Most people will know her as the very wealth and successful author who wrote the Harry Potter novels, but JK Rowling’s life before Harry Potter, was simply to get on with being a single mother on benefits and trying hard to escape poverty.
However, Rowlings confess: “I am prouder of my years as a single mother than of any other part of my life”
The best-selling author has also revealed the “slowly evaporating sense of self-esteem” she felt after being stigmatised as a single mother on benefits while writing her first Harry Potter novel.
Rowling, the president of the Gingerbread advice and support group for single mothers, wrote that the break-up of her marriage nearly 20 years ago had left her on benefits and taking odd jobs at a local Edinburgh church.
“I remember the woman who visited the church one day when I was working there who kept referring to me, in my hearing, as The Unmarried Mother,” Rowling wrote on the Gingerbread website.
“Assumptions made about your morals, your motives for bringing your child into the world or your fitness to raise that child cut to the core of who you are.”
Rowling, who remarried in 2001, said that despite the “sudden, seismic and wholly unexpected shift” that came with the Harry Potter publishing phenomenon, she still remained a single mother first, in the public eye. “There was still no escaping the Single Parent tag; it followed me to financial stability and fame just as it had clung to me in poverty and obscurity,”
“Government has the potential to change the lives, not just of single parents, but of a generation of children whose ambition and potential must not be allowed to dissipate in poverty,” she said.