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i) Autograph letter signed ("Jo") to Brenda and Ken ("Dear Brenda & Ken"),writing shortly after the publication of book four, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire ("...madness..."), and now bracing herself "...for the announcement of the boy who is playing Harry in the film...", expecting the Daily Mail to turn up at her door "...to find out whether I hate him or not..." but says she is delighted with him, 2 pages, creased at folds, 297 x 210mm., Edinburgh, [no date but 2000];
ii) Autograph letter signed ("Jo") to Brenda ("Dear Brenda"), a fond letter thanking her for her kind words about the books and hoping that Mike (her ex-boyfriend and Brenda's son) will read his copy of the first one ("...I'm thinking of pretending there's a character based on him in the next one, just to fool him into ploughing through it..."), ending with news of her daughter Jessica and recommending Harry Potter et l'Ecole des Sorciers to her family in France, 2 pages, creased at folds, 297 x 210mm., Edinburgh, 14 December 1998;
iii) Pictorial greetings card depicting a row of owls, signed ("Jo") to Brenda ("Dear Brenda"), on her return from a US tour and telling her she is about to move house ("...Daily Mail journalists keep turning up at this one and I'd like a bit more privacy!..."), delighted that Mike has finally read the books ("...He seems to think he deserves a dedication for this – or possibly some sort of medal..."), 2 pages, 178 x 210mm. closed, Edinburgh, 11 September 99;
iv) Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, first paperback edition, first printing, INSCRIBED BY THE AUTHOR on the dedication page "To Micky, who learned to read late in life and should be encouraged. Love Jo", with the number sequence 10 to 1 on the reverse of title page, slight toning to margins, publisher's pictorial wrappers, spine and adjacent strip of front cover slightly faded, corner tips knocked, 8vo, Bloomsbury,  (4)
'THE BOY WHO IS PLAYING HARRY IN THE FILM... I'M DELIGHTED WITH HIM': J.K. ROWLING WRITES TO THE PARENTS OF HER EX-BOYFRIEND, WHO WITNESSED THE GENESIS OF HARRY POTTER, and jokingly inscribes a copy of the Chamber of Secrets for him.
Jo Rowling met Michael, the son of the recipients of our letters, whilst they were students at Exeter University in the mid-1980's. After university he travelled the world on a gap year and returned to study in Manchester, where the couple resumed their relationship. Rowling was at the time living in London, working for Amnesty International, and regularly took the long train journey from London to Manchester to visit him whilst they were looking for a flat together. It was on one of these delayed journeys that, famously, the inspiration for Harry Potter came to her: '...It was after a weekend's flat-hunting, when I was travelling back to London on my own on a crowded train, that the idea for Harry Potter simply fell into my head. I began to write 'Philosopher's Stone' that very evening... I moved up to Manchester, taking the swelling manuscript with me...' (J.K. Rowling, biography, online). Indeed, Brenda recalls how Rowling was constantly scribbling down ideas for the books and leaving pieces of paper everywhere when she went to stay. However, at the end of December 1990 Rowling's mother died and she describes the following year as one 'of misery'.
By November 1991 she and Mike had split up and she had moved to Portugal. As our letters attest, she kept in touch with Mike and his parents throughout her troubled first marriage and the birth of her daughter Jessica up until her second marriage in 2001. Throughout the letters, the last written during the frenzy that accompanied the making of the first film, there is a glimpse of her new life as a celebrity author, with mention of trips to Cannes, book tours and frustrations with the press, particularly the Daily Mail (notably newspaper of choice for the odious Dursley family). She writes with evident fondness to Brenda and Ken, who witnessed the genesis of the Harry Potter books, and gently teases Mike for finally getting round to reading them ("...He seems to think he deserves a dedication for this – or possibly some sort of medal..."). It was after a row with Mike that Rowling invented the sport of Quidditch whilst staying in a Manchester hotel: '...It [sport] infuriates men... which is quite satisfying given my state of mind when I invented it...' she later wrote.