Joanne Rowling (b. 1965) is a British novelist, most noted for the Harry Potter series of books, which have broken all records in many countries since the publishing of the first instalment in 1997. Of Scottish and French ancestry, Rowling grew up in Gloucestershire and, even from the age of five or six, wrote stories for members of her family. Rowling describes her teenage years as not “particularly happy.” During this time, her mother was ill and a difficult relationship (which still stands today) developed. Rowling studied French and Classics at Exeter University, and went on to work as a bilingual secretary and researcher for Amnesty International. While on a train to London in 1990, the idea of Harry Potter came “fully formed” into her mind. Rowling began to write immediately afterwards, but various factors, including her mother’s death, a move to Portugal, marriage, miscarriage, the birth of her child, divorce, and time spent on welfare benefits would delay the conclusion of the book until 1995. After two years of searching for a publisher, Rowling was eventually accepted by Bloomsbury. The rest, as they say, is history.
- She has been credited with introducing millions of children to reading through her novels.
- She has donated over £160 million to charities which combat poverty and social inequality.
- She has cited her inspiration for writing as her mother, saying: “the books are what they. are … because I loved her and she died.”
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