As the release of the last Harry Potter movie approaches, a Wall Street Journal article examines the ties between that series and the works of Dickens. There's a sample (with a spoiler or two) below . . .
The parallels with Dickens, born 200 years ago next February, are multiple and compelling. "What happens to Little Nell?" crowds shouted in New York harbor to incoming ships that carried the latest installment of "The Old Curiosity Shop." "Is Hermione all right?" booksellers were asked as midnight purchasers scanned the closing pages of "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," knowing a main character was to die.
Ms. Rowling, who rarely cites influences, has mentioned the death of Sydney Carton in "A Tale of Two Cities" as a formative impression. She has also named Dickens, along with Shakespeare and the Bible, as essential reading for children at school. "David Copperfield" is one of her top recommendations. A pattern of affinities quickly emerges between two authors of very different centuries.
Click here for more. (I'll wager, by the way, that this is the first time Hermione has ever been compared with Little Nell.)