chapter  6
23 Pages

Jane Austen

Rowling’s favourite author

Jane Austen is Rowling's 'favourite writer of all time'. As Lisa Hopkins has noted Austen's own tongue-in-cheek verdict on Pride and Prejudice seems to be remembered in the opening description of Dumbledore's eyes as 'light, bright and sparkling'. Rowling often describes the Harry Potter novels as 'who-dunnits' and Emma, likewise, has many of the characteristics of a classic detective story. Hogwarts is geographically close to, but effectively isolated from, the near-by village of Hogsmeade, in a way that parallels both the confined society of a classic mystery story and the setting of Emma. One of the aspects that Harry Potter most clearly shares with Austen's novels is its narrative voice. The specific connection between the gifts of the pianoforte and the Firebolt strengthen the parallels between Emma and Hermione. Both Emma and Hermione are intellectually brilliant but emotionally unaware – and Rowling has compared both these heroines to herself.