“Reading, Writing, Rowling” Episode 2: “Beatrice Groves and Literary Allusion in Harry Potter”
On this month’s episode of Reading, Writing, Rowling, we examine references to other literary works within the Harry Potter books.
In this episode, hosts Katy McDaniel (Marietta College) and John Granger (HogwartsProfessor.com) talk with Oxford University Research Fellow Beatrice Groves about her new book, Literary Allusion in Harry Potter.
Rowling’s works are filled with references, some obvious, some oblique, to other literary
works. Groves’ book explores the allusions throughout the Harry Potter novels, to everything from Petrarch to Shakespeare, Austen, Tennyson, and even Monty Python. As a specialist in Renaissance English literature, Groves guides us through these references so that we can understand how Rowling wants us to read and how she converses with other texts of the Western literary canon.
Join John, Katy, and Professor Groves as they discuss Rowling’s practice of “Cratylic naming” (“Dumbledore,” “Argus Filch,” the “House of Gaunt,” and more!), her links to Chaucer and Shakespeare, and her allusion to Austen’s gothic stylings in Northanger Abbey (connected by that tricky vanishing cabinet), among many other references. Groves
shows us that for Rowling books are, like the ones in Hogwarts’ library’s restricted
section, literally whispering to us, and we should be listening.