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Letter from Dumbledore to Muggle Scientist: Excerpt from Letters of Note Vol 2

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Amanda Nelson

Staff Writer

Amanda Nelson is an Executive Director of Book Riot. She lives in Richmond, VA.


Letters of Note, a collection of interesting letters from…wait for it…people of note, now has a second volume! We’re very happy to offer a particularly delightful excerpt: a letter from Albus Dumbledore (written by J.K. Rowling) to a muggle scientist applying for a job as Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts. An intro from Shaun Usher, author of Letters of Note: Vol 2, is below, followed by the application and CV of the Muggle teacher, and Albus’s response. Enjoy!




Steven Armes has an impressive résumé—impressive enough, one would think, to secure a teaching job of his choosing. Currently professor of polymer and colloid chemistry at the University of Sussex in England, in the past he worked at the Los Alamos National Laboratory; has authored hundreds of scientific papers; and in 2014 became a Fellow of the Royal Society for his pioneering contributions to science. In 2001, believing himself to be a perfect candidate despite his being a Muggle (a person living outside the magical community), he applied for the post of Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the institution made famous by J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series of novels. Here is his application letter, and Albus Dumbledore’s reply.

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Excerpt fom Letters of Note Volume 2: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience, Compiled by Shaun Usher, published by Chronicle Books