20 Years of Harry Potter

Platform nine and three-quarters from Harry Potter

On June 26, 1997, struggling author J.K. Rowling’s first novel Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was finally published by Bloomsbury in the UK after multiple rejections from other companies. It was published the next year in America by Scholastic under the name Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

Today marks 20 years since Harry Potter was officially introduced – 20 years of the scrawny, black-haired, green-eyed, bespectacled boy enchanting readers all over the world.

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Fair Play: An Ode to Shakespeare

Most people are introduced to Shakespeare when they are forced to read Romeo and Juliet or King Lear for a high school English class. The language can be difficult and unwieldy, and it doesn’t feel accessible to our minds. I felt that way when I started struggling my way through the first play of his that I read, Hamlet, but then my 12th grade teacher wheeled the TV cart into our room and showed us the film version in which the title character was played by Derek Jacobi (filmed about 14 years before he was knighted). It hit me then; Shakespeare is meant to be seen, not read. Part of the experience is watching actors pour their souls into these fantastically interesting characters. When it is brought to life in front of your eyes, you can suddenly see how his brilliant ideas maintain relevance in the modern life.

Portrait of William Shakespeare Continue reading “Fair Play: An Ode to Shakespeare”