MADELEINE L'ENGLE Biography - Writers


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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     
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.