Literature

The Hard Decisions of Albus Dumbledore

In one of the innumerable essays on the Harry Potter series available on the web, a certain “Bohemianspirit” criticises Albus Dumbledore for being devious, manipulative and disloyal to his friends. He or she is not the first to do so. In her muckraking biography Rita Skeeter sought to expose his shady past—early collaboration with the dark wizard Grindelwald, with the aim of imposing some sort of tutelary dictatorship over the Muggle world—and she hinted that his obsession with academic success at Hogwarts led to the death of his sister. In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Dumbledore’s brother Aberforth makes…

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