Inspiration can be found in surprising places—including the math notebook of an 18th-century farm boy. As the BBC reports, a collection of 350-year-old doodles posted on Twitter recently went viral, and now they've caught the attention of author JK Rowling.
The Museum of English Rural Life shared pages pulled from its archives in a Twitter thread on Saturday, October 6. The book, dating from 1784, belonged to a 13-year-old boy named Richard Beale from Biddenden in the English county of Kent. It was primarily a math notebook, but the owner also apparently used it to explore his artistic side.
Beale scribbled some elaborate drawings around his equations. In one doodle, a pair of triangles spans the width of a city street. In another, an angle overlaps with a mountain with a burning fortress at its peak.
One figure, a black-and-white dog, appears throughout the book, leading the museum to believe it may have been the teen's family pet. Beale also sketched a picture of a chicken wearing trousers.
J.K. Rowling retweeted the thread on Sunday, to which the museum responded with a request for her to make the pants-clad chicken the protagonist of her next book series.
She responded: "Way ahead of you. He's best friends with a duck in a balaclava."
The notebook is part of a collection of farm diaries that was donated to the Museum of Rural English Life a few years ago. Researchers looking to appreciate Beale's detailed doodles in person can access them through the museum's reading room.