Novel by Newbury Award winning author Madeleine l'Engle. A Swiftly Tilting Planet takes place several years after the events in A Wrinkle in Time and A Wind in the Door. Meg Murray, the protagonist in those novels, is now an adult married to childhood sweetheart Calvin O'Keefe. Meg returns home for the thanksgiving holiday and is overjoyed to see her little brother, the enigmatic genius Charles Wallace. Meg and Charles share a special bond stemming from their childhood adventures.

The Murray family soon learns that the world is being threatened by insane dictator Mad Dog Branzillo. Charles Wallace undergoes a desperate quest through time and space to stop Branzillo's threats of nuclear war with the help of Gaudior, a time-shifting unicorn and Meg Murray who accompanies Charles by kything (an ability somewhat analogous to telepathy).

Although somewhat dated (the novel has a definite Cold War feel and several references are made to the cuban missile crisis). The novel is still an interesting read and skillfully combines historical settings, emotional context and joy in the human spirit.

A Swiftly Tilting Planet, by Madeline L'Engle, is one of my absolute favorite books. I've read it more times than I can remember. This is my review / summary / analysis of the book; it does contain spoilers, so if you haven't read the book yet you might want to before continuing further.

The story begins on a rainy Thanksgiving in the Murry household. The children from A Wrinkle In Time have grown into young adults; Meg Murry O'Keefe is pregnant with her husband Calvin's child, the twins Sandy and Dennys are law and medical students respectively, and Charles Wallace is a quiet, precocious 15 year old.

The events of the evening are set in motion by a grim phone call from the President stating that nuclear war is at hand. A mad dictator in South America has issued a serious threat, and the President is at his wit's end as to how to prevent the end of the world. Mr. Murry is a famous physicist who is often consulted by the President on scientific matters, but in this case the President's call seems to be more out of blind desperation than of an actual notion that Mr. Murry might be able to prevent nuclear war.

Charles Wallace is the protagonist of this particular tale, whereas Meg featured prominently as the viewpoint character in the first two books of the trilogy: A Wrinkle In Time and A Wind In The Door. Inspired by the President's phone call and some very interesting behavior on the part of Meg's toothless, caustic mother-in-law Branwen Zillah O'Keefe, Charles gets it into his head that he might be the only hope for the world.

Charles Wallace is not what one might call traditional hero material. He is small for his age and, like his sister Meg, not very adept socially. Since reading A Wrinkle In Time in sixth grade, I identified very strongly with the Murry children, as I'm sure many other "weird" kids have done since these books were published.

Something draws Charles to a landmark that is to become a recurring symbol throughout the novel: the star-watching rock. The rock is described as a "flattish, glacial formation", and is perfect for sunning oneself on languid summer afternoons, or gazing up at the night sky, up into a universe of pinpoint lights.

When Charles arrives at the rock, he calls out the rune that he believes was given to him by Mrs. O'Keefe as a weapon to wield against the darkness. The Universe responds to the rune by sending the unicorn Gaudior, whose name (as explained to Charles) is Latin for "more joyful".

A frightening prospect is presented to Charles as his mission: Charles Wallace must go Within another person and attempt to change a Might-Have-Been in history so that the present-day threat of nuclear war will disappear as if it had never occurred.

Going Within a person, as far as I can tell, means to somehow have your consciousness share the body of another person with that person's consciousness and mind. The "catch" of going Within is that one must remain a passive observer of the awareness and experiences of another, yet influence the person's thoughts and actions when the proper Might-Have-Been comes along.

A Might-Have-Been is a moment of decision, like the original flap of a butterfly's wing that eventually leads to a storm. Might-Have-Beens can be extremely subtle, so the person attempting to change them must be a uniquely sensitive individual.

But who to go Within? In order to find the correct Might-Have-Been (or series of interdependent Might-Have-Beens), Charles is sent on a journey through both time and the inner space of several humans throughout the history of the world.

Harcels

Harcels is a young boy living during Earth's innocence. He knows nothing of evil or despair, and is, in the words of Gaudior, easy to exist Within. Dwelling alongside the consciousness of Harcels, Charles learns how to relax his mind and to quell his own thoughts and desires so that he will not interfere with Harcels' life. The only Might-Have-Been that Charles influences while Within Harcels is that of dissuading Harcels from visiting a neighboring tribe that would perhaps expose Harcels to the idea of men being violent toward other men. Charles preserves Harcels' innocence.

Madoc

Madoc is a young Welsh prince that escaped to the New World during a period of civil unrest in his own country. L'Engle here begins to play with the legend of Welsh sailors visiting the Americas even before the Vikings were said to have done, and intermarrying with Native Americans. Charles Wallace goes Within the seventeen year old Madoc on his wedding day: Madoc is soon to be the husband of Zyll, a member of a tribe called the People of the Wind. It is a time of joy and celebration, but with an ominous shadow symbolized by the echoing drums of The People Across The Lake, a neighboring tribe.

When Madoc escaped from a tumultuous Wales, his brother Gwydyr accompanied him but was lost and given up for dead in the New World. On Madoc's wedding day, however, Gwydyr suddenly appears: Madoc's brother was not dead, but had been adopted by the People Across The Lake.

The contrast between Madoc and Gwydyr becomes apparent here: Madoc is a peace-loving sort who has no desire for power or glory, whereas Gwydyr is the exact opposite. Gwydyr wants to be king, and if he cannot be King of Wales, he wants to be elevated to royal status by the tribes of the New World.

The tension between the two brothers peaks and explodes when Gwydyr attempts to claim Zyll, his brother's fiancee, as his own. Though Madoc hates the idea of fighting, he is even more disturbed by the idea of someone trying to steal Zyll as if she were an object. So Madoc and Gwydyr fight, choosing fire as their weapon.

You must make fire, little brother, says Gwydyr.

The brothers' fight is bizarre, bordering on surreal. Besides hand-to-hand combat and the fire of torches, there is Madoc's spiritual fire, borne of a pile of flowered garlands. Gwydyr is nearly drowned in the lake by a passionate Madoc, and goes back in disgrace to the People Across The Lake.

While Charles is Within Madoc, we encounter for the first time the theme of the two babies: before the fight, a scrying surface formed by a puddle of water shows first a scowling, bad-tempered baby and then after the purifying flame, a laughing, blue-eyed baby with "gold behind the blue" of his eyes. Charles realizes that the Might-Have-Beens he needs to influence will, if he is successful, result in the birth of the second baby, the one who will grow up to become a champion of peace rather than a psychotic dictator.

Brandon Llawcae

Brandon is a sensitive, likeable child of about twelve. He is much like a Charles Wallace of the Pilgrim era. We meet Brandon on a moonlight walk with his brother Ritchie's wife Zylle, a blue-eyed Native American woman who is close to bearing Ritchie's child. Brandon's family has recently been the subject of scrutiny and criticism on the part of the other settlers; Ritchie's wife Zylle is considered by some to be a "heathen" because of her tribe's Native American beliefs. Zylle, however, considers herself a Christian, but a Christian in harmony with nature and with the traditions of her tribe. This is one of the things I really like about Madeline L'Engle; she herself is a Christian, but not a wacky fundamentalist. Indeed, the "Biblical literalists" in Brandon's time are the "bad guys" of this episode of going Within. L'Engle's acceptance of most belief systems as part of one joyful song of humanity is personified in Zylle and in the Llawcae family that accepts her as one of their own.

The Brandon Llawcae episode's Might-Have-Been is for Charles-Within-Brandon to stop Zylle from being burned as a witch. The superstitious townspeople, led by the horrid Pastor Mortmain (the colonial era's Jerry Falwell / Pat Robertson figure, blame Zylle for the deaths of several infants of the "summer sickness" during the hot months. This accusation, of course, is ridiculous, yet when people upset by the deaths of their children are exposed to the rantings of a paranoid charismatic like Pastor Mortmain, reason takes a back seat.

Charles gives Brandon the rune entrusted to him by Mrs. O'Keefe, and Zylle is saved at the last minute from the gallows by a storm. Lightning surges out of the sky and sets the church ablaze, a church "erected more to the glory of Pastor Mortmain than to the glory of God".

Chuck Maddox

Chuck's story is perhaps the saddest of all Charles' episodes of going Within. Like Brandon, Chuck is a sensitive lad of twelve. This episode begins with Chuck, his sister Beezie, and their grandmother wistfully blowing dandelion clocks near the star-watching rock. Like Madoc's episode, Chuck's story begins with a shadowed tranquility.

Chuck has an interesting talent: he can identify the people close to him by the color of their smell -- a form of synaesthesia, perhaps. His grandmother is the green of a faraway Ireland; Beezie is the gold of spring sunshine; his mother is a soft blue; his father, a strong mahogany. As the story progresses, Chuck begins to sense a corruption in his father's smell-color-aura, and indeed, his father dies of a sudden illness. After his father's death, Chuck's mother has difficulty running the family store, and so marries a clod named Duthbert Mortmain (a descendent of the awful Pastor Mortmain).

Chuck and Beezie discover a box in the store's attic: a box containing notebooks, journals and paintings by someone named Zillah Llawcae, all done around the year 1865. In the darkness of spirit following their father's death, Chuck and Beezie take respite in escaping into 1865: the journals tell a compelling love story between Zillah and her fiancee, Bran Maddox. Another Maddox -- Matthew -- is also mentioned in these journals. Matthew was apparently a fairly successful author who died tragically young.

Duthbert, not surprisingly, turns out to be an abusive husband and stepfather. The children refuse to call him "father", and are visibly afraid of him. One night an argument turns violent; Duthbert moves toward Grandmother in order to hit her, and Chuck throws himself between the two. Chuck is knocked down the stairs and ends up with a fractured skull and accompanying brain damage.

After Chuck's accident, he begins to lose his eyesight and suffer from hallucinations. Or are they hallucinations? Chuck somehow feels that he is communicating with Matthew Maddox, urging him to finish his last novel so that Zillah will have the money to go to South America and be with Bran as his wife. Beezie doesn't like to hear Chuck talk of such things; she is afraid her stepfather will have Chuck institutionalized if he finds out Chuck thinks he's mentally traveling in time and communicating telepathically with long-dead authors!

It is unclear exactly what the Might-Have-Been is in this particular episode. Everything becomes shifting and fluid after Chuck's accident. It could be that indeed Chuck was somehow communicating with Matthew.

Matthew Maddox

Going Within Matthew is described as "long and agonizing". This is due to the fact that Matthew is disabled: he is in a wheelchair because of a childhood horseback riding accident. Charles experiences the pain Matthew felt when his back and legs were broken, and indeed, when he is Within Matthew, he is unable to walk. Now we meet the characters in the journals and paintings found by Beezie and Chuck: the twins Matthew and Bran Maddox, and their neighbor Zillah, Bran's sweetheart.

Bran is newly returned from fighting in the Civil War; a leg wound got him sent home, much to the relief of his mother. At seventeen, Bran had lied about his age and joined the Union army. Bran is (for good reason) extremely depressed upon coming home. He has witnessed incredible horror and no longer feels heroic about becoming a soldier.

Bran feels that the only way for him to recover is to move far from home. His doctor suggests a warm climate, so Bran decides to join a group of people from Wales who are setting up a colony in South America. Zillah wants to accompany Bran as his wife, but Zillah's father refuses to let her, thinking that at sixteen she is too young yet to go so far from home and get married. Bran instead goes to South America with his sister Gwen, who was caught kissing a brutish hired hand named Jack O'Keefe; Mr. Maddox basically sends his daughter out of the country because he doesn't like her choice of boyfriend!

It becomes apparent to Charles-Within-Matthew that Zillah needs to go to South America and marry Bran in order for the blue-eyed baby in the vision to be born eventually. Matthew has written one successful novel and is working on another; if he can finish his second book and sell it, he might be able to help Zillah pay for passage to South America without her father's blessing.

Matthew contracts pneumonia but is able to raise the money for Zillah. While in a feverish state, he seems to hear a young boy (Chuck?) urging him to finish his book, letting him know how important it is that Zillah marry Bran.

Pneumonia claims Matthew's life shortly after Zillah leaves, and Charles Wallace is brought back into his own body.

Conclusion

Another phone call from the President startles Meg, who has been listening to the journeys of her younger brother's mind all night. However, this phone call is to announce the establishment of peace initiatives by a benevolent South American leader: not more threats of war from a mad dictator. Charles was apparently successful in changing the Might-Have-Beens that resulted in the birth of the blue-eyed baby that is a symbol of peace.

If you have not read this book I would definitely recommend you do so: I've finished college, and this book still makes me think! There is much more depth and detail to the story than I have outlined here, of course, and you really need to read the entire novel more than once to appreciate everything in it.

Oh, yeah, this is full of spoilers.

I’m willing to bet that most of the people who read Madeleine L'Engle’s A Swiftly Tilting Planet do so because they read and loved A Wrinkle In Time. These readers are already familiar with the Murry family, they know about tesseracts and traveling instantaneously through time and space to other worlds; they are used to having to suspend disbelief. A book that features a time-traveling, winged unicorn and Charles Wallace’s ability to go “within” other people is going to delight, rather than confuse. Pleased to be back in the warm company of Meg and her family—pleased to learn that Meg has married Calvin O’Keefe and is pregnant with their first child—the reader may not even notice (as I didn’t, for years and years) that the characterizations of the Murrys themselves are a little over-the-top. Lines like

”After all, those Bunsen-burner stews did lead directly to the Nobel Prize. We’re really very proud of you, Mother, although you and Father give us a heck of a lot to live up to” 1

will slide by without a second glance, as the reader turns his/her attention to the model of the tesseract that Charles Wallace and his father are building (how does one build a three dimensional model of the fifth dimension?) and becomes caught up in L’Engle’s complex and compelling story. Make no mistake about it; there is magic here.

As usual, L’Engle has created an intellectually challenging as well as deeply enjoyable read. A Swiftly Tilting Planet is the story of time travel and Might-Have-Beens, and the ideas presented within will stretch the minds of her readers. It is in this book that we meet Gaudior (”more joyful”), a unicorn, learn about the ancient evil embodied by the Echthroi (“the enemy"), and welcome a new dog to the family—a 'yaller dog' whom Charles Wallace promptly names Ananda, from the Sanskrit, “That joy in existence without which the universe will fall apart and collapse.” 2

The characterizations in this book hold true with A Wrinkle in Time and A Wind in the Door. Meg, no longer gawky, no longer bespectacled and awkward-- lovely now, in fact-- still turns to her father, Charles Wallace, and Calvin for comfort and support. Charles Wallace is still battling hubris, still learning that he can't control everything, or understand and solve all problems intellectually.

Once again, L’Engle’s novel opens on a dark and stormy night. The family is gathered at the Murry’s for Thanksgiving; Calvin is in London giving a talk on immunological systems of chordates, but the rest of the family, including Mrs. O’Keefe, Calvin’s mother, is present. Their world changes in an instant with a call from The White House—The President warns Mr. Murry3 that Mad Dog Branzillo, a dictator in Vespugia, is threatening nuclear war:

”One madman in Vespugia,” Dennys said bitterly, “can push a button and it will destroy civilization, and everything Mother and Father have worked for will go up in a mushroom cloud. Why couldn’t the President make him see reason?”…”If Branzillo does this, sends missiles, it could destroy the entire human race—“
Sandy scowled ferociously. “—which might not be so bad—“
“—and even if a few people survive in sparsely inhabited mountains and deserts, there’d be so much fallout all over the planet that their children would be mutants. Why couldn’t the President make him see? Nobody wants war at that price.”
“El Rabioso sees this as an act of punishment, of just retribution. The western world has used up more than our share of the world’s energy, the world’s resources, and we must be punished,” Mr. Murry said. “We are responsible for the acutely serious oil and coal shortage, the defoliation of trees, the grave damage to the atmosphere, and he is going to make us pay.”
Charles Wallace moved out of his withdrawn silence to say, “It hasn’t happened yet, nuclear war. No missiles have been sent. As long as it hasn’t happened, there’s a chance that it may not happen.”
Dennys: “I suppose, cosmically speaking, it doesn’t make much difference whether or not our second rate little planet blows itself up.” 4

Meg counters her brother’s pessimism with the example of farandole and mitochondria—how the most minute being can have a profound impact on much larger life forms, and in fact on the whole universe—not simply a chain reaction, but

“More than that. Interdependence. Not just one thing leading to another in a straight line, but everything and everyone everywhere interreacting.” 5

During dinner, the storm raging outside knocks out the electricity. Taciturn Mrs. O’Keefe recites Patrick's Rune, which was taught to her by her grandmother, and the elements seem to respond:

"In this fateful hour I place all Heaven with its power--"

". . . the sun with its brightness And the snow with its whiteness"

and the rain outside turned to snow

" And the fire with all the strength it hath "

the fire in the fireplace smokes and flickers, and then burns strong and bright

" And the-- the lightning with its rapid wrath"

the power comes back on in the house; the furnace begins to hum; the room fills with light and warmth

" And the winds with their swiftness along their path"

the wind outside howls, and shakes the house

“…And the sea with its deepness And the rocks with their steepness And the earth with its starkness All these I place By God’s almighty help and grace Between myself and the powers of darkness.” 6

and Mrs. O’Keefe turns to Charles Wallace, calls him Chuck, and tells him to stop Mad Dog Branzillo. Use the rune, she says, and stop him. Then she asks to be taken home.

Later in the evening, Meg goes up to her attic room, to bed. Charles Wallace goes outside by himself to the star watching rock, where he recites the first two lines of the rune, and the unicorn Gaudior appears. Throughout this dark night, Charles Wallace and Gaudior travel through time ( but not space—that’s harder for unicorns—they stay in the area that is, in Charles Wallace's time, his back yard) and Meg watches and listens by kything (communicating telepathically) with Charles Wallace.

Gaudior takes Charles Wallace back to beginning, where there was nothing. And then:

a surge of joy. All senses alive and awake and filled with joy. Darkness was, and darkness was good. As was light. Light and darkness dancing together, born together, born of each other, neither preceding, neither following, both fully being, in joyful rhythm.
The morning stars sang together and the ancient harmonies were new and it was good. It was very good.
And then a dazzling star turned its back on the dark, and it swallowed the dark, and in swallowing the dark it became dark, and there was something wrong with the dark, as there was something wrong with the light. And it was not good. The glory of the harmony was broken by screeching, by hissing, by laughter which held no merriment but was hideous, horrendous cacophony.
The breaking of the harmony was pain, was brutal anguish, but the harmony kept rising above the pain, and the joy would pulse with light, and the light and dark once more knew each other, and were part of the joy. 7

Gaudior explained to Charles Wallace that the disharmony he witnessed was caused by a destroyer, an Echthros, which had come from the good but wanted all the glory for itself. Since the beginning, the Echthroi have traveled the universe, and shadows have followed. Echthroi try to confuse and corrupt; to tip Might-Have-Beens toward chaos and destruction. This night, it is Charles Wallace’s job, with Gaudior’s help, to go within people of different times, to try to find the Might-Have-Been that lead to the current evil threatening the world, and try to change it.

The people whom Charles Wallace goes within--becomes a part of, and is able to influence in small ways—all follow the bloodline of The People of the Wind, and of Madoc, son of Owain, king of Gwynedd. Madoc marries Zyll, of the People of the Wind, and it is their blue-eyed descendents who hold a promise of peace:

Lords of water, earth and fire, Lords of wind and snow and rain, Give to me my heart’s desire. Life as all life comes with pain, But blue will come to us again.

Lords of blue and Lords of gold, Lords of winds and waters wild, Lords of time that’s growing old, When will come the season mild? When will come blue Madoc’s child?

Lords of space and Lords of time, Lords of blessing, Lords of grace, Who is in the warmer clime? Who will follow Madoc’s rhyme? Blue will alter time and space.

Lords of spirit, Lords of breath, Lords of fireflies, stars, and light, Who will keep the world from death? Who will stop the coming night? Blue eyes, blue eyes, have the sight. 8

Madoc came to the New World from Wales with his brother Gwydyr when their father died and their other brothers began to fight over the throne; although Madoc seeks only peace, Gwydyr craves power and control over the People of the Wind, and the brothers fight. Madoc uses the rune; roses burn; the brothers wrestle for a day and into the night. Madoc defeats Gwydyr, who departs in shame (and eventually finds his way down to South America, to Vespugia).

Through Charles Wallace, we follow the descendents of Madoc. Charles Wallace goes within Brandon Llawcae, who lives during the time of the Salem witch hunts—Brandon, who is made a brother to his friend Maddok of the People of the Wind, and whose brother Ritchie marries Maddok’s blue-eyed sister, Zylle. Brandon also uses the rune in a time of great peril—when the small-minded, fear-driven pastor of the community decides that Zylle is a witch and must hang. Ritchie and Zylle later leave the settlement and return to Wales; generations later, their children’s children also end up in Vespugia.

Charles Wallace also goes within Matthew Maddox, whose twin brother Bran fights in the Civil War and comes home both injured and embittered. Matthew, a writer, is paralyzed from a fall off a horse some years before. His second novel, Horn of Joy, explores the theme of brother against brother, weaves in their family’s legend of a Welshman who comes to live among the Indians, and mentions a time-traveling unicorn. (Notice that the title of this story within a story corresponds nicely with Gaudior’s name, which means more joyful.) Bran eventually moves south to Vespugia, where a group of Welshmen are establishing a settlement; it is up to Matthew to make sure Bran’s fiancé, Zillah Llawcae, reaches him. In Vespugia, Bran and his sister Gwen find another branch their family legend, in the form of Indians Gedder and his sister Zillie (descendents of Gwydyr's line). Matthew is able to kythe with Bran, and dreams visions of his life in Vespugia. He also dreams of a young boy from the future, a boy who knows the legends and urges him to send Zillah to Bran, and stop Gwen from marrying Gedder. 9

That young boy is Chuck Maddox, twelve-year-old brother of Branwen Zillah Maddox (called Beezie). Chuck and Beezie hear stories of their ancestors from their Grandma—stories of Madoc and the Indian Zyll, and also stories of the English princess Branwen, who married an Irish king. It is from Branwen that the rune comes—-and it is Beezie, who grows up to marry Paddy O’Keefe and give birth to Calvin, and eventually become Meg's mother-in-law--who gives the rune to Charles Wallace. Brandon Llawcae was told the rune by Zillo, father of Maddok and Zylle, but it may be that Madoc only knew the rune (and was able to pass it on to his descendents) because Charles Wallace, within him, knew it . . .

Chuck and Beezie’s story is indeed, in my opinion, the saddest in the book. Chuck is twelve when his father dies and his mother remarries Duthbert Mortmain (descendent of the witch-hating Pastor Mortmain), who turns out to be abusive. Chuck blocks a blow aimed at his grandmother, and ends up falling down a flight of stairs and fracturing his skull. After the accident, the world spins for Chuck, and he is able to move through layers of time. He “dreams” about riding a unicorn; he sees brothers fighting and roses burning; he confuses Zyll with Zylle and with Zillah, and urges Matthew to send Zillah quickly to Bran in Vespugia. Beezie, who had been such an open, happy, golden child, becomes increasingly withdrawn. Her father and beloved grandmother died within a year of each other, and then Chuck, because of the accident, was no longer able to support or comfort her. Beezie ends up marrying Paddy O’Keefe to escape her life, to get away from her stepfather. Mortmain has Chuck placed in an institution, where he dies within a year.

Matthew succeeds in sending Zillah to Bran in Vespugia, although he is too weak to accompany her. Bran and Zillah have a son, Matthew, who the Indian children call by a combination of his parent’s names, Branzillo. His birth marks the change in the Might-Have-Beens; it is his (and Madoc’s) descendent, not Gwydyr’s, that will someday be the leader of Vespugia.

When Charles Wallace returns home, no one but Meg and Mrs. O’Keefe remember the President’s call and the threat of war. El Zarco, the blue-eyed leader of Vespugia, has always been known as a man of peace.

I did not know until recently that Madoc's legend-—at least the part about a Welshman coming to the New World long before Columbus, and the existence of his blue-eyed descendents among the Indians--existed outside of Madeleine L’Engle’s creation. It does; not only that, but Branwen's legend, and St. Patrick's Breastplate, which is the source of the rune, do as well. Not only that; kythe is a real word, meaning to make known, or to come into view, according to Mr. Webster.

This is a novel that can be read again and again. There are painfully sad, agonizingly unjust passages (the witch hunt, the tragedy of golden Beezie Maddox ending up as angry, resentful, silent Mrs. O'Keefe, Chuck's accident, Matthew Maddox's paralyzing accident and early death10) mixed with pure fantasy (a trip to the unicorn hatching grounds, reminiscent of scenes in Anne McCaffrey's dragon books), and also achingly beautiful descriptions of love and joy. There are ideas enough for a dozen readings, and words and phrases ("whistling in the dark", "Make haste slowly") that eventually became a part of my vocabulary. I'm 35, going on 36, and I still think this young adult novel is the perfect book to curl up with on a cold, rainy, snowy day.

____________________ ____________________

Thanks to ac_hyper for setting the bar so high with her writeup, and to Alias Mother Jonez for the factual information on the legends.

1 L’Engle, Madeleine, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Dell Publishing, 1978, page 6. 2 ibid., p. 38. 3 Oddly, it is almost always “Mr.” and “Mrs.” Murray, not “Dr.”. 4 L’Engle, Madeleine, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Dell Publishing, 1978, pp.11-16. 5 ibid., p. 17. 6 ibid., pp. 18-21. 7 ibid., pp. 49-50. 8 ibid., pp. 116, 221, 225, and 251, respectively. 9 Gwen has the blue eyes, but hers were "a colder blue and glittered when she was angry." (p. 234.) We also know she's not the right one to carry on the line, of course, because her name starts with Gw, like Gwydyr. 10 A sickening stench usually accompanies actions by the Echthroi, or signals their proximity. Matthew smelled it when he was thrown from his horse and paralyzed; Meg smelled it when the Echthroi tried to snatch Charles Wallace from within Chuck.

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