Dahl, Roald - Dale, Emily - Dale, Jim - Dartmouth College - Davis, Warwick - Deadman, Derek - Dickens, Charles - Dictionary of Phrase and Fable - Didsbury - Doyle, Louis - Doyle, Roddy - Dudley - Dursley
(1916 - 1990)
Dahl is the author of several classic children's fantasy tales, such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, and Matilda. JKR has been frequently compared with Roald Dahl, though not always favorably. JKR herself doesn't think the comparison stands up too fully: "And while I think Dahl is a master at what he did, I do think my books are more moral than his. He also wrote very overblown comic characters, whereas I think mine are more three-dimensional" (Ind1). http://www.roalddahl.com/ is a comprehensive source of additional information about this author.
Narrator of the audio versions of the Harry Potter novels sold in the United States, Jim Dale is a well-known Broadway star. Further details about his theater career and life can be found at www.jim-dale.com
Born in Epsom, Surrey, England in 1970, Warwick Davis was cast in the role of Professor Flitwick in the Harry Potter films. Further information about Mr. Davis's life and career can be found at: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001116/
Dickens is a famous Victorian novelist whom JKR has cited among her favorite authors. Like Dickens, JKR has a penchant for names, creates truly memorable characters, writes serially, and enjoys widespread popular appeal. Dickens' novel A Tale of Two Cities has what Rowling terms the "most perfect last line of a book ever written" and is one of two books that she says will always make her cry (SS_JKRB). Vast online resources on Dickens' life and work exist, including http://www.fidnet.com/%7edap1955/dickens/
Doyle is JKR's favorite "living" author (AOK1). Doyle is cited as often as Jane Austen when Rowling is asked to name literary influences or favorite authors. Roddy Doyle was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1958 and each of his novels have enjoyed favorable critical attention as well as mass popularity. Further information about Doyle and his works can be found at http://www.powells.com/authors/doyle.html
Located nine miles west of Birmingham in Worcestershire, the "Black Country" is centered around this town. This highly-industrialized area is notorious for pollution and general atmospheric bleakness. It is one possible source for Harry's cousin's given name.
A Gloucestershire village located approximately 25 miles north of Bristol. Situated on the edge of the Cotswolds escarpment, above the Vale of Berkeley and the River Severn, it is a picturesque village. Interestingly, a local manor house bears the name of Owlpen Manor. Rowling has admitted that the village of Dursley was the inspiration for the surname she gave Harry's relatives: "Dursley, the last name of Harry's aunt and uncle, is the name of an actual town in England. Just say the word to yourself. Doesn't it sound dull and forbidding?" (SLG).