JK Rowling writing Harry Potter encyclopedia

The writer returns to her famous fictional wizarding world with the promise of a new guidebook to the series

Harry Potter creator JK Rowling is returning to the world of the wizard – not with a new novel, but with a long-promised encyclopedia.

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“For a long time I have been promising an encyclopedia of Harry’s world, and I have started work on this now,” she said on her website. “It is likely to be a time-consuming job, but when finished I shall donate all royalties to charity.”

We won’t have to wait very long to see some of the new encyclopedia, however. For as well as her own author site she also has Pottermore – a dedicated Harry Potter website – and she added: “Some of [the encyclopedia] forms the new content in Pottermore.”

It won’t be the first guide to the Harry Potter characters and settings, but previous attempts by other writers have failed. In 2008 there was a plan to publish an authorised A-Z of Harry Potter and Rowling prevented it. She took the publisher to court and won the case, arguing that the book represented “wholesale theft of 17 years of my hard work.”

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The last Harry Potter book was published in July 2007 and the final film version was released in 2011. But since then there has been the launch of Pottermore, plus JK Rowling agreeing to the ebook release of all of the novels for the first time. Last month she announced that her first novel for adults, The Casual Vacancy, will be published in September.