Harry Potter Time Line

All the seven books in the Harry Potter series have been massive hits. Potter mania used to grip the world every time a new book in the series was ready for launch. While stuck on a delayed train between Manchester and London, Rowling got the idea for Harry Potter. She began writing his story that night. The year was 1990.

Harry Potter time line

Joanne Rowling is born to Peter and Ann Rowling in the British town of Chipping Sodbury on July 31, 1965. Much later, Rowling decides that July 31st is also Harry Potter’s birthday. After a 10-year battle with multiple sclerosis, Rowling’s mother died that very year. This later affects the tone of the Potter books: Harry’s feelings about his dead parents had become much deeper, much more real. She started writing the first book of the series in 1990.

In 1992, Rowling married TV journalist Jorge Arantes. They got divorced in 1995. Rowling moved near her younger sister, Di, in Edinburgh, Scotland. She also took along her daughter and her ever-growing book manuscript. Writing whenever she can, often in cafes, Rowling finished her first book: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in 1995. Her literary agent then warned her that she would never make a fortune out of writing children’s books. Several publishers rejected the book, finding it to be too long and slow for children. A last, British publisher Bloomsbury Press accepted the book, giving Rowling a $4,000 advance. The first print run was 500 copies. Because Bloomsbury was afraid that young boys won’t want to read a book by a woman, they suggested Rowling use her initials. Joanne added her grandmother’s name, Kathleen, to her own, producing ‘J.K. Rowling.’ In 1997, Scholastic Books won an auction for the U.S. rights to the series, giving Rowling an advance over $100,000, a record for a foreign children’s book. This handsome reward helped Rowling quit her teaching job and devote her time to writing. The first book was instant success, selling well and winning several awards. The rest, as they say, is history.

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