The Shy Sorceress

Not even a decade ago she was unknown and poor, a single mom on welfare who sometimes pretended to browse in maternity stores so she could cadge a free diaper in the changing room. Now, after four Harry Potter books, two movies and an armada of related merchandise, J.K. Rowling has a fortune estimated at $450 million, according to the London Sunday Times rich list, making her $50 million wealthier than the Queen of England. Her personal life has picked up too. She has bought multimillion-dollar houses in London, Edinburgh and the Scottish hills near Perth. And at the end of...

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