Fan Asks JK Rowling to 'Tell Me the Truth.' So She Did

Author reveals 'true birthplace' of her 'Harry Potter' books: a London apartment
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 22, 2020 1:45 PM CDT
JK Rowling Reveals 'True Birthplace' of Harry Potter Books
JK Rowling attends the premiere of "Finding the Way Home" at 30 Hudson Yards on Dec. 11, 2019, in New York.   (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

On Thursday, a Harry Potter fan implored JK Rowling on Twitter to "tell me the truth"—and she did, with a reveal that may have surprised many readers. CNN notes that the initial tweet included a picture of the Elephant House, a coffeehouse in Edinburgh, Scotland, which has deemed itself as "the place of inspiration to writers such as JK Rowling, who sat writing much of her early novels in the back room overlooking Edinburgh Castle." The online commenter wanted to know more "about this 'birthplace of Harry Potter.'" Rowling was glad to oblige with an answer, but it may not have been the one the original poster, or anyone, was expecting. "I'd been writing Potter for several years before I ever set foot in this cafe, so it's not the birthplace, but I *did* write in there so we'll let them off!" the 54-year-old author wrote.

She then tweeted photos and answered questions about other places that have made it into Harry Potter legend, or that she'd actually used as writing sites. But in terms of the actual origin of her franchise, she set things straight. "This is the true birthplace of Harry Potter, if you define 'birthplace' as the spot where I put pen to paper for the first time,*" she tweeted, along with a pic. "I was renting a room in a flat over what was then a sports shop. The first bricks of Hogwarts were laid in a flat in Clapham Junction." Clapham Junction is in London. She also clarified that asterisk in her explainer tweet. "*If you define the birthplace of Harry Potter as the moment when I had the initial idea, then it was a Manchester-London train," she added. "But I'm perennially amused by the idea that Hogwarts was directly inspired by beautiful places I saw or visited, because it's so far from the truth." (More JK Rowling stories.)

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