“Over time I came to think of The Ickabog as just for my family. The manuscript went up into the attic, where it remained until a few weeks ago.
“This is the very dusty box I got down from the attic. (It’s a Net-A-Porter box and might well have held a premiere dress.)”
“Opening the box was like opening a time capsule. Most of the story was handwritten, but bits had been typed up. When I put it into some kind of order (I’m not renowned for my filing skills) I had a patchwork first draft,” Rowling said.
“Anyway, over the last few weeks I’ve done a bit of rewriting and I’ve decided to publish the Ickabog for free online, so children on lockdown, or even those back at school during these strange, unsettling times, can read it or have it read to them.