JK Rowling feared that her controlling ex-husband would burn the manuscript for the first Harry Potter novel, the author revealed in her new podcast.
She claims that she was forced to sneak pages of the book out of her house and to her office where she could make photocopies in case her partner took the original hostage, as reported by The Guardian.
“At this point he’s searching my handbag every time I come home. I haven’t got a key to my own front door because he’s got to control the front door. And I think he’s not a stupid person. I think he knew, or suspected, that I was going to try and bolt again,” she said on the Witch Trials of JK Rowling podcast.
The bestselling author spoke about how she used to live in a “horrible state of tension” with her ex-husband as she had to hide her desire to leave him.
“And yet the manuscript kept growing. I’d continue to write. In fact, he knew what that manuscript meant to me because at one point he took the manuscript and hid it and that was his hostage.”
As she became more determined to leave the relationship, Rowling would “take a few pages of the manuscript into work every day – just a few pages so that he wouldn’t realize anything was missing – and photocopy it.”
“And gradually in a cupboard in the staff room, bit by bit, a photocopied manuscript grew and grew and grew, because I suspected that, if I wasn’t able to get out with everything, he would burn it or take it or hold it hostage.”
“That manuscript still meant so much to me. That was the thing that I actually prioritized for saving. The only thing I prioritized beyond that, obviously, was my daughter, but at that point she’s still inside me, so she’s as safe as can be in that situation.”
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