born in Yate, South Gloucestershire, she took a degree in French at Exeter University. On a long train ride in 1990, the idea came to her of a series of children's books about a boy who is a wizard, but does not know it. Her completed manuscript for Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was rejected numerous times, before being published by Bloomsbury in 1997. The popularity of the series grew exponentially until Harry Potter became a worldwide phenomenon. The books' combination of old‐fashioned school story, magical fantasy, and action adventure appealed to a wide range of readers, both child and adult. The sixth title, Harry Potter and the Half‐Blood Prince (2005), became the fastest‐selling book in history.