Madeleine LEngle

Madeleine LEngle portrait image to appear alongside the Madeleine LEngle biography.

Madeleine was born on November 29th, 1918, and spent her formative years in New York City. Instead of her school work, she found that she would much rather be writing stories, poems and journals for herself, which was reflected in her grades (not the best). However, she was not discouraged.

At age 12, she moved to the French Alps with her parents and went to an English boarding school where, thankfully, her passion for writing continued to grow. She flourished during her high school years back in the United States at Ashley Hall in Charleston, South Carolina, vacationing with her mother in a rambling old beach cottage on a beautiful stretch of Florida Beach.

She went to Smith College and studied English with some wonderful teachers as she read the classics and continued her own creative writing. She graduated with honors and moved into a Greenwich Village apartment in New York. She worked in the theater, where Equity union pay and a flexible schedule afforded her the time to write! She published her first two novels during these years--A Small Rain and Ilsa--before meeting Hugh Franklin, her future husband, when she was an understudy in Anton Chekov's The Cherry Orchard. They married during The Joyous Season.

She had a baby girl and kept on writing, eventually moving to Connecticut to raise the family away from the city in a small dairy farm village with more cows than people. They bought a dead general store, and brought it to life for 9 years. They moved back to the city with three children, and Hugh revitalized his professional acting career. The family has kept the country house, Crosswicks, and continues to spend summers there.

As the years passed and the children grew, Madeleine continued to write and Hugh to act, and they to enjoy each other and life. Madeleine began her association with the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, where she has been the librarian and maintained an office for more than thirty years. After Hugh's death in 1986, it was her writing and lecturing that kept her going. She has now lived through the 20th century and into the 21st and has written over 60 books and keeps writing. She enjoys being with her friends, her children, her grandchildren, and her great grandchildren.

Madeleine LEngle books reviewed


  • 18 Washington Square South: A Comedy in One Act, 1944
  • The Small Rain, 1945
  • Ilsa, 1946
  • And Both Were Young, 1949
  • Camilla Dickinson, 1951
  • A Winter's Love, 1957
  • Meet the Austins, 1960
  • A Wrinkle in Time, 1962
  • The Moon By Night, 1963
  • The Twenty-Four Days Before Christmas, 1964
  • The Arm of the Starfish, 1965
  • Camilla, 1965
  • The Love Letters, 1966
  • A Journey With Jonah (a play), 1967
  • The Young Unicorns, 1968
  • Dance in the Desert, 1969
  • Lines Scribbled on an Envelope and Other Poems, 1969
  • The Other Side of the Sun, 1971
  • A Circle of Quiet, 1972
  • A Wind in the Door, 1973
  • Everyday Prayers, 1974
  • Prayers for Sunday, 1974
  • The Risk of Birth, 1974
  • The Summer of the Great Grandmother, 1974
  • Dragons in the Waters, 1976
  • The Irrational Season, 1977
  • A Swiftly Tilting Planet, 1978
  • The Weather of the Heart, 1978
  • Ladder of Angels, 1979
  • The Anti-Muffins, 1980
  • A Ring of Endless Light, 1980
  • Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art, 1980
  • A Severed Wasp, 1982
  • The Sphinx at Dawn, 1982
  • And It Was Good: Reflections on Beginnings, 1983
  • A House Like a Lotus, 1984
  • Trailing Clouds of Glory: Spiritual Values in Children's Literature, 1985 (with Avery Brooke)
  • Many Waters, 1986
  • A Stone for a Pillow: Journeys with Jacob, 1986
  • A Cry Like a Bell, 1987
  • Two-Part Invention, 1988
  • An Acceptable Time, 1989
  • Sold Into Egypt: Joseph's Journey into Human Being, 1989
  • The Glorious Impossible, 1990
  • Certain Women, 1992
  • The Rock That is Higher, 1993
  • Anytime Prayers, 1994
  • Troubling a Star, 1994
  • Glimpses of Grace, 1996 (with Carole Chase)
  • A Live Coal in the Sea, 1996
  • Penguins and Golden Calves: Icons and Idols, 1996
  • Wintersong, 1996 (with Luci Shaw)
  • Bright Evening Star, 1997
  • Friends for the Journey, 1997 (with Luci Shaw)Mothers and Daughters, 1997 (with Maria Rooney)
  • Miracle on 10th Street, 1998
  • A Full House, 1999
  • Mothers and Sons, 1999 (with Maria Rooney)
  • Prayerbook for Spiritual Friends, 1999 (with Luci Shaw)
  • The Other Dog, 2001
  • Madeleine L'Engle Herself: Reflections on a Writing Life, 2001 (with Carole Chase)
  • The Ordering of Love: The New and Collected Poems of Madeleine L'Engle, 2005
  • The Joys of Love, 2008