Harry Potter. The name conjures up J.K. Rowling’s wondrous world of magic that has captured the imaginations of millions on both the printed page and the silver screen with bestselling novels and blockbuster films. The true magic found in this children’s fantasy series lies not only in its appeal to people of all ages but in its connection to the greater world of classic literature.
Harry Potter’s Bookshelf: The Great Books Behind the Hogwarts Adventures explores the literary landscape of themes and genres J.K. Rowling artfully wove throughout her novels-and the influential authors and stories that inspired her. From Jane Austen’s Emma and Charles Dickens’s class struggles, through the gothic romances of Dracula and Frankenstein and the detective mysteries of Dorothy L. Sayers, to the dramatic alchemy of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and William Shakespeare, Rowling cast a powerful spell with the great books of English literature that transformed the story of a young wizard into a worldwide pop culture phenomenon.