Course Instructor Days Times Room

Topics Title
Harry Potter and his contexts

The course assumes some familiarity with the seven novels that J. K. Rowling wrote about Harry Potter, and The Cursed Child plyscript, since it will begin with consideration of two strands of the English boarding school novel for teenagers: Talbot Baines Reed’s The Cock House at Fellsgarth (1891) and Enid Blyton’s First Term at Malory Towers (1946) – the former is set in a boys’ school, the latter in a girls’ school – and we will be discussing how far Rowling might have been influenced by the genre of which these are characteristic examples.

It will then continue by interspersing Rowling’s novels with a two of the works that may be held for various reasons to have had an influence upon the inspiration for and the development of the series – Elizabeth Goudge’s The Little White Horse and Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising.

The relationships between the books and the films based on them will be discussed; we will also look at the way in which the films and books have generated further related enterprises such as Universal Studios’ The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Warner Brothers’ Studio Tour London, the Pottermore website and games of various sorts.

 However the bulk of the course will be spent in a close reading and analysis of the seven novels and the playscript themselves.



There will be reading quizzes most days, and two pieces of extended writing, 1500 words or more each.


ll seven Harry Potter novels

The Cursed Child

Elizabeth Goudge The Little White Horse

Enid Blyton First Term at Malory Towers (possibly only available through Amazon or ABEBooks)

Susan Cooper The Dark is Rising

There will be extracts from other works available in December, unless, like Talbot Baines Reed's The Cock House at Fellsgarth the book is available online from Gutenberg.  Watch this space for more information