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Timeline

1945Birth of Peter James Rowling, Rowling’s father.
5 February 1945Birth of Anne Volant, Rowling’s mother.
1964Peter Rowling and Anne Volant met on a train departing from King’s Cross Station.
14 March 1965Peter Rowling and Anne Volant get married.
31 July 1965Birth of Joanne Rowling in Yate, Gloucestershire, England.
28 June 1967Birth of Dianne Rowling, Rowling’s sister.
1969The Rowling family moves to Winterbourne, Gloucestershire, England.
1970Rowling attends St Michael’s Primary School.
1974The Rowling family moves to Church Cottage, Tutshill, Gloucestershire, England. Rowling attends secondary school at Wyedean School and College.
c. 1977Rowling’s great-aunt gives her a copy of Jessica Mitford’s autobiography, Hons and Rebels.
c. 1980Anne Rowling is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
1982After being rejected for Oxford University, the University of Exeter accepts her for a Bachelor of Arts in French and Classics.
1985Rowling studies in Paris for a year.
1986Rowling graduates from Exeter and moves to London to work for Amnesty International.
1988Rowling publishes her short essay “What was the Name of that Nymph Again? or Greek and Roman Studies Recalled” in the University of Exeter’s journal Pegasus.
1990Rowling and her boyfriend decides to move to Manchester. She works there in the Chamber of Commerce.
c. July 1990On a four-hour-delayed train trip from Manchester to London, the idea for Harry Potter appears into her mind. She starts to write that very same night when she arrives to her flat.
30 December 1990Anne Rowling dies after ten years suffering from multiple sclerosis.
1991Rowling movs to Porto, Portugal to teach English as a foreign language.
1992Rowlings meets Jorge Arantes in a bar in Porto.
16 October 1992Joanne Rowling and Jorge Arantes get married on Porto, Portugal.
27 July 1993Birth of Jessica Isabel Rowling Arantes (named after Jessica Mitford), daughter of Joanne Rowling and Jorge Arantes, in Portugal.
17 November 1993Rowling and Arantes separate.
December 1993Rowling moves to her sister’s, in Edinburgh, Scotland, with her daughter and three chapters of Harry Potter.
August 1994Rowling fills for divorce from Jorge Arantes.
July 1995Rowling finished Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
August 1995Rowling beings a teacher training course at Edinburgh University.
Jan-Feb 1996Rowling goes to Edinburgh Central Library to look up The Writers and Artists Year Book. She sends the first three chapters to literary agencies listed there. Bryony Evens, from Christopher Little Literary Agency, reads the manuscript and likes it. She requests the rest of it.
April 1996Rowling signs a five-year contract with Christopher Little Literary Agency with the chance to renew the contract.
August 1996Bloomsbury Publishing buys the book for an advance of £1,500 (Rowling received £1,250 of this initial payment).
March 1997Arthur Levine, editorial director of Scholastic, reads a proof copy of Rowling’s book on the plane ride back from The Bologna Children’s Book Fair (Italy), and is determined to get the rights for the book.
May 1997Christopher Little calls Rowling to say that they’d like to use her initials instead of her full name.
12 June 1997Scholastic’s Arthur Levine buys the rights to publish Harry Potter in the United States for $100,000.
27 June 1997Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is published in the United Kingdom by Bloomsbury.
28 June 1997Lindsey Fraser publishes the first review of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in The Scotsman.
2 July 1998Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is published in the United Kingdom by Bloomsbury.
1 September 1998Scholastic publishes Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in the United States.
7 October 1998Warner Brothers pays a seven-figure sum for rights to the first two books.
8 July 1999Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is published in the United Kingdom by Bloomsbury.
2000Rowling establishes the Volant Charitable Trust to combat poverty and social inequality.
8 July 2000Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is published in the United Kingdom by Bloomsbury.
12 March 2001Rowling publishes two companion books to the Harry Potter series, Quidditch Through the Ages and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
26 December 2001Joanne Rowling and Neil Murray get married.
24 March 2003Birth of David Gordon Rowling Murray, son of Neil Murray and Joanne Rowling.
23 June 2003Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is published in the United Kingdom by Bloomsbury.
2005J.K. Rowling and Emma Nicholson establish The Children’s High Level Group.
23 January 2005Mackenzie Jean Rowling Murray, daughter of Neil Murray and Joanne Rowling.
16 July 2005Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is published in the United Kingdom by Bloomsbury.
21 December 2006The title of the seventh Harry Potter book is announced as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
11 January 2007Rowling finishes Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh, Scotland.
21 July 2007Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is published in the United Kingdom by Bloomsbury.
13 December 2007The “Moonstone edition” of The Tales of Beedle the Bard is auctioned at Sotheby’s in London. The book is sell for £1.95 million. The money earned is donated to The Children’s Voice charity campaign.
4 December 2008The Tales of Beedle the Bard is published in the United Kingdom by Bloomsbury, while the American edition is published by Scholastic, and the limited collector’s edition by Amazon.
25 February 2010The charity co-founded by J.K. Rowling, The Children’s High Level Group, changes its name to Lumos.
5 April 2010J.K. Rowling read passages from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone at The White House as part of the Annual White House Easter Egg Roll.
July 2011J.K. Rowling leaves Christopher Little Literary Agency and joins Neil Blair’s new agency, The Blair Partnership.
23 February 2012The Blair Partnership announces that J.K. Rowling is going to publish a new book for adult readers.
27 September 2012The Casual Vacancy is published by Little, Brown and Company.
April 2013The Cuckoo’s Calling is published by Little, Brown and Company, under the pen name of Robert Galbraith.
13 July 2013The Sunday Times reveals that Robert Galbraith is J.K. Rowling.
8 October 2013The Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic at the University of Edinburgh opens.
19 June 2014The Silkworm, the second novel of Cormoran Strike series is published by Little, Brown and Company.
9 April 2015J.K. Rowling lights up the Empire State Building to launch her children’s non-profit organization, Lumos USA.
24 April 2015J.K. Rowling reveals the title of her third book as Robert Galbraith.
22 October 2015Career of Evil, the third novel of Cormoran Strike series is published by Little, Brown and Company.
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The Rowling Library is not associated with J.K. Rowling, The Blair Partnership, Pottermore, Bloomsbury, Scholastic or Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.