1999 Whitbread Awards

The Whitbread Awards (1971–2005), called Costa Book Awards since 2006, are literary awards in the United Kingdom, awarded both for high literary merit but also for works considered enjoyable reading. This page gives details of the awards given in the year 1999.

Book of the Year

Seamus Heaney, Beowulf

Children's Book

Winner:

Shortlist:

First Novel

Winner:

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Novel

Winner:

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Biography

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Poetry

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References

Harry Potter

Harry Potter is a series of fantasy novels written by British author J. K. Rowling. The novels chronicle the lives of a young wizard, Harry Potter, and his friends Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, all of whom are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The main story arc concerns Harry's struggle against Lord Voldemort, a dark wizard who intends to become immortal, overthrow the wizard governing body known as the Ministry of Magic, and subjugate all wizards and Muggles (non-magical people).

Since the release of the first novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, on 26 June 1997, the books have found immense popularity, critical acclaim and commercial success worldwide. They have attracted a wide adult audience as well as younger readers and are often considered cornerstones of modern young adult literature. The series has also had its share of criticism, including concern about the increasingly dark tone as the series progressed, as well as the often gruesome and graphic violence it depicts. As of February 2018, the books have sold more than 500 million copies worldwide, making them the best-selling book series in history, and have been translated into eighty languages. The last four books consecutively set records as the fastest-selling books in history, with the final instalment selling roughly eleven million copies in the United States within twenty-four hours of its release.

The series was originally published in English by two major publishers, Bloomsbury in the United Kingdom and Scholastic Press in the United States. A play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, based on a story co-written by Rowling, premiered in London on 30 July 2016 at the Palace Theatre, and its script was published by Little, Brown. The original seven books were adapted into an eight-part namesake film series by Warner Bros. Pictures, which is the third highest-grossing film series of all time as of February 2018. In 2016, the total value of the Harry Potter franchise was estimated at $25 billion, making Harry Potter one of the highest-grossing media franchises of all time.

A series of many genres, including fantasy, drama, coming of age, and the British school story (which includes elements of mystery, thriller, adventure, horror, and romance), the world of Harry Potter explores numerous themes and includes many cultural meanings and references. According to Rowling, the main theme is death. Other major themes in the series include prejudice, corruption, and madness.The success of the books and films has allowed the Harry Potter franchise to expand with numerous derivative works, a travelling exhibition that premiered in Chicago in 2009, a studio tour in London that opened in 2012, a digital platform on which J.K. Rowling updates the series with new information and insight, and a pentalogy of spin-off films premiering in November 2016 with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, among many other developments. Most recently, themed attractions, collectively known as The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, have been built at several Universal Parks & Resorts amusement parks around the world.

Jacqueline Wilson

Dame Jacqueline Wilson (née Aitken; born 17 December 1945) is an English novelist who writes for children's literature. As her children's novels frequently feature themes of adoption, divorce, and mental illness, they attract controversy. Four of her books appear in the BBC's The Big Read poll of the 100 most popular books in the UK. For her lifetime contribution as a children's writer, Wilson was a UK nominee for the international Hans Christian Andersen Award in 2014.

Wilson is the author of many book series. Her Tracy Beaker series, inaugurated in 1991 with The Story of Tracy Beaker, includes three sequels and has been adapted into four CBBC television series: The Story of Tracy Beaker, Tracy Beaker Returns, The Dumping Ground, and The Tracy Beaker Survival Files. As of 2018, Wilson has written more than a hundred books.

Music and Silence

Music and Silence is a novel written by the English author Rose Tremain. It is set in and around the court of Christian IV of Denmark in the years 1629 and 1630.

The book won Best Novel at the 1999 Whitbread Awards.

The main historical event depicted is the end of Christian's second marriage, to Kirsten Munk, and the start of his third, to Vibeke Kruse. There are also numerous sub-plots and parallel stories, the main one being the love affair between two fictional characters, an English lutenist Peter Claire and Emilie Tilsen, a Danish servant of Kirsten's. In addition there are several references to Danish history and flashbacks to Christian's childhood and subsequent development.

Politics of Harry Potter

There are many published theories about the politics of the Harry Potter books by J. K. Rowling, which range from them containing criticism of racism to anti-government sentiments. According to Inside Higher Ed, doctoral theses have been devoted to the Harry Potter books. There are also several university courses centred on analysis of the Potter series, including an upper division political science course.Time magazine noted the political and social aspects of Harry Potter in their 2007 Person of the Year issue where Rowling placed third behind politicians Vladimir Putin and Al Gore. Harry Potter's potential social and political impact was called similar to the 19th-century phenomenon of Harriet Beecher Stowe's popular, but critically maligned book, Uncle Tom's Cabin, which fuelled the abolitionist movement leading up to the American Civil War.When asked about the politics and message in Harry Potter, Rowling explained, "I wanted Harry to leave our world and find exactly the same problems in the wizarding world. So you have the intent to impose a hierarchy, you have bigotry, and this notion of purity, which is this great fallacy, but it crops up all over the world. People like to think themselves superior and that if they can pride themselves in nothing else they can pride themselves on perceived purity. [...]. It wasn't really exclusively that. I think you can see in the Ministry even before it's taken over, there are parallels to regimes we all know and love." She also said, "You should question authority and you should not assume that the establishment or the press tells you all of the truth."The Wall Street Journal compared Neville Chamberlain to Rowling's Cornelius Fudge, saying both were eager to help their constituents look the other way to avoid war. "Throughout the '30s, Chamberlain, fearing that Churchill was out for his job, conducted a campaign against his fellow Tory. Chamberlain tried evading war with Germany, and ridiculed Churchill as a 'warmonger'. He used The Times—the government's house organ—to attack Churchill and suppress dispatches from abroad about the Nazis that would have vindicated him." Rowling confirmed Chamberlain was her inspiration in the Spanish newspaper magazine XLSemanal.Rowling also told the Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant that Voldemort was modeled on Hitler and Stalin, as a megalomaniac and paranoid figure, and that she was influenced by the Second World War, which is "anchored in all our minds": discussing Draco Malfoy, she claimed "Draco Malfoy does indeed stand for that type of boy. He wouldn’t have killed Dumbledore, he couldn’t. As long as things are imaginary, okay, but once it becomes reality, the thing becomes more difficult.", on the other hand, "No, that I gave him that light blonde hair is not because I wanted to make him into a scary Nazi. You give your characters the appearance that you find attractive".

Suzanne Cleminshaw

Suzanne Cleminshaw is an American writer based in Britain.

Costa Book Awards (formerly the Whitbread Book Awards)

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