Tag Archive: The Leaky Cauldron

LONDON (AP) — For years, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling and her family had honored a French ancestor who they believed was a World War I war hero.

But the best-selling author has now discovered that her family had been mistaken about the true identity of her great-grandfather.

Rowling, 46, has recorded a television program with the BBC that shows her coming to terms with the revelation that her family had confused Louis Volant, a war hero awarded with the Legion d’honneur for his bravery during the Battle of Verdun, with her real great-grandfather, who had the same name and also fought for France.

Rowling told the BBC magazine published Tuesday Radio Times that the experience was an upsetting and emotional one. She said taking part in her genealogy research made her so emotional that she cried several times.

“There were a lot of big surprises, some wonderful, and one rather upsetting,” she said in an interview.

“However, I went into the program wanting the truth, no matter what it was, because I knew so little about my French ancestry, and I don’t regret a moment of it. I loved the whole experience,” she added.

When Rowling was awarded the Legion d’honneur for her services to literature in 2009, she described her pride being the second winner of the honor in the family, and how her accomplishments could not compare to the bravery of her ancestor and men like him.

She said that she has undertook the project because her mother Anne Volant, who died in 1990, was very interested in her French roots but never got the chance to explore them.

“A huge motivation in looking into my family history is my mother. It’s very much bound up in that loss,” she said.

The BBC show, called “Who Do You Think You Are?” will be broadcast later this month.



For the past few weeks, the Web has been buzzing about J. K. Rowling’s mysterious Pottermore project. And while details won’t be officially unveiled until Thursday, all signs are pointing to it being an online game revolving around the Harry Potter universe.

A leaked memo has revealed Pottermore to be a persistent world that blends World of Warcraft with real world treasure hunts. Users will dig up clues, which will let them find prizes in the real world.

The memo says Thursday’s announcement, which will come via YouTube, will discuss the project’s partners and focus on what people can find – particularly quills and wands hidden around the U.S. and U.K.

As often happens with leaks of major projects, it’s unclear if the game is the full extent of Pottermore – or simply a tie-in promotion for a larger project. Rowling has made it clear, though, that whatever Pottermore may be, it is NOT a new Harry Potter book.

Potter fansite The Leaky Cauldron is one of the few places that apparently has seen the project. Not surprisingly, they’ve taken an unbreakable vow of silence about the specifics, but have previously described it as “one of the most amazing, engaging and breathtaking additions to this fandom imaginable”.

(Keep in mind, that’s a fan site – so the Hogwarts Hype Express runs pretty fast there.)

As for the rest of us Muggles, we’ll learn tomorrow how accurate these reports are – and exactly what Rowling has in store for us.

There’s good reason for the excitement. The Harry Potter books have sold about 450 million copies worldwide, given birth to a massive film franchise, several video game tie-ins and a theme park. Forbes ranks Rowling as one of the richest women in Britain, with an estimated wealth of $1 billion.


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