The story of A Swiftly Tilting Planet takes place about ten years after the first book in the series. Meg has married Calvin O’Keefe and Calvin’s mother has come over to the Murray’s home for Thanksgiving dinner.
During dinner Mr. Murray receives a phone call from the president warning that a South American dictator has threatened nuclear war. Mrs. O’Keefe charges Charles, “Charlie, you fix it.”
Mrs. O’Keefe had grown up in that part of New England. Centuries before there had been Celtic explorers who had settled there. Charles must visit a succession of eras and examine some of Mrs. O’Keefe’s possible ancestors for some might have beens.
Some of the people that Charles meets in his travels have been victims of religious persecution. One of them, an Indian girl, has a baby with blue eyes. She is put on trial for witchcraft. The dictator threatening war in South America has blue eyes and had connections in New England.
The idea of religious persecution may come up for discussion elsewhere, but the clue I would like to take off on here is the witchcraft trial. Cotton Mather was a bright you man who received was we would consider today a top tier education. His father was the second administrator of Harvard College, and he went to university in England graduating at the age of seventeen. Mather wrote an opinion for the court in the Salem witch trials.
Mather will show up in another story soon.