The Tesseract:
A Madeleine L'Engle Bibliography
The Fiction of Madeleine L'Engle

Karen's L'Engle books circa 1996
Madeleine L'Engle novels grouped by protagonist(s)

In most cases only the US hardcover editions of Madeleine L'Engle's novels and stories are listed below.
Click on any series heading or book title shown in purple for detailed publishing information.
Please note that I have not updated pages for recent reissues (yet).

The books in each series (except for the last two groupings) are listed in the order in which the characters experience them.

The Murry Family Series:
a.k.a. The Time Quartet or The Time Quintet

[Drs. Kate and Alex Murry and their children: Meg, twins Sandy & Dennys, and Charles Wallace Murray; also featuring Calvin O'Keefe, who marries Meg prior to the events of A Swiftly Tilting Planet]

  • A Wrinkle in Time  [Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1962]. Newbery Award winner, 1962. Meg, Charles Wallace and new friend Calvin rescue Meg's father from the evil planet Camazotz, aided by the mysterious travelers Mrs Whatsit, Mrs Who and Mrs Which.
  • A Wind in the Door  [Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1973] Meg and Calvin go inside one of Charles Wallace's mitochondria, accompanied by a farandola, a cherubim and school principal Mr. Jenkins, to save Charles from the evil Echthroi.
  • Many Waters  [Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1986] A few words typed on their mother's computer send Sandy & Dennys to the time of Noah, where both mundane and supernatural dangers await them.
  • A Swiftly Tilting Planet  [Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1978] American Book Award winner. Newly married Meg O'Keefe takes a telepathic journey with her youngest brother as Charles Wallace rides a unicorn through time in a quest to save the world.
  • An Acceptable Time  [Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1989) Meg's daughter Polly O'Keefe visits Meg's parents in Connecticut, where she is reunited with Zachary Grey and she takes a journey into Earth's distant past. This is the fifth of the "quintet" but more properly part of the O'Keefe series of books.

The O'Keefe Family Series:

[Dr .Calvin O'Keefe, his wife Meg and their children, Polly [a.k.a. Polyhymnia or Poly], Charles, Sandy, Dennys, Peggy, Johnny and Rosy. Poly (later Polly) is the primary protagonist of most of these stories, sometimes accompanied by her brother Charles.]

  • The Arm of the Starfish  [Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1965] Adam Eddington is sent for a summer internship with marine biologist Dr. Calvin O'Keefe, only to become embroiled in a web of danger and intrigue, unable to tell the good guys from the bad guys.
  • Dragons in the Waters  [Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1976] Simon Renier, Poly and Charles encounter murder and attempted murder as Simon accompanies a family portrait of Bolivar and a mysterious long-lost cousin on a ship to South America.
  • A House Like a Lotus  [Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1984] On a trip to Athens and Cyprus, Polly must deal with memories of betrayal by her mentor, Maximiliana Horne, as well with as the advances of Zachary Gray.
  • An Acceptable Time  [Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1989) Polly visits her maternal grandparents in Connecticut, where she is reunited with Zachary Gray, with whom she takes a journey into Earth's distant past.

The Austin Family Series:

[Dr. Wallace Austin, wife Victoria, children John, Vicky, Suzy and Rob, sometimes with temporary ward Maggy Hamilton. Vicky is usually the primary protagonist and narrative voice.]

  • The Twenty-Four Days Before Christmas  [Harold Shaw Publishers, 1964, 1984] Seven-year-old Vicky's major role in a Christmas pageant is threatened by winter weather and the imminent delivery of her baby brother in this short fiction prequel to Meet the Austins, written for younger readers.
  • "A Full House: An Austin Family Christmas"   [Harold Shaw Publishers, 1999; previously appeared in the Christmas collectionsWinter Song (Shaw, 1996) and Miracle on 10th Street (Shaw, 1998) as "A Full House: An Austin Family Story."] A former babysitter to the Austin family turns up on christmas Eve, pregnant and with no place to go. the story takes place about two years before Meet the Austins.
  • Meet the Austins  [Vanguard Press, 1960] The Austin family is disrupted when spoiled, newly-orphaned Maggy Hamilton comes to live with them in their large country home. This was the first volume published in the series.
  • The Anti-Muffins  [The Pilgrim Press, 1980] Maggy is proposed as a new member of the Anti-Muffin Club after a courageous act at Sunday School in this short fiction companion story to Meet the Austins, written for younger readers. (This story was later added back in to the most recent hardback edition of Meet the Austins, from which it had been cut before the novel's first publication by Vanguard).
  • The Moon by Night  [Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1963] Vicky is pursued by handsome but troubled Zachary Gray as the Austins take a cross country trip to soften the transition between life in the country and their new life in New York City.
  • The Young Unicorns  [Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1968] The Austins, along with Josiah "Dave" Davidson and blind prodigy Emily Gregory, are drawn into danger as Dr Austin's work with lasers is put to evil use by the Alphabat gang's mysterious masters. Canon Tallis and Mr. Theotocopoulos help to set things right.
  • A Ring of Endless Light  [Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1980] A Newbery Honor Book. Vicky is seemingly surrounded by death and impending death as she works with dolphins with guilt-scarred Adam Eddington, dates the orphaned Leo Rodney and self-destructive Zachary Gray, and watches the progress of her Grandfather's cancer.
  • Troubling a Star  [Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1994] Vicky's friendship with Adam Eddington and his Aunt Serena leads to strange letters, mysterious threats and mortal danger when Aunt Serena sends Vicky on a trip to Antarctica.
  • A Severed Wasp  [Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1982] See next series below. Dr. Suzy Davidson (Suzy Austin) appears, along with her husband Dave Davidson and their children.

A Chronological Reading Order List

At one time I had hopes of not only placing Madeleine L'Engle's books in chronological order, but also of figuring out approximately what year each one takes place. I gradually came to realize that the latter simply can't be done. Being written over a 50+ year period, the various books tend to be products of their time, taking place either a few years before the year of publication (especially in the case of the early books) or five to ten years after year of publication (especially the Murry-O'Keefe and Austin books). This inevitably has led to contradictory year-specific references such as "the end of the 20th century" and how long ago man first man set foot on the moon. This is why the family trees printed in Many Waters and elsewhere refer to chronos (year-oriented time) and Kairos (celestial, non-measurable time).

Is it possible to read all of L'Engle's interconnected novels in order? Well, yes, more or less, as long as you don't worry too much about the exact order of her earliest novels, the exact placement of A Live Coal in the Sea or the proper order of The Arm of the Starfish and The Moon By Night, which take place at the same time. Generally, though, it's fairly easy to put the three main series of books in order, because of the fairly consistent age references to the Murry, O'Keefe and Austin children as they grow up from book to book. Technically, most Madeleine L'Engle's other novels connect with the Murry-O'Keefe family or the Austin family at some point. But if you want to read just the books from the three main series in the order they take place, here's the order in which to read them:

  • A Wrinkle in Time (Murry family)
  • A Wind in the Door (Murry family)
  • Many Waters (Murry family)
  • A Swiftly Tilting Planet (Murry family) (O'Keefe family)
  • The Twenty-Four Days Before Christmas (Austin family)
  • A Full House: An Austin Family Christmas (Austin family)
  • Meet the Austins (Austin family)
  • The Anti-Muffins (Austin family)
  • The Moon by Night (Austin family)
  • The Arm of the Starfish (O'Keefe family) (same summer as The Moon by Night)
  • The Young Unicorns (Austin family)
  • A Ring of Endless Light (Austin family)
  • Troubling a Star (Austin family)
  • Dragons in the Waters (O'Keefe family)
  • A House Like a Lotus (O'Keefe family)
  • An Acceptable Time (Murry family) (O'Keefe family)
  • A Severed Wasp (Austin family, sort of)

Books that take place before A Wrinkle in Time (chronological order approximate):

  • Ilsa (Porcher family)
  • The Other Side of the Sun (Renier family)
  • A Small Rain (Katherine Forrester)
  • The Other Dog (Touché L'Engle-Franklin and family; no crossovers)
  • And Both Were Young (Philippa Hunter)
  • Camilla Dickenson (Camilla)
  • A Winter's Love (Porcher family, Mimi Oppenheimer)
  • The Love Letters (Charlotte Napier)

Books that take place between An Acceptable Time and A Severed Wasp (chronological order approximate):

  • Certain Women (Wheaton family)
  • A Live Coal in the Sea (Camilla)


The Katherine Forrester Vigneras Series

[Katherine Forrester, her family, friends and acquaintances over a 50-60 year period. Katherine's friend Felix Bodeway is prominent in both books.]

  • The Small Rain  [Vanguard Press, 1945; Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1984. Also published as Prelude, Vanguard Press, 1968] Katherine Forrester is reunited with her pianist mother only to lose her again, and later goes to boarding school and back to New York City, finding love and betrayal on the way while remaining true to her own musical talent.
  • A Severed Wasp  [Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1982] Now widowed and semi-retired, Katherine Forrester Vigneras recalls the events of her life as she is drawn into present-day intrigues and dangers at a Cathedral in New York City. Characters from The Young Unicorns appear in this book, a generation older.

The Camilla Dickinson Series:

[Camilla Dickinson, daughter of Rose Dickinson, who initially falls in love with Frank Rowan but later marries his frien,d Macarios Xanthakos. As with the Katherine Forrester Vigneras books, the two books about Camilla take place many decades apart.]

  • Camilla Dickinson  [Simon and Schuster, 1951; republished as Camilla by Delacourte Press, 1965?, 1981] Camilla falls in love for the first time as she faces her mother's marital infidelity and suicide attempt.
  • A Live Coal in the Sea  [Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1996]  Adult novel. Elderly astronomer Dr. Camilla Dickinson recalls the events of her long life when her granddaughter Raffi asks about the true parentage of Raffi's troubled soap star father.

Other Novels (and One Play):

[Note: unlike the various series listings, the section below is in order of publication. Since the books in this grouping are connected only loosely, a chronological order from the characters' standpoint would be difficult at best.]

  • 18 Washington Square, South: A Comedy in One Act * [Baker's Plays, 1944]. One act play, based in New York City. Plot and characters unknown.
  • Ilsa  [Vanguard Press, 1946] Henry Porcher falls in love with Ilsa Brandes despite enmity between their parents, and spends many years pining for her as they maintain a platonic friendship through a variety of catastrophic events. A descendent of Henry's later marries Virginia Bowen (A Winter's Love, A House Like a Lotus).
  • And Both Were Young  [Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Co, 1949] Separated from her beloved artist father and stuck in a hated boarding school, Philippa "Flip" Hunter secretly trains for a ski tournament with handsome war orphan Paul Laurens and her favorite teacher.
  • A Winter's Love [Lippincott, 1957, Harold Shaw Publishers, 1997] Emily Bowen falls in love with a family friend as she, her husband and her daughter Virginia face poverty and failure in a chalet above a remote Alpine village.
  • The Love Letters  [Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1966, Harold Shaw Publishers, 1996] Fleeing her husband's harsh words after the accidental death of their son, Charlotte Napier seeks refuge and a "point of reference" in Portugal from her mother-in-law and the letters of a long-dead nun who loved unwisely. Also published as Love Letters.
  • The Other Side of the Sun  [Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1971] Elderly Stella Renier recalls the early days of her marriage in the South, when hooded men on both sides of the color barrier threatened Stella and the people she came to love.
  • Certain Women  [Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1992] Emma Wheaton faces both her past and her future as she attends the bedside of her dying father.
  • The Other Dog  [Seastar Books, 2001] Touché the poodle can't figure out why Madeleine and Hugh have brought home a second dog named Jo, of that strange breed known as "baby." Nominally a picture book for ages 4-8, it also has a nice little non-fiction afterword.
  • The Joys of Love  [Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2008] A 20-year-old budding actress, Elizabeth, joins a summer-stock company as an apprentice, "where over one pivotal weekend she learns about acting, friendship, betrayal and determination."

"Poor Little Saturday"

"Poor Little Saturday" is a short story that first saw publication in the sf magazine Fantastic Science Fiction, Volume 6, No. 3 in October 1956. It is about a little boy with malaria who meets a mysterious witch woman, her ward and her camel in a supposedly deserted mansion in the Deep South. The story has since been reprinted in the following short story anthologies:

  • Visions of Fantasy: Tales from the Masters  [Doubleday, 1989] Edited by Isaac Asimov and Martin H Greenberg. Pretty good collection of 12 short stories, including Anne McCaffrey's "The Smallest Dragonboy."
  • Mistresses of the Dark: 25 Macabre Tales  [Barnes & Noble Books, 1998] Editors unknown. A collection of 25 dark fantasy "disturbing tales" by Shirley Jackson, Doris Lessing, Ursula K LeGuin and other female writers.
  • Isaac Asimov's Magical Worlds of Fantasy: Witches & Wizards: 24 Classic Spellbinding Stories and Bewitching Tales [Bonanza, 1983]. This apparently existed as one hardcover book (as Witches & Wizards) and as one of a pair of paperback books (Isaac Asimov's Magical Worlds of Fantasy: Witches, with the non-L'Engle volume being Wizards).
  • The Mists From Beyond: 20 Ghost Stories & Tales From the Other Side [Editors and publisher unknown, 1993]. Hardcover and paperback anthology of ghost stories by Fritz Leiber, Harlan Ellison and others. I'm assuming that the L'Engle story is "Poor Little Saturday" again, but I don't know this for a fact.
  • Great American Ghost Stories, Volume One [date and publisher unknown] .edited by Frank D McSherry, Jr, Charles G Waugh, and Martin H Greenberg. Lovecraft, Ellison and others. 262 pages.

Biblical Fiction, Bible Stories and Plays:

[Short fiction on Biblical themes, plus retellings of stories from the Bible, listed in order of publication.]


Sooner or later, the serious collector faces the question of whether to upgrade to different editions of the same book, or even to try to own them all. For example, one might upgrade from a Dell Yearling copy of A Wrinkle in Time to an ex-library hardback. So far so good, but now what? Do you go after an early printing of the hardback with the original cover, one that never saw the inside of a public library? Do you bid on an early book club edition, dated 1962, with no Newbery medal on the dust jacket? Do you hold out for a first edition? What about the 25th Anniversary edition, signed and limited to 500 copies? Or the Advanced Reading Copy (review copy) editions of later novels? Only you can answer those questions, but I'll tell you this much: there are a LOT of editions of most of these books, especially A Wrinkle in Time, and most of the Dell paperback editions will never be worth much except as reading copies. You can try for all the different covers Dell has used over the years, and probably succeed for not too much money. But I'm not going to try to list every paperback edition, okay? If you're going to read these books over and over, as I do, invest in hardback copies. They'll last longer!


Wrinkle rings 
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Madeleine L'Engle
Karen Funk Blocher's
Credos and Curios,
a biography, homepage
and bibliography

L'Engle books
Authors page
a tengrem,
a site about
Karen's novels,
with links to her blogs


Because three of the other major Madeleine L'Engle Web sites already do a great job of linking to all sorts of online references to Madeleine L'Engle (Wheaton College, publishers, reviews, articles, etc.), I'm going to stick to the basics here. Any of the links below are great jumping-off points for exploring on your own:

Other Madeleine L'Engle Web Pages:

Nearly everything on this page from here on down needs to be updated. I hope to take care of this update soon. The Official Madeleine L'Engle Website [] is not very big, but until recently it was nicely laid out and reasonably up-to-date. It is currently a single page, with a Facebook feed and a notice that the site is being redesigned for 2012. At least one member of Madeleine L'Engle's family is personally involved with the official web site.

Flying DreamsFlying Dreams [] is brief but helpful, with great links and a thorough synopsis of LEngle's novel Ilsa.

Wheaton College: About the Author [] is the bio that goes with L'Engle's collection of papers at Wheaton College.

Wrinkles Bonastra -- The Madeleine L'Engle WWW Resource [], designed and maintained by Chris Smith, is all that the site's title promises and more.  Whether you're looking to participate in an email discussion group about Madeleine L'Engle, read reviews of her books and public appearances, or find out what has been published about her life and work by other people, Chris has it covered. The site also has searchable L'Engle book collectors' databases via and the database of Advanced Book Exchange. Overall, this is the very best L'Engle resource online. I especially recommend the site to L'Engle fans interested in  signing on to discuss Madeleine L'Engle's books and related subjects with the Bonastra e-mail discussion group.

Online Bookstores and Collectors' Resources:

Amazon is an excellent online source for L'Engle books. They carry everything in print, generally at slightly below retail price, and even carry readers' reviews of many of the books. They also have used books both at auction and at set sale (zShops) offered by sellers around the country (and presumably elsewhere). In addition, Amazon does searches for many of the out of print titles (often offering the result at rather high prices, unfortunately). is another great online source for L'Engle books. eBay sellers from around the world auction off used books and practically everything else a collector might want, from toys to paintings to country estates. Winning bids can be quite reasonable for paperbacks and most of the non-fiction, but don't expect to win a copy of Ilsa at auction unless you have hundreds of dollars to spend.
Book Stacks Unlimited, Inc., another online bookstore, can be found at The main advantage over is substantial price discounts on many of the titles.
Books-Rare: The Book Collector's Home ["] is not simply an online bookstore, but also provides "'collecting' information and education." Considered "one of the world's busiest WEB sites in the Arts category." Sounds good to me, and although I haven't you used this site myself, I fully intend to do so very soon.
Powell's Books [] is a chain of bookstores based in Portland, OR. Their combined inventory of new and used books can be ordered directly online. So far I've ordered and received two books from them, including one rather rare title.
Fantastic Fiction [] has a brief L'Engle biography and a well-organizard bibliography.  Clicking on a title takes you to a page with links to copies of the book currently being offered for sale.  Excellent!


L'Engle's primary hardback publisher ever since A Wrinkle in Time, Farrar, Straus & Giroux did not have much of a web presence until recently.  L'Engle is profiled on their children's site at Two of her books are listed on the adult site, but other than that she's not even mentioned.
Random House Publishers of Dell Laurel-Leaf paperbacks of the Austin series, the Murry-O'Keefe books and other paperbacks for children and young adults. Random House also publishes the Dell Yearling editions of The Time Quartet  and The 24 Days Before Christmas. Their web site has pictures and text about their many L'Engle books. Back when the web site was called they used to have a brief biography of Madeleine L'Engle, and even a RealAudio message from Madeleine to her readers, but that's long gone.
HarperCollins San Francisco Publishers of The Crosswicks Journals, Glimpses of Grace, and Certain Women . Hint: if you use the Search function, use the word "Madeleine" because it doesn't find L'Engle. She's in the Popular Authors Part 3 page of the HarperSanFrancisco section.

This page copyright 1997-2011 by Karen Funk Blocher.  This page last updated 10/8/11.