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L'Engle, Madeleine (1918-2007) | Archival Collections at Wheaton College

Name: L'Engle, Madeleine (1918-2007)


Historical Note:

Madeleine L’Engle was born on November 29, 1918, and spent her earliest formative years in New York City. Early on as a child, L’Engle discovered a love for writing, recording her thoughts in stories, poems and journals. At age 12, Madeleine and her parents moved to the French Alps, where she continued to nurture her passion for writing. She flourished during her high school years back in the United States at Ashley Hall in Charleston, South Carolina.

L’Engle next attended Smith College where she studied the classics of literature and continued her own creative writing. She graduated with honors in English and afterwards moved to Greenwich Village in New York City. She published her first two novels by 1946, before meeting her future husband, Hugh Franklin.

After their marriage, Madeleine had a baby girl and kept on writing, eventually moving to a small Connecticut country village to raise their family away from the city. Eventually they moved back to New York City with their three children, and Hugh revitalized his professional acting career. The family has kept their Connecticut country home, 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 both enjoyed each other and life. Since 1966 L’Engle has been writer-in-residence and librarian at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. After Hugh’s death in 1986, Madeleine’s writing and lecturing sustained her, along with her ever growing family. After her husband's passing L'Engle enjoyed spending time with her friends, children, grand-children, and great grandchildren. After an extended illness Madeleine L'Engle died September 6th, 2007.

Note Author: Wheaton College Archives & Special Collections staff






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