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Fans of the wizarding world of Harry Potter are invited to a free event at University Centre Shrewsbury (UCS) to discuss the novel that started it all, and its impact on 21st century literature.

Dr Lucy Andrew will lead a reading group meeting reflecting on JK Rowling’s first foray into the 'Potterverse', Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone - Twenty Years Later, at Rowley’s House on Saturday, October 28, from 1.30pm.

The session will consider how and why Rowling’s wizarding world has had such a dramatic impact on the children’s literature market, our reading habits and the ways in which we engage with fiction.

Dr Andrew is Programme Leader for English and Lecturer in English Literature at UCS. Her main areas of research are in children’s and young adult literature, crime fiction and popular culture from the 19th century to the present day.

Dr Andrew is also co-organiser of the Short Story Network which facilitates communication and collaboration between scholars working on short fiction of the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Dr Andrew said: “As a children's literature scholar, it's impossible to ignore Harry Potter. Rowling's series has had a staggering impact upon the field of children's publishing, the audience for children's books and dominant attitudes towards children's literature.

“As a child of the Potter generation, I'm particularly interested in exploring the series' mass appeal and longevity.

“What is it that keeps us so emotionally and intellectually invested in the series ten years after the publication of its concluding volume, The Deathly Hallows? In what ways, and how far, has the series developed beyond this point? Will the appeal of Potter ever fade? For the sake of future generations of readers and scholars, let's hope not.”

Booking for the event at Rowley's House, Barker Street, Shrewsbury (SY1 1QH), is essential. To reserve places, email or call 01743 297185.

Alternatively, people can visit the reception at UCS's learning and research base, Guildhall (SY3 8HQ), which is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Thursday and from 9am to 4pm on Fridays.

The talk is part of a series of events at UCS covering a range of subjects. Many of the events are free, and they are open to everyone. For further details on UCS events go to

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