17 Interesting Facts About Madeleine L'Engle

17 Interesting Facts About Madeleine L’Engle

Madeleine Sofia L’Engle is a famous novelist, essayist, fiction, and non-fiction writer in the USA. Madeleine was born on November 29, 1918, in New York City, United States. She has written books of all genres, be it poetic or modern science, till her death on September 6, 2007; Madeleine died at 88 years. Her works include:

  • A Wind in the Door
  • A Wrinkle in Time and its Sequels
  • A Swiftly Tilting Planet
  • Many Waters
  • An Acceptable Time

From these writings, Madeleine received notable awards such as Newbery Medal in 1963 and the Margaret Edwards award in 1998. Having mentioned that, below are other fascinating facts about Madeleine L’Engle.

1. Madeleine started writing at a very young age

Luckily, Madeleine L’Engle’s parents embraced creativity so much. Her mum was a pianist, whereas her dad was a writer, foreign correspondent, and critic. She wrote her first story when she was five years age, and by age 8, she was already keeping a journal.

2. Madeleine L’Engle was a shy girl at a young age

Even though Madeleine had developed an interest in the world of writing and books, she was a shy and clumsy girl. While at New York City Private School, some teachers were unpleased with her written work and went to the extent of bad-mouthing her. Her parents transferred her from school after school; she later enrolled at Smith College, where she learned from 1937 to 1941.

3. Madeleine L’Engle was named after her great grandmother

Madeleine was named after her great grandmother, Madeleine Margaret L’Engle, also known as Mado. Surprisingly, L’Engle’s mother was also called Madeleine.

4. Madeleine L’Engle’s maternal grandfather was the co-founder of Barnett Bank

Bion Barnett, Madeleine’s grandfather, was Barnett Bank’s founder in Jacksonville, Florida. The bank was named after him.

5. She was dedicated to individualism

As expressed in her book, “A Winkle in Time,” her dedication to individualism came from her experience while in boarding school. At her school, students were identified with numbers instead of names. According to Madeleine, using numbers for identification was ideally taking away a person’s name and reality.

6. Her writing reflected her faith and religious beliefs

Madeleine L’Engle converted to Christianity in her adulthood. Since then, her faith has influenced every piece of her paper. Her dedication to Christ and church enabled her to publish several biblical references in most of her work. Madeleine attended episcopal churches and believed in the existence of a supreme being all her life.

7. Some of Madeleine’s Books were banned

Even though her books reflected Christianity, some Christians became hostile and banned her books from the Christian stores and school libraries. It was after Madeleine refused to follow the ‘Christian author’ level.

8. Her book, “A Wrinkle in Time,” was rejected 26 Times

After Madeleine first wrote, publishers were not impressed with its content and rejected it severely. Also, editors refused to print the book because they feared it could become popular. After a series of rejections, John C. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux agreed to publish the book later in 1962.

9. Madeleine L’Engle quit writing at 40

Madeleine resolved to stop writing at age 49 after trying but being unsuccessful so many times. Besides, she spent most of her time writing, but she did not receive any payment in the end. She received a rejection letter for one of her books on her 40th birthday, which made her give up altogether.

10. Madeleine has a crater on Mercury

If you happen to visit the south pole of Mercury, be sure to come across Madeleine L’Engles’ crater. The International Astronomical Union named the crater “The L’Engle Crater” in 2013 in memory of her.

11. She killed a character that her son begged her to save

In Madeleine’s book “The Arm of the Starfish,” Madeleine refused to save Joshua, she forcefully killed him, yet she did not want the character to die.

12. Her response after being told that her book “A Wrinkle in Time” was too difficult for children left people speechless

When she found a publisher for her book “A Wrinkle in Time,” editors discouraged and told her that the book would not make sales in the market. Some told her that it was too difficult for children, but her response was, “The problem isn’t that the book is too difficult for children. It is too difficult for adults.”

13. Madeleine L’Engle always described herself as an average student

She could remind her fans that she was not an intellectual on most occasions. However, her grade cards show that she was a top-performer and hardworking student. Apart from the grade D that she got in German, L’Engle had B’s in all the remaining subjects.

14. L’Engle’s “A Wrinkle in Time” has surpassed 10million sold copies

Since its publication, the book, once rejected, is now among the most purchased globally. Other than that, “A Wrinkle in Time” has also inspired the production of two television movies so far. These are; a made-for-television version in 2023 and the big-screen adaptation.

15. She was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2004

President George W. Bush awarded Madeleine the National Humanities Medal to appreciate her for citing work that completely reflected the creative spirit of the Americans.

16. Madeleine L’Engle got married to an actor

Madeleine L’Engle met her spouse Hugh Franklin, an actor, years after graduating. They met after Madeleine attended a play, “The Cherry Orchard,” and married later in the year. In 1947, they were blessed with their firstborn daughter Josephine. They had three kids altogether, of which one was adopted.

17. Madeleine L’Engle died of natural causes at Rose Haven Nursing Facility

Her health deteriorated after she was involved in an automobile accident in 1991. Even though she recovered, she could not attend seminars and workshops regularly like she used to. She suffered from intracerebral hemorrhage in her final years, which restricted her from traveling. She rested peacefully at Haven near her home after many months of being in and out of the hospital.

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