For all of you who had read the question I posed on the main home page of the DTC about the riddle of "MATURIN" (scroll to the bottom of this page to read the original question), I finally have an answer for all of you... from Stephen King himself!!

On Tuesday June 3rd, I received an e-mail response from Marsha DeFilippo (King's personal assistant) on behalf of Stephen King himself. Not only did he answer the question of Maturin's origin, he also had a few kind words for my website!!

Dear Anthony,

Steve asked me to get in touch with you first to let you know that although he doesn't sign onto your guestbook (for obvious reasons), he is a big fan of your site and visits often. The second reason is to answer your questions about the beam called Maturin. He got the name from a series of books written by Patrick O'Brian in which the main character is named Jack Aubrey. Aubrey's best friend is named Stephen Maturin. After discovering a new species of turtle, Aubrey names it after his friend Maturin. Steve (King) has a pet turtle which he named Maturin but just recently discovered it's a she not a he, so may change the name to Maturella (I think he's kidding about the Maturella part :-) ).

We'd also love to put a link to your site from Stephen's new site to acknowledge what a great job you're doing. Would that be okay?

Hope you're doing well.


So, suffice it to say, I had one hell of a fantastic shock when I read that e-mail. I was pretty near speechless (and that's pretty hard to imagine if you know me, eh?). *wink*

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you Contant Visitors who e-mailed me with your ideas about the origin of the name "Maturin". As you can see, most of you were right on the nose, but it's funny that the other answers didn't seem too far off the mark either. The people I'd like to thank are:

Jim Deacon, Kevin Quigley, Debbie Sambol, Matthew Peckham, Grant Ean Gardner, Shannon Marshall, Ed Mendoza, Steve Hager, Eric Droll, Louis F. Franchina, Jr., Smaranda Bouruc, Charles Amey, Stuey Ungar, Mark Dressler, Roland Kersting, Patrick Niemeyer, Melanie (in England), Greg B., Joe Kannikal, Stephen Mitchell, Rosa Marina Escalante, James Gonzalez, and Doug Packard. Oh, and of course, Marsha DeFilippo and Stephen King. *wink*

Originally posted to the DTC on May 30, 2003.

Time to put on your "thinking-caps" boys and girls!!

The image below is a snap-shot of the new The Dark Tower - Official Website, and a sharp-eyed Constant Visitor of the DTC by the name of Jim Deacon, has just pointed out a very interesting piece of information found within it! As you can see, the part in question has been underlined in red to help point it out. I saw this myself two days ago and just quickly chalked it up to a spelling error. But maybe not! It appears that King has given us the name of the Turtle guardian (but it appears to be written as though the name was common knowledge to anyone who has read the books). "MATURIN" appears to be the name of the Turtle guardian, whereas "SHARDIK" was the name of the Bear guardian (the latter, of which we all knew).

So, where do all of you think King got this name from? "SHARDIK" was obviously from the book of the same name written by Richard Adams, but "MATURIN"??!! This has got me stumped, let me tell you! I'll keep on searching for an answer (I feel somewhere on the 'net there must be an answer), but if any of you Constant Visitors can find the answer sooner, please e-mail me your ideas and thoughts about this. I've been very curious about the Guardians of the Beam since I first read about them in DT3 years ago (and by looking at the section on this website called The Guardians of the BEAM, you can see how interested I am!) and I'd love to know where King got this name from. I had a strong feeling that if King had named the Hare guardian in the same fashion that he named the Bear, I thought for sure that the name would come from Richard Adams book "Watership Down" (and even the name of this book was refered to in DT3 aswell). I know the answer has to be out there somewhere...

me with questions or comments. Thanks!

The Dark Tower Compendium