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"You do remember me don't you? I'm -"
"Christopher Plover. You're the child molester directly responsible for Martin Chatwin becoming The Beast."
"I also wrote some very popular books."
―Christopher Plover and Alice Quinn[src]

Christopher Plover is the famous author of Fillory and Further, a popular fantasy novel series that was based on the actual accounts of the Chatwin Family and their adventures in Fillory.  

Biography

Early Life

Christopher Plover was born on February 14th, 1885, in Chicago, Illinois, to William and Mary Plover. William managed a prominent Chicago wholesale fabric business, allowing Plover to grow up well provided for. Due to the hardships faced by William growing up, Plover's father ensured he never wanted for reading material, introducing Plover to a range of classics, such as William Morris' The Well at the End of the World, and The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald.

At the age of 15, Plover was introduced to L. Frank Baum's Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and was immediately hooked on the fantastic world of Oz.

Growing up Christopher had issues with his father, who Christopher stated was a harsh disciplinarian and, while never wholly abusive, was difficult to please, leaving the young Plover craving the attention of others.[2]

Harvard Educated

In 1902, Plover entered Harvard University, where he studied business but was dismissed in late 1904 due to "moral turpitude" - the first in a number of questionable, but quietly unacknowledged incidents throughout Plover's twenties. After his dismissal, Plover returned to Chicago, where he joined his father's dry goods business, working his way up the ranks. As the United States entered the First World War in 1918, Plover was instruemental in positioning his father's company to receive government contracts for military field uniforms. While in Chicago, Plover developed a friendship with editor Farnsworth Wright, who would go on to edit Weird Tales Magazine years later.[2]

Business and Retirement

By the early 1920s, William Plover had fallen into rapidly declining health, leaving his business in his son's hands. His loose association with others in the fantasy writing community encouraged Plover to begin writing his own stories.[2]

Meeting the Chatwins

The key influence of Plover's writings arrived with the Chatwin family in 1931, who lived in the nearby Darras House. The five children appeared one day at Plover's home and he invited them in, unsure of what to do with the children, but soon warmed to them. Plover discovered they had vivid imaginations, often recounting their adventures to a fantastical world, and began to take notes of their adventures in a magical land named Fillory. The children became regular visitors, recounting their stories to Plover.[2]

Disappearance of Martin Chatwin

Plover collected his notes over the next couple of years, overtime completing a manuscript, but was called in as a person of interest when Martin Chatwin disappeared in 1935. However, Plover was cleared of all charges due to a lack of any evidence of foul play. As the investigation moved on, Plover became a recluse, largely withdrawing from his public life.[2]

Fillory and Further

Later that year, Plover submitted his first story to George Allen and Unwin of London, who accepted the book after Plover agreed to cover the initial printing costs. In January of 1935, The World in the Walls was released, telling the story of how Martin Chatwin discovered Fillory and explored the world with his sister Fiona. The book was modestly successful: appearing in bookstores following the Christmas season, but sold well throughout the year.

Encouraged, and with an agreement to share the profits with the Chatwin family, Plover began writing his second novel, The Girl Who Told Time, which appeared in the late fall of 1936. In this adventure, Plover retraces much of the events in The World in the Walls, following Helen and Rupert Chatwin as they're transported back to Fillory's past. The book was Plover's first major seller.[2]

Overshadowed by Tolkien

In October of 1937, the third Fillory novel, The Flying Forest, was released. It was considered a lesser installment in the series, following Rupert and Helen's search for a mysterious ticking sound that keeps their friend, Sir Hotspots, a noble leopard, from sleeping. The book is also the final appearance of Martin Chatwin. The book was overshadowed by the release of The Hobbit, written by Tolkien, which became the year's biggest seller. Plover's Fillory novels never recovered their prominence, overshadowed by the Oxford Professor's adventure story.

Nevertheless, Plover released The Secret Sea in 1938, though the book sold poorly due to the continued public preference for Tolkien's Hobbit.[2]

Death and Legacy

On August 5, 1939, newspapers reported that Plover was discovered dead in his home at the age of 54. A brief investigation ruled his death a suicide, though this was disputed for a time.

Following his death, Plover left a significant trust to the Chatwin children, in thanks, according to his will, for the inspiration that created the fortune in the first place. The Wandering Dune was published from the manuscript found among his papers, and was considered to be darker than the rest of the series had been.[2]

Magic and Abilities

  • Hedge Magician: After hearing of the Chatwin children's tales in Fillory, Christopher Plover taught himself magic. Plover studied magical texts, including books on Traveling, in order to find a way to go to Fillory.
    • Magic Manpulation: Plover, after studying magical texts, could harness the arcane energies of the Wellspring to cast spells. While writing The Wandering Dune, Plover used a spell to automatically finish the book for him.
      • Telepathy: Plover was able to psychically access Martin Chatwin's mind, stating that Martin could never hide his thoughts from him.
"Look at the markings on his face."
"Age-Suspension magic, so every day he can start over."
Alice Quinn and Christopher Plover[src]
  • Longevity: After he was taken by Martin Chatwin, Plover's face was scarred with Age Suspension runes so Martin could torture him indefinitely.[3]

Relationships

Family

Allies

Enemies

Appearances

Appearances for Christopher Plover

In chronological order:

References

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