Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Somalia twin bombings kill 18 in Mogadishu

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Arming the "good guys"?

Read more

THE DEBATE

Gun Control in the United States: Will the Florida shooting be the turning point?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Giving a voice to the homeless in France

Read more

REPORTERS

'Never Again': The students pushing for US gun control

Read more

#TECH 24

A bright future for solar power

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

Winter in France's Burgundy vineyards

Read more

FOCUS

How French cyber police are patrolling the 'Dark Web'

Read more

ENCORE!

Marseille mon amour: Mediterranean city celebrates love

Read more

Culture

J.K Rowling awarded French 'Légion d'honneur'

Latest update : 2009-02-04

The British author of the hugely successful Harry Potter series has been awarded one of France's highest medals, the Légion d'honneur. French President Nicolas Sarkozy praised the "service" she rendered to literature.

REUTERS - J.K. Rowling reassured French readers of her hugely successful Harry Potter series on Tuesday that she had nothing against their country despite giving her arch-villain a French name, Voldemort.

 

The name of the dark wizard who speaks to snakes and yearns for immortality means "flight of death" in French, and Rowling offered her reassurance to France as she received one of the country's highest awards, the Legion d'honneur.

 

"I want to thank my French readers for not resenting my choice of a French name for my evil character," she said in fluent French at a ceremony during which she received the award from President Nicolas Sarkozy.

 

"I can assure you that the decision did not come from any anti-French sentiment ... But I needed a name that evoked both power and exoticism," she said of Voldemort, Harry Potter's nemesis in the seven episodes of the bestselling series.

 

Rowling said she was in fact part-French as she had a French great-grandfather who fought in World War One and was honoured for that in 1924 with the Legion d'honneur, the same honour she received for her services to literature.

 

"I like to think that he would be happy to know there is a second Legion d'honneur in the family and that the books written by his descendant have given some pleasure in his native country," she said.

 

The award, created by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802, has several levels. Rowling was named a "Chevalier de l'ordre de la Legion d'honneur", which is the first level.

 

Date created : 2009-02-03

COMMENT(S)