Harry potter influences and analoguesDocument Transcript
Harry Potter influences and analoguesFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaWriter J. K. Rowling cites several writers as influences in her creation of her bestselling Harry Potter series.Writers, journalists and critics have noted that the books also have a number of analogues; a wide range ofliterature, both classical and modern, which Rowling has not openly cited as influences.This article is divided into three sections. The first section lists those authors and books which Rowling hassuggested as possible influences on Harry Potter. The second section deals with those books which Rowlinghas cited as favourites without mentioning possible influences. The third section deals with those analogueswhich Rowling has not cited either as influences or as favourites but which others have claimed bearcomparison with Harry Potter.InfluencesRowling has never openly credited any single author with inspiration, saying, "I havent got the faintest ideawhere my ideas come from, or how my imagination works. Im just grateful that it does, because it gives memore entertainment than it gives anyone else." However, she has mentioned a number of favourite authors asprobable influences in her creation of Harry Potter. The works are listed roughly in order of publication.British folklore and mythologyRowling has said, "Ive taken horrible liberties with folklore and mythology, but Im quite unashamed about that,because British folklore and British mythology is a totally bastard mythology. You know, weve been invaded bypeople, weve appropriated their gods, weve taken their mythical creatures, and weve soldered them alltogether to make, what I would say, is one of the richest folklores in the world, because its so varied. So I feelno compunction about borrowing from that freely, but adding a few things of my own."The IliadWhen an interviewer said that saving Cedrics body resembled the Iliad and the actions of Hector, Achilles,and Patroclus, Rowling said, "Thats where it came from. That really, really, really moved me when I read thatwhen I was 19. The idea of the desecration of a body, a very ancient idea... I was thinking of that when Harrysaved Cedrics body."The BibleA number of commentators have drawn attention to the Biblical themes and references in her final HarryPotter novel, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. In an August 2007 issue of Newsweek, Lisa Millercommented that Harry dies and then comes back to life to save humankind, like Christ. She points out the title
of the chapter in which this occurs—"Kings Cross"—a possible allusion to Christs cross. Also, she outlines thescene in which Harry is temporarily dead, pointing out that it places Harry in a very heaven-like setting wherehe talks to a father figure "whose supernatural powers are accompanied by a profound message oflove." Jeffrey Weiss adds, in the Dallas Morning News, that the biblical quotation "And the last enemy thatshall be destroyed is death", (I Corinthians 15:26), featured on the tombstones of Harrys parents, refers toChrists resurrection. The quotation on Dumbledores family tomb, "Where your treasure is, your heart will bealso", is from Matthew 6:21, and refers to knowing which things in life are of true value. "Theyre very Britishbooks", Rowling revealed to an Open Book conference in October 2007, "So on a very practical note Harry wasgoing to find biblical quotations on tombstones, [but] I think those two particular quotations he finds on thetombstones at Godrics Hollow, they (...) almost epitomise the whole series."The Pardoners TaleIn a July 2007 webchat hosted by her publisher Bloomsbury, Rowling stated that The PardonersTale of Geoffrey Chaucers Canterbury Tales was an inspiration for a folktale retold by XenophiliusLovegood in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. In the tale, three brothers outwit Death by magicking abridge to cross a dangerous river. Death, angry at being cheated, offers to give them three gifts, the DeathlyHallows, as a reward for evading him. The first two die as a result of the gifts granted to them, but the thirduses his gift wisely and dies in his bed an old man. In The Pardoners Tale, three rogues are told that if theylook under a tree, they can find a means to defeat Death. Instead they find gold, and, overcome with greed,eventually kill each other to possess it.MacbethRowling has cited Shakespeares Macbeth as an influence. In an interview with The LeakyCauldron and MuggleNet, when asked, "What if [Voldemort] never heard the prophecy?", she said, "Its the"Macbeth" idea. I absolutely adore "Macbeth." It is possibly my favourite Shakespeare play. And thats thequestion isnt it? If Macbeth hadnt met the witches, would he have killed Duncan? Would any of it havehappened? Is it fated or did he make it happen? I believe he made it happen." On her website, she referredto Macbeth again in discussing the prophecy: "the prophecy (like the one the witches make to Macbeth, ifanyone has read the play of the same name) becomes the catalyst for a situation that would never haveoccurred if it had not been made."EmmaRowling cites Jane Austen as her favourite author and a major influence. "My attitude to Jane Austen isaccurately summed up by that wonderful line from Cold Comfort Farm: One of the disadvantages of almostuniversal education was that all kinds of people gained a familiarity with ones favourite books. It gave one acurious feeling; like seeing a drunken stranger wrapped in ones dressing gown."The Harry Potter series is
known for its twist endings, and Rowling has stated that, "I have never set up a surprise ending in a HarryPotter book without knowing I can never, and will never, do it anywhere near as well as Austen did in Emma."The Story of the Treasure SeekersRowling frequently mentions E. Nesbit in interview, citing her "very real" child characters. In 2000, she said,"I think I identify with E Nesbit more than any other writer", and described Nesbits The Story of the TreasureSeekers as, "Exhibit A for prohibition of all childrens literature by anyone who cannot remember exactly how itfelt to be a child."The Wind in the WillowsThe Wind in the Willows byKenneth GrahameIn a 2007 reading for students in New Orleans, Rowling said that the first book to inspire her was KennethGrahames childrens fantasy The Wind in the Willows, read to her when she had the measles at age 4.Dorothy L. SayersRowling has also cited the work of Christian essayist and mystery writer Dorothy L. Sayers as an influence onher work, saying "Theres a theory — this applies to detective novels, and then Harry, which is not really adetective novel, but it feels like one sometimes — that you should not have romantic intrigue in a detectivebook. Dorothy L. Sayers, who is queen of the genre said — and then broke her own rule, but said — that thereis no place for romance in a detective story except that it can be useful to camouflage other peoples motives.Thats true; it is a very useful trick. Ive used that on Percy and Ive used that to a degree on Tonks in this book,as a red herring. But having said that, I disagree inasmuch as mine are very character-driven books, and its soimportant, therefore, that we see these characters fall in love, which is a necessary part of life."
The Chronicles of NarniaRowling has said she was a fan of the works of C. S. Lewis as a child, and cites the influence ofhis Narnia chronicles on her work: "I found myself thinking about the wardrobe route to Narnia when Harry istold he has to hurl himself at a barrier in Kings Cross Station - it dissolves and hes on platform Nine and Three-Quarters, and theres the train for Hogwarts."She is, however, at pains to stress the differences between Narnia and her world: "Narnia is literally a differentworld", she says, "whereas in the Harry books you go into a world within a world that you can see if you happento belong. A lot of the humour comes from collisions between the magic and the everyday worlds. Generallythere isnt much humour in the Narnia books, although I adored them when I was a child. I got so caught up Ididnt think CS Lewis was especially preachy. Reading them now I find that his subliminal message isnt verysubliminal." New York Times writer Charles McGrath notes the similarity betweenDudley Dursley, theobnoxious son of Harrys neglectful guardians, and Eustace Scrubb, the spoiled brat who torments the maincharacters until converted by Aslan.The Little White HorseIn an interview in The Scotsman in 2002, Rowling described Elizabeth Goudges The Little White Horse ashaving, "perhaps more than any other book . . . a direct influence on the Harry Potter books. The author alwaysincluded details of what her characters were eating and I remember liking that. You may have noticed that Ialways list the food being eaten at Hogwarts." Rowling said in O that "Goudge was the only [author] whoseinfluence I was conscious of. She always described exactly what the children were eating, and I really likedknowing what they had in their sandwiches."The Sword in the StoneRowling also cites the work of T. H. White, a grammar school teacher, and the author of the well-knownchildrens classic saga, The Once and Future King, which tells the story of King Arthur of Britain, fromchildhood to grave. Perhaps the best-known book from this saga is The Sword in the Stone (the first book)which was made into an animated movie by Disney Studios. Arthur (called Wart) is a small scruffy-hairedorphan, who meets the wizard Merlin (who has an owl, Archimedes, and acts, much like Dumbledore, in themanner of an "absent-minded professor") who takes him to a castle to educate him. As writer Phyllis Morrisnotes, "The parallels between Dumbledore and Merlin do not end with the protection of the hero in danger . . .In addition to both characters sporting long, flowing beards (and blue eyes, according to T.H. White), Merlinwas King Arthurs mentor and guide, as Dumbledore has been Harrys guide and mentor." Rowling describesWart as "Harrys spiritual ancestor."Manxmouse
Rowling is also a fan of Paul Gallico, "especially Manxmouse. Thats a great book. Gallico manages the fineline between magic and reality so skilfully, to the point where the most fantastic events feel plausible." Jessica MitfordIn the Scotsman interview, Rowling described civil rights activist Jessica Mitford as "my most influential writer",saying, "I love the way she never outgrew some of her adolescent traits, remaining true to her politics - she wasa self-taught socialist - throughout her life." In a review of Decca—The letters of Jessica Mitford, she wentfurther saying, "Jessica Mitford has been my heroine since I was 14 years old, when I overheard my formidablegreat-aunt discussing how Mitford had run away at the age of 19 to fight with the Reds in the Spanish CivilWar", and claims what inspired her about Mitford was that she was "incurably and instinctively rebellious,brave, adventurous, funny and irreverent, she liked nothing better than a good fight, preferably against apompous and hypocritical target."Other favouritesA Tale of Two Cities by Charles DickensIn 1999, while Rowling was on a tour of the United States, a bookseller handed her a copy of I Capture theCastle by Dodie Smith, saying she would love it. The book became one of her all time favourites. Rowling saysthat, "it is the voice of the narrator, in this case 17-year- old Cassandra Mortmain, which makes a masterpieceout of an old plot."
Also in 1999, Rowling said in interview that she was great fan of Grimble, by Clement Freud, saying, "Grimbleis one of funniest books Ive ever read, and Grimble himself, who is a small boy, is a fabulous character. Idlove to see a Grimble film. As far as I know, these last two fine pieces of literature are out of print, so if anypublishers ever read this, could you please dust them off and put them back in print so other people can readthem?"On a number of occasions, Rowling has cited her admiration for French novelist Colette.Rowling said that the death of Sydney Carton in Charles Dickenss A Tale of Two Cities, and the novels finalline, "It is a far, far better thing that I do than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I haveever known", had a profound impact on her.In a 2000 interview with BBC Radio 4, Rowling revealed a deep love of Vladimir Nabokovs controversialbook Lolita, saying, "There just isnt enough time to discuss how a plot that could have been the most worthlesspornography becomes, in Nabokovs hands, a great and tragic love story, and I could exhaust my reservoir ofsuperlatives trying to describe the quality of the writing."In an interview with O: The Oprah Magazine, Rowling described Irish author Roddy Doyle as her favourite livingwriter, saying, "I love all his books. I often talk about him and Jane Austen in the same breath. I think peopleare slightly mystified by that because superficially theyre such different writers. But they both have a veryunsentimental approach to human nature. They can be profoundly moving without ever becoming mawkish."Many of Rowlings named favorites decorate the links section of her personal webpage. The section isdesigned to look like a bookcase, and includes I Capture the Castle, The Little White Horse and Manxmouse,Jane Austens Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility and Emma, a book of fairy tales by E. Nesbit, TheCommitments and The Van by Roddy Doyle, two books by Dorothy L. Sayers and a book by KatherineMansfield.In January 2006, Rowling was asked by the Royal Society of Literature to nominate her top ten books everychild should read. Included in her list wereWuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, Charlie and the ChocolateFactory by Roald Dahl, Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, David Copperfield by CharlesDickens, Hamlet by William Shakespeare, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Animal Farm by GeorgeOrwell, The Tale of Two Bad Mice by Beatrix Potter, The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger and Catch-22 by Joseph Heller.AnaloguesThere are a number of authors to which Rowling has been repeatedly compared in the media. Some of theseshe has herself mentioned, others have been mentioned by Internet sites, journalists, critics or other authors.The works are listed roughly in order of publication.
The Pilgrims ProgressThe Pilgrims Progress by John BunyanJohn Granger sees Chamber of Secrets as similar to a morality play like John Bunyans The Pilgrims Progress.He describes the climax, where Harry descends to the Chamber of Secrets to rescue Ginny Weasley as "theclearest Christian allegory of salvation history since Lewiss The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. ... Usingonly traditional symbols, from the ‘Ancient of Days’ figure as God the Father to the satanic serpent and Christ-like phoenix (‘the Resurrection Bird’), the drama takes us from the fall to eternal life without a hitch." Wuthering HeightsIn 2006, Rowling recommended Emily Brontës Gothic post-Romantic Wuthering Heights as number one of thetop ten books every child should read. In her essay, "To Sir With Love" in the book Mapping the World of HarryPotter, Joyce Millman suggests that Severus Snape, Harry Potters morally ambiguous potions master, isdrawn from a tradition of Byronic heroes such as Wuthering Heights Heathcliff and that chapter two of HarryPotter and the Half Blood Prince is reminiscent of the opening of Wuthering Heights when Heathcliff is coldlyintroduced and asks his servant Joseph to bring up wine for him and Lockwood. Snape commands the almostidentical line to his servant Wormtail, with Snape described similarly to how Emily Brontë described Heathcliff.Tom Browns Schooldays
The Harry Potter series draws upon a long tradition of boarding school-set childrens literature in English.This school story genre originated in the Victorian era with Tom Browns Schooldays, by Thomas Hughes. TomBrowns Schooldays laid down a basic structure which has been widely imitated, for example inAnthonyBuckeridges 1950s Jennings books.Both Tom Browns Schooldays and Harry Potter involve an average eleven-year old, better at sport thanacademic study, who is sent to boarding school. Upon arrival, the boy gains a best friend (In Toms case, East,in Harrys case, Ron Weasley) who helps him adjust to the new environment. They are set upon by an arrogantbully — in Tom Browns case, Flashman, in Harrys case Draco Malfoy. Stephen Fry, who both narrates theBritish audio adaptations of the Harry Potter novels and has starred in a screen adaptation of Tom Brown, hascommented many times about the similarities between the two books. "Harry Potter - a boy who arrives in thisstrange school to board for the first time and makes good, solid friends and also enemies who use bullying andunfair tactics", notes Fry, "then is ambiguous about whether or not he is going to be good or bad. His pluck andhis endeavour, loyalty, good nature and bravery are the things that carry him through - and that is the story ofTom Browns Schooldays".The Lord of the RingsFans of author J. R. R. Tolkien have drawn attention to the similarities between his novel The Lord of theRings and the Harry Potter series; specifically Tolkiens Wormtongue and Rowlings Wormtail,Tolkiens Shelob and Rowlings Aragog, Tolkiens Nazgûl and Rowlings Dementors, Old Man Willow and theWhomping Willow and the similarities between both authors antagonists, Tolkiens Dark Lord Sauron andRowlings Lord Voldemort (both of whom are sometimes within their respective continuities unnamed due tointense fear surrounding their names; both often referred to as The Dark Lord; and both of whom are, duringthe time when the main action takes place, seeking to recover their lost power after having been considereddead or at least no longer a threat). Several reviews ofHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows noted that thelocket used as a horcrux by Voldemort bore comparison to Tolkiens One Ring, as it negatively affects thepersonality of the wearer. Rowling maintains that she hadnt read The Hobbit until after she completed thefirst Harry Potter novel (though she had read The Lord of the Rings as a teenager) and that any similaritiesbetween her books and Tolkiens are "Fairly superficial. Tolkien created a whole new mythology, which I wouldnever claim to have done. On the other hand, I think I have better jokes." Tolkienian scholar TomShippeyhas maintained that "no modern writer of epic fantasy has managed to escape the mark of Tolkien, nomatter how hard many of them have tried".Roald DahlMany have drawn attention to the similarities between Rowlings works and those of Roald Dahl, particularly inthe depiction of the Dursley family, which echoes the nightmarish guardians seen in many of Dahls books,such as the Wormwoods from Matilda, Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker from James and the Giant Peach, and
Grandma from Georges Marvellous Medicine. Rowling acknowledges that there are similarities, but believesthat at a deeper level, her works are different from those of Dahl; in her words, more "moral".X-MenThe Marvel Comics superhero team the X-Men, created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1963, are similarto Harry Potter in their examination of prejudice and intolerance. Comic book historian Michael Malloryexamined the original premise of the comic, in which teenage mutants study under Professor X to learn how tocontrol their abilities, safe from fearful Homo sapiens, and also battle less benign mutants like Magneto. Heargued, "Think about [the comic] clad in traditional British university robes and pointy hats, castles and trains,and the image that springs to mind is Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizard[ry], with Dumbledore,Voldemort and the class struggle between wizards and muggles." He acknowledged that while the X-Men wasfor the longest time "a phenomenon that was largely contained in the realm of comic book readers as opposedto the wider public [such as Rowling]", he argued "nothing exists in a vacuum, least of all popular culture. Justas the creators of X-Menconsciously or unconsciously tapped into the creative ether of their time for inspiration,so has the X-Men phenomenon had an effect on the books and films that has since followed."The Chronicles of PrydainLloyd Alexanders five-volume Prydain Chronicles, begun in 1964 with The Book of Three and concluding in1968 with "The High King", features a young protagonist, an assistant pig keeper named Taran, who wishes tobe a great hero in a world drawn from Welsh mythology. Entertainment Weekly cited Lloyd Alexander as apossible influence on Rowling when it named her its 2007 Entertainer of the Year. When Alexander died in2007, his obituary in New York Magazine drew many comparisons between Harry Potter and Prydain and saidthat "The High King is everything we desperately hope Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be."The Dark Is RisingSusan Coopers Dark Is Rising sequence (which commenced with Over Sea, Under Stone in 1965 and nowmore commonly bound in a single volume) have been compared to the Harry Potter series. The second novel,also called The Dark Is Rising, features a young boy named Will Stanton who discovers on his eleventhbirthday that he is in fact imbued with magical power; in Wills case, that he is the last of the Old Ones, beingsempowered by the Light to battle the Dark. The books open in much the same way, with Will finding that peopleare telling him strange things and that animals run from him. John Hodge, who wrote the screenplay for thefilm adaptation of The Dark Is Rising, made substantial changes to the novels plot and tone to differentiate itfrom Harry Potter.A Wizard of EarthseaThe basic premise of Ursula K. Le Guins A Wizard of Earthsea (1968), in which a boy with unusual aptitude formagic is recognised, and sent to a special school for wizards, resembles that of Harry Potter. Le Guin has
claimed that she doesnt feel Rowling "ripped her off", but that she felt that Rowlings books were overpraisedfor supposed originality, and that Rowling "could have been more gracious about her predecessors. Myincredulity was at the critics who found the first book wonderfully original. She has many virtues, but originalityisnt one of them. That hurt."The Worst WitchMany critics have noted that Jill Murphys The Worst Witch series (first published in 1974), is set in a school forgirls, "Miss Cackles Academy for Witches", remarkably reminiscent of Hogwarts.The story concerns anawkward pupil at a boarding school for witches, who faces a scheming rival student. Her professors include akindly and elderly headmistress and a bullying, raven-haired potions teacher. Murphy has commented on herfrustration at constant comparisons between her work and Harry Potter: "Its irritating … everyone asks thesame question and I even get children writing to ask me whether I mind about the Hogwarts school of witchcraftand pointing out similarities. Even worse are reviewers who come across my books, or see the TV series, and,without taking the trouble to find out that its now over quarter of a century since I wrote my first book, makepointed remarks about "clever timing" – or say things like "the Worst Witch stories are not a million miles from JK Rowlings books". The implications are really quite insulting!"Charmed LifeIn Diana Wynne Jones Charmed Life (1977), two orphaned children receive magical education while living in acastle. The setting is a world resembling early 1900s Britain, where magic is commonplace. Diana WynneJones has stated in answer to a question on her webpage: "I think Ms Rowling did get quite a few of her ideasfrom my books - though I have never met her, so I have never been able to ask her. My books were writtenmany years before the Harry Potter books (Charmed Life was first published in 1977), so any similaritiesprobably come from what she herself read as a child. Once a book is published, out in the world, it is sort ofcommon property, for people to take ideas from and use, and I think this is what happened to my books." DiscworldBefore the arrival of J. K. Rowling, Britains bestselling author was comic fantasy writer Terry Pratchett.His Discworld books, beginning with The Colour of Magic in 1983, satirise and parody commonfantasyliterature conventions. Pratchett is repeatedly asked if he "got" his idea for his magic college, the UnseenUniversity, from Harry Potters Hogwarts, or if the young wizard Ponder Stibbons, who has dark hair andglasses, was inspired by Harry Potter. Both in fact predate Rowlings work by several years; Pratchett jokinglyclaims that yes he did steal them, though "I of course used a time machine." The BBC and other British newsagencies have emphasised a supposed rivalry between Pratchett and Rowling, but Pratchett has said onrecord that, while he doesnt put Rowling on a pedestal, he doesnt consider her a bad writer, nor does he envyher success. Claims of rivalry were due to a letter he wrote to The Sunday Times, about an article publisheddeclaring that fantasy "looks backward to an idealised, romanticised, pseudofeudal world, where knights and
ladies morris-dance to Greensleeves". Actually, he was protesting the ineptitude of journalists in that genre,many of whom did not research their work and, in this case, contradicted themselves in the same article. Enders GameScience fiction author Orson Scott Card, in a fierce editorial in response to Rowlings copyright lawsuit againstthe Harry Potter Lexicon, claimed that her assertion that she had had her "words stolen" was rendered moot bythe fact that he could draw numerous comparisons between her books and his own 1985 novel Enders Game;in his words, "A young kid growing up in an oppressive family situation suddenly learns that he is one of aspecial class of children with special abilities, who are to be educated in a remote training facility where studentlife is dominated by an intense game played by teams flying in midair, at which this kid turns out to beexceptionally talented and a natural leader. He trains other kids in unauthorised extra sessions, which enrageshis enemies, who attack him with the intention of killing him; but he is protected by his loyal, brilliant friends andgains strength from the love of some of his family members. He is given special guidance by an older man oflegendary accomplishments who previously kept the enemy at bay. He goes on to become the crucial figure ina struggle against an unseen enemy who threatens the whole world."Young Sherlock HolmesChris Columbus, who directed the first two Harry Potter film adaptations, has cited the 1985 film YoungSherlock Holmes, which he wrote, as an influence in his direction for those films. "That was sort of apredecessor to this movie, in a sense", he told the BBC in 2001, "It was about two young boys and a girl in aBritish boarding school who had to fight a supernatural force." Scenes from Young Sherlock Holmes weresubsequently used to cast the first Harry Potter film. On 3 January 2010, Irish journalist DeclanLynch (writing in The Sunday Independent) stated that "theres more than a hint of young Sherlock evident inHarry".TrollThe 1986 Charles Band-produced low-budget horror/fantasy film Troll, directed by John Carl Buechler andstarring Noah Hathaway, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Sonny Bono, features a character named "Harry Potter Jr." Inan interview with M. J. Simpson, Band claimed, "Ive heard that J. K. Rowling has acknowledged that maybeshe saw this low-budget movie and perhaps it inspired her." However, a spokesman for Rowling, respondingto the rumors of a planned remake of the film, has denied that Rowling ever saw it before writing herbook. Rowling has said on record multiple times that the name "Harry Potter" was derived in part from achildhood friend, Ian Potter, and in part from her favourite male name, Harry. On 13 April 2008, The Mail onSunday wrote a news article claiming that Warner Bros. had begun a legal action against Buechler; however,the story was denied and lawyers for Rowling demanded the article be removed.
On 14 April 2008 John Buechlers partner in the Troll remake, Peter Davy, said about Harry Potter, "In Johnsopinion, he created the first Harry Potter. J.K. Rowling says the idea just came to her. John doesnt think so.There are a lot of similarities between the theme of her books and the original Troll. John was shocked whenshe came out with Harry Potter."Groosham GrangeGroosham Grange (first published in 1988), a novel by best-selling British author Anthony Horowitz has beencited for its similarities with Harry Potter; the plot revolves around David Eliot, a young teenager mistreated byhis parents who receive an unexpected call from an isolated boarding school, Groosham Grange, whichreveals itself as a school for wizards and witches. Both books feature a teacher who is a ghost, a werewolfcharacter named after the French word for "wolf" (Lupin/Leloup), and passage to the school via railwaytrain. Horowitz, however, while acknowledging the similarities, just thanked Rowling for her contribution tothe development of the young adult fiction in the UK.The Books of MagicFans of the comic book series The Books of Magic, by Neil Gaiman (first published in 1990 by DC Comics)have cited similarities to the Harry Potter story. These include a dark-haired English boy with glasses,named Timothy Hunter, who on his twelfth birthday discovers his potential as the most powerful wizard of theage upon being approached by magic-wielding individuals, the first of whom makes him a gift of a pet owl.Similarities led the British tabloid paper the Daily Mirror to claim Gaiman had made accusations of plagiarismagainst Rowling, which he went on the record denying, saying the similarities were either coincidence, or drawnfrom the same fantasy archetypes. "I thought we were both just stealing from T.H. White", he said in aninterview, "very straightforward." Dylan Horrocks, writer of the Books of Magic spin-off Hunter: The Age ofMagic, has said they should be considered as similar works in the same genre and that both have parallels withearlier schoolboy wizards, like the 2000 AD character Luke Kirby.Spellcasting seriesThe text adventure game Spellcasting 101: Sorcerers Get All The Girls (1990) is the first installment ofthe Spellcasting series created by Steve Meretzky during his time at Legend Entertainment. All the threegames in the series tell the story of young Ernie Eaglebeak, a bespectacled student at the prestigious SorcererUniversity, as he progresses through his studies, learning the arcanes of magic, taking part in student life,occasionally saving the world as he knows it. Each separate game takes place during consecutive school yearsas well, much like the Harry Potter books.Wizards HallIn 1991, the author Jane Yolen released a book called Wizards Hall, to which the Harry Potter series bears aresemblance. The main protagonist, Henry (also called Thornmallow), is a young boy who joins a magical
school for young wizards. At the school "he must fulfill an ancient prophecy and help overthrow a powerful,evil wizard." Yolen has been very critical of Rowlings work, and has stated publicly that she believes Rowlingstole her ideas. In an interview with the magazine Newsweek, Yolen said, "I always tell people that if Ms.Rowling would like to cut me a very large cheque, I would cash it."The Secret of Platform 13Eva Ibbotsons The Secret of Platform 13 (first published in 1994) features a gateway to a magical worldlocated on an underground railway platform. The protagonist belongs to the magical world but is raised in ourworld by a rich family who neglect him and treat him as a servant, while their fat and unpleasant biological sonis pampered and spoiled. Amanda Craig is a journalist who has written about the similarities: "Ibbotson wouldseem to have at least as good a case for claiming plagiarism as the American author currently suing J. K.Rowling [i. e Nancy Stouffer], but unlike her, Ibbotson says she would like to shake her by the hand. I think weall borrow from each other as writers."