irrelevant. Ethnicity is a phony construct; it has no actual basis in racial or cultural reality. Only nationality has any legal bearing on who you are. Everything else is just what myths you choose to believe. The English are asking for recognition as a group over and above their current legal status. If the English wish to be seen as a nation, why isn't England a separate country? If the English feel they have the right to national recognition, why don't they declare independence like every other nation that has ever felt that way? Serendipodous 13:53, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
Devolution, West Lothian question, Constituent_countries. Britain has always been a bit weird in that the individual constituents were sort-of countries at the same time as the whole was a country. This is how it was taught in schools and was written in the textbooks and discussed by the government. Now, with increasing devolution, the individual constituents will have greater autonomy. Anyway, the point of all this is that the people inserting English are not trying to say anything about ethnicity, and claiming that they are while not understanding the complex feelings and meanings around the word 'English' will lead to no good. Skittle (talk) 14:23, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
I live in the UK. I understand these complexities perfectly well. I just don't understand why they take precedence over the equally if not more complex relationships found in every other country in Europe, be it the Catalans, Gallegos and Basques in Spain, the Bretons and Corsicans in France, the Flemings and Walloons in Belgium, or any one of the dozen or so little countries that make up Italy. Wikipedia calls Justine Henin and Jean-Claude van Damme Belgian, not Flemish or Walloon. José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero is Spanish, not Castillian. Why should the English be treated any differently? Serendipodous 14:39, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm not saying they should be treated differently, I'm saying the word English is not used by the people who use it in that context to imply anything about ethnicity. Indeed Wikipedia should call J. K. Rowling "British", I have never said otherwise, but this decision should not be justified through claiming that saying "English" is commenting on her ethnicity. The reasons given should be accurate and clear, so that those who want to insert "English" will understand the reasoning behind them and not assume that this decision was made based on people attributing motives to them that they do not have. Skittle (talk) 15:02, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
Update: I just checked on the Wiki page for Kinky Friedman, and he's American, not Texan, so however you define English, JK Rowling should be called British. Those who wish to change Rowling's nationality should be aware that the word "English" whether it is meant to or not, has strong ethnic overtones (many dark skinned ethnic minorities in England do not call themselves English, but British for this reason) so it is best to stay away from the confusion. And in any case, England is not an internationally recognised country so we cannot speak of "English nationality" any more than we can speak of "Texan nationality." Can we agree there? Serendipodous 16:13, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
Her nationality is certainly British (it's on her passport). However it's both common usage, and more accurate, to refer to English, Scottish, Welsh, and Northern Irish people by their country of birth. The statement that she's English also reveals her nationality (British) but is not simply a statement of her nationality. The cultures and histories of the four countries that make up the Union, though intertwined, are quite distinct.
The Kinky Friedman article is a different matter (Texas is not part of the UK) . Let's not get drawn into an argument about whether Texans should be described as Texans. --Tony Sidaway 16:24, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
Such is true of many countries in Europe, such as Belgium (which is a composite of two countries, Flanders and Wallonia), Germany, which is a composite of several countries, including Prussia, Bohemia and Bavaria) and Italy (which includes Tuscany, Genoa, Venice and Sicily, all of which were countries until the 19th century and some (San Marino and the Vatican) are still countries now. But Wikipedia still uses the terms "Belgian," "German" and "Italian" to describe people from these regions. Why should the UK be granted special dispensation? It's constituent parts have actually been unified under one government for longer than most other countries in Europe! Serendipodous 16:28, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
I don't believe it's at all true that "Wikipedia" uses only official national terms to describe the subjects of its articles. We have articles describing their subjects as Catalans, Walloons, Sicilian, etc. Even Texans and Californians! When we write biographies in particular we should not bend common usage simply to comply with some misguided concept of consistency. --Tony Sidaway 16:40, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
Not in the lead. The lead should be kept national. There is enough information in the article outside the lead to clarify her national/ethnic makeup. After the lead, the article then goes on to describe her as having been born in England and now splitting her time between England and Scotland. I don't think this is misguided; in fact, I see it as vital to avoid the kinds of mixups we see here, where words like "English" can mean very different things depending on whether one defines them as geographical, political or ethnic terms. Serendipodous 16:50, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
In my description of our other articles above, I am specifically referring to descriptions of the subjects in the lead. There is no reason to omit significant information from the lead, and the distinction between the four nations of the United Kingdom is a very significant one in most cases.
If there is any kind of mixup here, I'm afraid it's not evident to me. Rowling is a well known English author. If she were Welsh, we'd describe her as a well known Welsh author. Both imply British nationality. --Tony Sidaway 17:08, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
The mixup as to whether "English" can apply to anyone, regardless of their ancestry, who lives in England (such as British Indians or Africans) or only to those of English ancestry. The issue I think is whether the person's ethnicity had a bearing on his or her work. In the case of say, Dylan Thomas, it does, since his Weshness was very much a part of his character and writing. In the case of JK Rowling, it doesn't; Rowling doesn't even live in England much anymore. If she was asked, I think she'd describe herself as Scottish these days. Serendipodous 17:12, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
The only mixup appears to be in your understanding of the status of the four nations of the Union. You don't become English by virtue of emigrating to England, any more than you become Scottish by emigrating to Scotland. If and when you have found JK Rowling describe herself as Scottish, then we'll talk about it, but the claim is absurd on the face of it. She is not Scottish. --Tony Sidaway 20:48, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
Not mine. I was simply reporting the argument as it had gone before. You obviously consider English an ethnicity, as indeed I do. Other people on this thread do not. Ergo, a mixup. I would prefer there to be no mixup, so I think it's best to just leave it at "British" and avoid these endless and rather insulting discussions. (I don't think it's anyone's prerogative to decide what groups anyone can or cannot belong to). Serendipodous 00:27, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
1)While Tony may well consider English to be an ethnicity, this is not necessary for the statement "You don't become English by virtue of emigrating to England". 2)I completely agree that it's nobody's perogative to decide what groups other people can or cannot belong to in these sort of cases. This was actually a large part of what I was saying. Overall, can we agree that the article should call her British in the lede for the simple reason that this most usefully relates to her work, which is more encompassingly British than English? Can we not use any argument where we define 'English' as being about ethnicity, since that is likely to be contested? And can we leave it at that? Skittle (talk) 06:15, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
Not sure how else you could possibly interpret that sentence, unless you have a wildly different definition of ethnicity than I do. Anyway, yes, I agree. Rowling's work is decidedly British in flavour, embracing all ethnic groups equally. It goes against the spirit of her work to label her as English. Serendipodous 19:33, 11 December 2007 (UTC)
As to how I can interpret the sentence differently, it is also how I was meaning absolutely nothing about ethnicity when I said her work was more encompassingly British than English. It is cultural. You don't become English by moving to Britain, but you can be English with non-English parents. See, for example, the person I quoted earlier with Jamaican parents who considers herself English. If you can't get your head around this, I imagine you're going to be reading all sorts of horrific things into people saying pretty reasonable things. A parallel: is the movement for Scottish devolution based on ethnic lines? In no way does it go against the spirit of her work to label her as English (wtf?), but it doesn't give useful information about the work. Skittle (talk) 18:03, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

(outdent) You're assuming I believe that ethnicity has anything whatsoever to do with racial makeup, which I do not. Ethnicity has to do with the culture you inherit and the mythos and folk history you chose to accept. The problem I have with defining ethnicity one way or the other is that it is a very fluid concept; Rowling could quite easily be described as ethnically English, but her daughter is half-Portuguese and her younger son and daughter are both half-Scottish. Katie Leung is ethnically almost entirely Scottish, despite being of Asian descent. That's why I feel it's unfair to claim one cannot adopt ethnicity. Of course one can. People do it all the time. Just look at America. Rowling may be ethnically English, but if she decided to adopt the dress, manner, accent and beliefs of a Scot, then by any definition she would be a Scot. In short, ethnicity is such a fluid concept and based on such ephemeral ideas that it seems more logical to me to stick to the rock of nationality. That, whatever your ethnicity, cannot be changed. Serendipodous 04:48, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

If that is what you meant, and you are using 'ethnicity' to mean 'culture', why on Earth did you say "No England-born British national of Indian descent ever calls him/herself English."? (For I start, I know that isn't true since I know an English-born British national of Indian descent who calls himself English. And he is.) I would also venture that nationality can be changed much more easily than culture, but anyway... I would suggest that if you are going to use the word 'ethnicity' to indicate purely cultural identity, rather than culturally determined racial identity, you define it before using it. Personally, I avoid the word entirely as much as I can as I find it divisive and unhelpful.
J. K. Rowling is English. That is not ephemeral, but it is unhelpful to someone reading the lede who doesn't know who she is. Skittle (talk) 10:25, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
I don't see how ethnicity can have anything to do with race, especially in this case, unless we are going to wander back into the eighteenth century and say that the Scots and the English are racially different. Most South Asian/African etc Britons prefer to call themselves British because, ethnically, they still identify strongly with their countries of origin, not to mention the fact that most native born English, particularly those of a Daily Mail persuasion, would never consider them English. Serendipodous 14:11, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Now you're just being silly. Of course the English and the Scottish aren't racially different (as I've said, when trying to explain why it's not talking about her ethnicity to call her English), which is why I objected to the term 'ethnicity' to describe what English and Scottish are. You can claim that the word ethnicity has nothing to do with racial ideas, but a) that's not how it gets used generally b) that doesn't fit with how you used it. Finally, you just give one huge smear against all native-born English people on the basis of nothing. Plus, what exactly does 'native-born' mean? Third generation? You say Britons prefer to call themselves British, but a lot of Britons prefer to call themselves Scottish, Welsh, English or Northern Irish. This is not necessarily instead of British, since they are all British citizens. You really are saying some very silly things and I'm not sure why. (talk) 00:28, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
No, you misread the full stop at the end of "etc." as the end of the sentence. I removed it. Read it again. I thought I was pretty clear that I defined ethnicity along purely cultural lines, and did not include race in my definition. YOU were the one who suggested that ethnicity had to have a racial dimension. My point had nothing to do with race, I could have made the same point equally of Irish or Scandinavian people.
Look, before my point gets lost amid the mudslinging, I'd like to state it clearly. Your ethnicity is what you call yourself; it has nothing to do with ancestry, birthplace or skin colour. It is an artificial construct identity that people assume to attach themselves to wider groups. I don't know what ethnicity Rowling considers herself, and I don't care. But whatever it is, it is her choice, and I don't think it is our job to make that choice for her. If she comes out and says what her ethnicity is, that's fine. Otherwise, leave it at nationality. Serendipodous 01:56, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way. The time is gone, the post is over, thought I'h'd something more to say. (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 03:09, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

English Christians cat?[edit]

Rather than risk starting a revert war, I figured I would discuss it here. An editor has added JKR to the "English Christians" category. Unless I'm mistaken, such categories are typically reserved for those whose religion is relevant to their notability (Christian musicians, televangelists, religious figures such as bishops, etc.). Am I incorrect here? Cheers, faithless (speak) 22:48, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

Deathly Hallows does contain some Christian material, but I wouldn't describe Rowling as a Christian writer, so maybe the category isn't all that relevant. Serendipodous 23:11, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
I think you're right, and the Christian novelists category should be removed too. V-train (talk) 23:20, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the input. :) I've removed them. faithless (speak) 00:02, 9 December 2007 (UTC)


If I'm reading it right your saying she was married 3 times but when you mention her 3rd husban you say it was their secound marriage? Explain. (talk) 03:51, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Where do you see that? The article says it was the second marriage for both of them. Earlier in the article, it talks about her first marriage. V-train (talk) 03:55, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Added Time Magazine POTY citation to end of lead paragraph...[edit]

Looking at the whole paragraph, I can't help but think that the sentence could read better. Anyone have any ideas? Edit Centric (talk) 02:28, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

When in doubt, change voice from passive to active. Serendipodous 21:01, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
Added a bit more on the content on the article. Libertycookies (talk) 00:20, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
Submitting the following for consensus to note why she was nominated for person of the year but fell behind non-children book writers like Vladimir Putin and Al Gore. Libertycookies (talk) 21:54, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

Time magazine named Rowling as a runner up for their 2007 Person of the Year noting the social, moral, and political themes in her books and her inspired fandom.

If this new information is going to be included in the lead, then new sections of the article will have to be created. The line on literacy already has no corresponding section in the text, so that could probably be expanded into a new section. Serendipodous 22:27, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

Rightly so. We should probably note her advocacy for tolerance, anti-censorship, and a few other causes as well. She gives more than money to those orgs... Libertycookies (talk) 01:41, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
Be very careful here Lib; Politics of Harry Potter is a discussion of what other people assume are JK Rowling's politics. Such things do not belong in a biographical article. If you can find information that she gives money and actively supports such organisations, then that can go in, but simply saying "Person X says Rowling believes/is Y" is not valid for a biography of a living person. Works well in your article, not here. Serendipodous 17:46, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
Agreed, we should limit it to direct quotes from her or links direct from her website. IE: Since she links to Amnesty International and once worked there, then she must support it. Or if she says she was influenced by a certain book or writer, then you should include that. Libertycookies (talk) 18:51, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

Here's a direct quote that you could reword, and many others at Politics of Harry PotterLibertycookies (talk) 19:03, 27 December 2007 (UTC) On her October 2007 book tour, Rowling said, "The Potter books in general are a prolonged argument for tolerance, a prolonged plea for an end to bigotry, and I think it's one of the reasons some people don't like the books."[1]


Rowling has parlayed Harry Potter into a global brand worth an estimated $15 billion (£7 billion).[9]

I'm not sure about the wording of this one. Warner Brothers and Scholastic have done most of the branding work, and Rowling has said her success has been a surprise (ie, not planned). She's also turned down money makers like the "Moaning Myrtle Training Toilet". Maybe reword or move to 'Harry Potter' article? Libertycookies (talk) 21:47, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
I have no doubt her success has taken her by surprise. It would take anyone by surprise to become the richest author in history in less than a decade. But I also think it's possible to overplay the "damsel in the tower" theme in her folk biography. She's not some fairytale princess whisked off her feet by her imagination into fame and fortune. At the very least she's an astute businesswoman who has evolved what could have been a flash in the pan fad into a brand to rival anything by Disney. She could have left it all to Warner and her publishers, but she didn't and she doesn't. She has ultimate say on what can and cannot be done in her name. Serendipodous 21:53, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
Actually, she sold many of her rights (and been well paid). She has regretted the renaming of her first book in the U.S. and had no say in that. And at one point she objected to a theme park, but seems out voted by WB. Just looking for a mild word-smithing of the sentence to give others credit. She may be a smart business woman, but she didn't make Harry Potter worth $15B without a lot of help. She just writes books, others sell and market them. Libertycookies (talk) 00:06, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

How about just saying:

Harry Potter is now a global brand worth an estimated $15 billion (£7 billion).[9]

Thanks Seren. I moved the sentence to the third paragraph which seems to be HP focused, and added the bit on Time POTY. I think it flows into the 2nd para about her philanthropy and the links to politics and fandom should eliminate any need for more copy on either subject in this article. Its a good faith edit, hoping its acceptable. Libertycookies (talk) 12:01, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Rowling's fortune at £545 million: "Bollocks" According to Jo herself![edit]

In a recent documentary: "A Year With J.K. Rowling" (Which can be viewed in seven parts on YouTube), Jo says that her estimated fortune of £545m pounds is (And I quote!) "Bollix!" She does say that she has "many millions" but not anything like the figure stated. Consider changing or perhaps removing from opening paragraph at least? [Anonymous user]

Mc8755 (talk) 21:13, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

That Rowling disputes the claim is mentioned in the Personal Life section, but since she doesn't give another number to counter it (and doesn't really seem to care how much money she has), I think the estimate can stay (after all, it is just an estimate). Serendipodous 22:27, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
Actually, I would be amazed if she had any idea how much money she has. When you have that much, you don't keep track of every last dollar; that's for her accountant to worry about. I'm sure the Sunday Times would put in the time to ensure that their reporting is accurate. I think this is just Rowling being modest. faithless (speak) 23:16, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

Rowling to speak at Harvard commencement[edit]

According to this article. Not sure if this is notable or not, nor where this would fit in the Wiki article, so I'm pasting it here for those who maintain the article to decide. BuddingJournalist 22:11, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

I was about to add this to the discussion when someone beat me to it. The Crimson covered it on the front page today as well. Does anyone know if this is the first time Rowling has been asked to speak or if this is her first honorary degree? I noticed that some biographies have a "honorary degrees" section and this information would fit nicely there.

Don't really see the point of an "Honorary degrees" section; it would border on trivia. And no, this isn't her first honorary degree. She has two more, as far as I'm aware. Serendipodous 00:12, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

Rowling and politics in her books[edit]

Rowling recently denied any influence of 9/11 on her books, but confirmed Neville Chamberlain was her inspiration for Cornelius Fudge. Should we include a bit on this in here and point to Politics of Harry Potter for details? Libertycookies (talk) 16:14, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

Doesn't have anything to do with her biography, though the politics article certainly would benefit. Serendipodous 20:28, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
Here's one that doesn't fit in Politics of Harry Potter, since it is politics of JK Rowling. Can we word smith a bit to add here? I've read before of her interest in the Kennedys and her politics being "on the left", so this doesn't seem at all out of character for her. Libertycookies (talk) 18:09, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
Rowling confessed she was "obsessed" with the US elections because of the negative influence US foreign policy has had in other countries, including Britain and Spain.
"I find it a pity that Clinton and Obama have to be rivals because both of them are extraordinary," Rowling said.
Asked whether Harry Potter was her hero, the author said her real-life hero was the late Robert Kennedy.,jk-rowling-wants-to-see-a-democrat-in-the-white.html
You already have a section of the article on "politics of JK Rowling," so it can go there. Still, I think there might be room for it here as well, as long as we don't draw any conclusions from it. Serendipodous 18:17, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
How about something like this? Libertycookies (talk) 01:07, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

Rowling recently said "the international political stance of the United States has been wrong in previous years" and that she wants a Democrat in the White House. Rowling said that Obama and Clinton are both great Presidential candidates, and that her hero was not Harry Potter, but the late Robert F. Kennedy.” [2] [3]

It's already been added to the article. Serendipodous 11:03, 10 February 2008 (UTC)


It is noted in the article for A Wizard of Earthsea how the concept of "a boarding school for fledgling wizards" in the said publication is very similar to Harry Potter. Now, given the classic nature and huge influence A Wizard of Earthsea has, and the similarity between the two works, do we know if Ursula K. Le Guin could be counted as an influence? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Rowling has never acknowledged Le Guin as an influence. See : Harry Potter influences and analogues. Serendipodous 18:11, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

"worth an estimated $15 billion"[edit]

what? USD? CAD? what currency? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:16, 10 April 2008 (UTC) (talk) 08:46, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

Criticisms Section[edit]

The opposition should be noted as there is quite a large bit of opposition to her works. JK Rowling is a very controversial writer and that criticism/ opposition should not be ommited.

-- (talk) 00:37, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

It's already noted at the controversy section of the Harry Potter article, which is where it belongs. NeoChaosX (talk, walk) 00:55, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

This article is hardly worthy of being a featured article. Who's the fucking moron who decided this would be a good idea?—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

  • Anyone can check the records of any FA nominations. -LtNOWIS (talk) 07:03, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Please keep this on topic.

-- (talk) 13:16, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

I agree that there should be some sort of criticism section. There has been a lot of criticism leveled at JK Rowling, her character, her motives for writing, etc. It should be mentioned. Be impartial here NeoChaos. --DiamondElusive (talk) 14:52, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Well, if you can find a reputable, established source that criticises JK Rowling as a person (actually, for your claim to be notable, you'd have to find several), then fine. But most of the criticisms I've seen of her have been your basic message board bitching. Hardly encyclopedic. Truth be told, I don't think this article goes out of its way to say anything nice about her either. Only that she's done a lot of philanthropic work and that's a fact, not an opinion.Serendipodous 15:29, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Don't start with her sales![edit]

Why does this article start up with her sale numbers, her "power-rating", and how big she? I think it's ufair to the writer, and to writers in general; like whats important and whats IT ALL ABOUT is her sale numbers? Why not start thoroughly with her genre, background, prose-style...? Other big-selling authors like Stephen King does not get this bad treatment that pushes the authors prose in the background and acts like what she is worth is measured in sales, so why give it to J.K. Rowling? Andy McDandy (talk) 09:09, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Numbers are verifiable. Things like prose style, literary quality and genre are quite subjective and difficult to state absolutely. Serendipodous 09:14, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
I came here to make a similar comment. This fascination for her earnings is incredibly vulgar. Morana (talk) 14:00, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
It's understandable that they would focus on her sales, seeing as how extraordinary they are, but it's a little weird that the main page blurb doesn't talk about her life story like other bio articles do. Brutannica (talk) 17:47, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
Actually, Andy is right. The first thing I noticed in this article were the book sales. Then, that made me want to look up Harry Potter, instead of reading the story of his creator. I think that the book sales, etc... need to be put near to the middle, or the end of the article. And, as always,Listen to your Princess, dear Wikipedians. (talk) 20:14, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Hey, if people agree with me, how about someone changes it? Because it is really vulgar. And it's a bad focus. I'd prefer not to do the changes myself, since I know I'm not too good with article writing to start messing around with the ingress of a featured one. I agree with Serendipodous that the numbers are verifiable, and see the prose argument too; but most writers on Wikipedia get a description of prose style and life, and Rowling should be entitled to that too, don't you all agree?? Andy McDandy (talk) 11:16, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

I think that her book sales and estimated worth should be in the article's lead, as these are things which are talked about a lot - but this also demonstrates her success. However, I do agree with the argument that there should be a lot more about her background - her possible influences from her past experiences perhaps - and literary style? Because of this, I moved some information about her rankings etc from the lead to her personal life so it's not too overwhelming, and I added where she first thought of the idea for Harry Potter as that's important. Any more suggestions? Eagle Owl (talk) 13:38, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

It may be vulgar and people may not agree with it but the fact of the matter is that JK Rowling is famous for one reason and one reason only: because Harry Potter is one hell of a profitable book. She has, effectively and in comparison, done nothing except write Harry Potter and get super rich and, infact, one of the defining characteristics of the Harry Potter series is how successful it is. It is for these reasons that I believe the success of the series should be in the lead - I agree with Serendi and Brutannica. RaseaC (talk) 12:11, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

It would be great to talk about her prose style and all the other aspects of her - to coin a phrase - 'literary credibility', but it's just not possible at the moment. Right now there is no critical consensus on the issue, as not enough serious academic attention has been paid to the books. Therefore we would be including OR that was by definition subjective. And incidentally, Stephen King has frequently been analysed in terms of his bestseller-charts performance, not his narrative ability. He was (and presumably remains) unimpressed at the attention paid to his bank statements instead of his stories! BlackMarlin (talk) 12:49, 16 September 2008 (UTC)