This is Craig Beardsley's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Craig Beardsley's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Craig Beardsley
Recent Activity
Thanks so much for the excerpt and a promise of fine work to come. A quick look at sources that readily come to mind--and I can only find one title from Robinson (Biographical Sketch) and one from Jones (Language of Color)--leads me to again ask if you'll share your research work with us. I suppose the Jones findings come from a local source in the Wilmington area and the Robinson from New Hampshire, perhaps the Historical Society or State Library in Concord?
Allow me once again to be first to register interest in the latest fascinating post. Congratulations once again for the stunning presentation of stuff no one else has or knows about. I have a curious volume (Meyer D. Siegel, Religion Is Here to Stay Whether You Like It or Not, 1963) which is devoted in no small measure to carrying on the mantle of Frederick Peabody. Like Peabody, Siegel, an attorney, conducted legal research into various cases involving Christian Science; portions of this book reprint correspondence with the U. S. District Court in Boston and DeWitt John, then Manager, Committe on Publication, involving his search into the litigation involving Mrs. Eddy and Joseph Arens. Does the initial "J." stand for Joseph? Keep up the good work, Keith. I hope others out there find this material of interest. While it appears that Arens developed strategy to credit Quimby so as to avoid the plagiarism charge, it would be worth investigating this kind of connection other early New Thought figures might share with her as well.
Thanks for the latest post, Keith. To get a such a transparent glimpse into early organizational salaries, expenses and revenue is really interesting. I'm surprised and disappointed you haven't gotten any feedback until now on this post. Quick question for any and all: what did Mrs. Eddy mean by "Affection craves legend and relics?"
Thanks for the post. I have undocumented notes on the production of this volume so I can't verify the source(s); perhaps one of your readers might have some feedback. My understanding is that this was produced to address the mode of thinking typified by several prominent professional clergymen who had recently converted to Christian Science in which the metaphysical message was couched somewhat in traditional Christian rhetoric. I also have it that Wiggin helped out, but the revision, Rudimental Divine Science, was done in his absence.
Thanks for the latest post, Keith. An interesting passage in Richard Oakes' Brown Book, pp. 76-83, narrates some of the complexity of introducing Christian Science to the German culture, if only for linguistic reasons, and that Seal's relationship with the Board "...twenty-five years later..." (p. 82) had become strained--that certainly creates compelling interest in this phase of CS history. I don't have the first rare edition but I do own a copy of the second; like your's, mine is also inscribed by Mrs. Seal but I don't recognize the name of the recipient. I have a notation that Annette Herr was working on a history of CS in Germany, but I know nothing beyond that. I'm hoping that you and/or blog followers might know something of this. Also, it seems to me that some work was being done on CS in Nazi Germany but I have no notion of where I might have heard this. Again, anyone?
Thanks for the most interesting post. Apparently there was yet another letter to Johnston that dropped the beginning "Hitherto." As I occasationally ask, can you give some idea as to what material you cite is in the public domain, and where, as opposed to in your collection (to give us some inkling what the others of us might find elsewhere if we were inclined to research) ? I don't wish to be too demanding, and I acknowledge that you sometimes do indicate something along the lines of "in my collection," which I infer probably means that you're distinguishing a source that isn't in the public domain.
Thanks, Keith. Perhaps my favorite Christmas Message from MBE was her contribution to the New York World-sponsored December 1905 symposium that was reprinted in the Sentinel, Journal, My., and the 1949 CSPS compliation What Christmas Means to Me and Other Christmas Messages, entitled "The Significance of Christmas."
Thanks for the post on a subject of interest and intrigue. There's certainly not much that I know about in the public domain on this subject. Certain items from the estate of Bliss Knapp at Principia pertain to this subject, including an unattributed typewritten manuscript of the history; it alludes to aspects of the back of the one dollar bill as part of the symbolism mentioned in the post. I'd like to see part II of this post which might get a bit controversial for our blogger. I've heard that the CSBD had the pyramid dynamited in 1963; a rousing debate could focus on the merits of the pyramid. Many would hold that the movement needs to avoid the appearance of being, in effect, organized MBE cultists and that such a memorial would be fodder to any faction who would like to make such a case. Others might simply contend that the memorial shows proper respect. Of interest to me are questions such as: 1) If Lord belonged to the coterie that included Dittemore, Longyear, and others of the Anglo-Israel movement, why did he give the property to the church rather than to Longyear--already distanced from the board by her association with JVD; and who in 1920 founded the Zion Research Foundation and Library and who had established the Longyear Foundation in 1923? 2) If the CSBD disapproved of such tributes, why did it endorse similar tributes in 1934 (See the CSM, October 15, 26, and 29 and the CSS 37 (1 December 1934): 271) regarding the erection of bronze tablets in Tilton? The Sentinel article goes on to say "The erection of these tablets is significant because it marks the first action of the CSBD towards identifying sites connected with Mrs. Eddy's experiences...." Maybe Lord stole the Directors' thunder. Or maybe there were other politically expedient matters to consider which were kept from the membership and the public. In any case, interesting stuff.
While I have the pleasure of sharing this check-list with other followers of Keith's blog, I have the distinct honor of having been party to it for many years, thru many improving "editions," in a way that, as far as I know, no other has had. The earliest versions Keith shared with me were untitled typewritten entries, three to a legal sized sheet, that featured key items in his collection, with several other revisions in similar format. After that, the format became word processed, was entitled, and was issued me over time in three evolving "editions." These grouped the entries chronologically by decade. (Unfortunately, I didn't date these.) Next came the first use of the blog's namesake, more comprehensive than earlier issues, and finally, four evolving issues of "A Bibliography of the Writings of Mary Baker Eddy Published Prior to 1860" which, handwritten on the first page of the first issue, a note from Skip to me mentioning that the date would be extended to 1875; thus the first issue had 51 entries, the second 99, the third 102. The final version, I suppose identical to this posted version except that it includes a Location of Original for each entry, ends this series of work. In addition to the above mentioned, other similar work on letter sized paper, along with the aforementioned, take up two full three inch binders. I've said before and I'll say again how proud I am of the fine, painstaking, and meticulous work my friend Skip has done and most of all how he is sharing it with the world. This open invitation to step into his living room and freely share what has taken decades to put together at significant expense is a testament to his desire to interest the world in that which interests him and which many would liken unto the pearl of great price. Unlike philanthropists who share posthumously, we're being given the invitation to see museum pieces now, along with expert analysis, and we don't even have to travel or pay for parking or admission.
I have it but haven't yet read it.
Another aspect worthy of research regards the superiority accorded William Lyman Johnson's (or was it Albert F. Conant's?) work vis-a-vis that of Lyman Brackett. I can't recall if I encountered this bias in the 2 volume Johnson History or elsewhere. I'd like to see a musicological analysis of all seven of Mrs. Eddy's hymns by the various composers written by someone who knows music well (thus rendering an expert discussion rather than simply a show of hands by lay people who have favorite tunes).
Thanks, Skip. Your previous post on catalogs was awesome. I have several of the more important ones but your post reveals the extensiveness of dealers who specialized in CS rare books and how their commerce was inter-related. One thing that struck me with regard to hymnal evolution is that the Chicago field displays its pioneer efforts but the New York field except for a few exceptions doesn't. Surprisingly, with her huge interest in music, Augusta E. Stetson didn't put First Church New York at the forefront of this fertile ground. The New York Public Library has a copy of a thin publication featuring thirty-nine hymns entitled "The Church of Christ (Scientist). New York City." N.p., N.d. 14 p.; 24 cm. On pencil on the cover is written "2nd Church, N.Y." I have no other research on this. Several other quick things to add: Frederick W. Root contributed "Christian Science from a Musician's Standpoint" to the July 1907 Fine Arts Journal, which was reprinted in the CSS 9 (17 August 1907): 963-65. Also, a number of "latter day" compositional compilations for organ and solo were to appear over the decades, such as Hunt, Solos, Ditson, 1913; Hymns for Male Voices, CSPS, 1918; Kirby, Seventeen, Schirmer, 1935; Arno, Sacred, Fischer, 1939; Harrell, Sacred, Fischer, 1939; Hymns (abridgement of hymnal), CSPS, 1941; Sacred, Huntzinger, 1952; Humphres, Songs, Row, 1960; Phelps, Anthology, Fischer, 1966--among several others not mentioned getting into more recent decades. One more thing: I have a reference to something I've never seen: anybody out there? It is Paul O. Williams, The Evolution of the Christian Science Hymnal, 1979. I saw ther reference online at
Thanks for the latest post. I find it disappointing that your posts involving rarities don't garner much attention, at least as measured by posted responses. Yet there's any number of collectors whose attention would be arrested should such a item appear on the open market. Perhaps a future blog might involve how Mind Cure emerged either as a movement that sought to ride the coattails of Mrs. Eddy's success or depending upon the bias of the point of view of research, was already in vogue, perhaps preceding W. F. Evans, but that stepped into the limelight so as to not be overshadowed by Christian Science (in a manner championed by the Dressers).
It is astonishing that a single collection contains so many issues of a rarity. In my effort to see as many significant collections on Christian Science as possible over the course of thirty some years I’ve come across this item only once. Interestingly, after the printing of this sketch, another seven years elapsed before any other biographical sketch of Mrs. Eddy was to appear, to the best of my knowledge, and it wasn’t until the turn of the century that articles began to appear in the press. Public interest was sparked with the Joseph Pulitzer-fueled campaign to investigate Mrs. Eddy and the rivalry his New York World was waging with McClure’s Magazine to scoop a story that yellow journalism needed to fabricate to satiate a growing appetite for sensationalism which was to culminate with the Next Friends Suit, and with that the polemics ensued. Because Mrs. Eddy herself was so inextricably connected to Christian Science, she became a lightning rod of mythic proportions for discourse on the movement, and the furor that occasioned the public interest made for a chicken-and-the-egg perplexity—which came first, the publicity, or the public fascination? By this time the controversy was defined, and, in decades to come, the all-or-nothing nature of the subject matter would continue to leave little space for any opinion other than pro or con. As of today, not counting newspaper articles and other ephemera nor full length biographies, biographical sketches number in the several hundreds, conservatively, and the high number of post-mortem contributions attest to the enduring interest in her life.
I'd like to contribute one idea to this discussion and hope that others follow suit. The one idea in particular that comes to me first regarding sin, on which we might probably agree, is paramount--the quest for at-one-ment with God that Mrs. Eddy so defines, not as a play on words with respect to an enlighted step-by-step progression in the warfare with sin theologically considered as atonement--but that which spells out plainly that we are alone with with God, and that working out the problem of being begins in this manner. Each of us individually must reform as a prerequisite to finding the ability to heal. No one has the right to condemn sin if unable to heal it, and its destruction is contingent on the understanding that it is unreal. Mrs. Eddy's writings abound with such reasoning, of course. If condemnatory Christians loved instead of hated, it wouldn't make headlines. Perhaps millions quietly seek the salvation of themselves and others, but we must all begin with ourselves.
Thanks for a slice of early institutional history. One of the aspects of the Massachusetts Metaphysical College that has always stood out to me is the fact that it had its day, fufilled its mission, was dissolved at that most critical 1889-1892 time period of reorganization, and that its charter basis was revoked by the state shortly thereafter--a circumstance that made for fertile ground, like so much other CS history, for the opinionated, pro and con. I'll take my own advice from the last post and select a narrow topic that might have appeal for both those interested in the history of the movement and those who expressed interest in the speculative issue posed by that last post. I'd like to see both "camps" merge, and maybe certain issues span interest on both sides of the aisle. So I'll borrow an idea from this current post, the idea of healing the sinner, on which Mrs. Eddy was big. She stated that healing sin is more difficult than healing sickness because the sick are uncomfortable with their lot in life while the sinning may be quite comfortable indeed. Recent headlines regarding the Supreme Court wrestling with the year's most difficult right-to-speech issue have been tied to the case of (Albert) Synder v. Westboro Baptist Church. That a segment of Christians find it proper to stage an anti-gay protest by celebrating the death of fellow Americans in the name of renouncing what is therein regarded as sin gives me pause. Jesus asked who among the throng that was ready to stone the adulteress was without sin--and that they were convicted by their own conscience, the eldest (wisest) first even unto the last. How do Margie and Jonathan Phelps deal with this section of the New Testament? Healing occurs when we get out of the way and discover how to "be" rather than how to "do." Healing occurs when desire to see healing occur--as a natural manifestation of being, not a change that we'd prefer to see happen--results when unselfed love is expressed, without qualification and judgement. So--if we were to be a student in Mrs. Eddy's class--would we be out of line to suggest that the healing of sin is something that might be potentially problematic?
Thanks for the provocative post. It has elicited response from a number of first-time participants. I think its healthy to delve into issues that cause us to think. The issues herein touched upon are vast and need to be compartmentalized, and I hope those who have ideas and opinions will be willing to continue to be a part of the blog on a regular basis. Thirty-five years ago, when I was a college student full of beans, I persuaded a friend to co-host a social event with me to which we invited Christian Scientists we knew to prepare ideas to share, thoughts based on four questions I posed in advance. These questions asked if Christian Science should encompass asceticism, if the book of Revelation suggests that fatalism somehow is inextricably and necessarily linked to our experience, if it is as revolutionary as Mrs. Eddy extols it to be (as independent of the formative things of her experience which might be cited as inconsistencies between her account of her life and that of her biographers), and whether Christian Science was permeated with too much "Eddyism" (imagine the gall it took to send such a question to church pillars!). We got a good turnout, but no one wanted to deal with the issues. Some likened the effort what Mrs. Eddy forbade in her Manual prohibition on unauthorized debate! Most came unprepared to discuss any aspect--either they didn't care to do their homework, or, I imagine, felt it out of place to even be part of some such thing. I mention this event because, I think, it's characteristic of much of what stymies original and progressive effort. Many bright, enthusiastic thinkers have left the movement, many to write treatises (not that we need more metaphysical treatises). What I'd like to see is some real dialogue, but I think it can best be expressed thru being focussed. Let's choose some sharply defined issues and stay on topic. I invite any of those who have responded to this post to submit a tight thesis.
Thanks for a fascinating look at the history of Defence of Christian Science/Christian Science: No and Yes. The acquisition of the LC copy by Gibby Carpenter, the Zadek recollection (by Geradi?), and the Smith letter richly color and document these findings. My CS collection contains several pamphlets bearing the LC imprint and I've always wondered how it is that such things would ever be allowed to leave the Library of Congress; the Carpenter instance sheds light on such wonderings. Matters of defining the difference between "printed" and "published" as well as issue, state, edition and so on also emerge from such research. In a previous column in this blog some discussion of cancel leaves was made. In an article by Sidney E. Berger entitled "Stop the Presses! A Primer on Cancels" (Biblio 2 [September 1997]:56-57) an historical analysis of cancels as a matter of self-censoring appears containing examples, indicating that perhaps when suppression is possible it economically trumps the use of the cancel, which can involve as little as two or three words or as much as up the the entire text. I'm glad that Zadek had the foresight to value such things, that people like Smith, Beauchamp, Longyear and a host of others and other collectors recognized the import also, so that the beginnings of Christian Science literature as a serious matter of study and preservation might be appreciated.
No, Linda. It was acquired by "Boston" a while ago. I'd like to hear from someone who can shed light on that story. I've heard remors/accounts regarding its acquisition that I'd like to see verified or denied by some authoritative source.
I've travelled fairly extensively while engaged in bibliographic work on CS history, and the only copy of this edition I believe I've seen was in the Keeley collection then housed at First Church of Christ, Scientist, Pasadena, California--another indication of the scarcity of which this post comments. I very much enjoy this kind of post and appreciate the varied and eclectic nature of all the posts thus far. Keep it up! I for one check this blog several times a day and find it richly fulfilling.
Thanks, Keith. I've posted comments on most of your "columns" when I've been able to add something I consider pertinent but poetical anthologies with MBE contributions is an area in which I haven't much to contribute. But I will ask if this constitutes "some of the more interesting ones," does that mean that it probably isn't comprehensive or most assuredly isn't--i.e., have you more volumes that exist or that you know about, or is this fairly comprehensive?
1. Joy Cometh in the Morning. 6. I'm thinking Julia Field-King, so I'll say 1895.
8. 84th ed., 1894, the "cornerstone" ed.
Once again it becomes my pleasure to respond to a post on Affection Crave Legend and Relics. Several random thoughts struck me in contemplating feedback. Regarding THE LIGHT OF THE AGES, a volume I acquired from a Southern California book dealer, Keith once mentioned to me that two prominent Christian Science collections didn't contain this book, which makes its rarity a matter of interest: it hasn't the earmarkings of other suppressed Longyear titles which would suggest its scarcity may be due to nothing other than the fewness of copies issued. Something I didn't know until now is that my copy of THE UNFOLDING LIFE is the second issue; I didn't know about the title page variation. We owe quite a debt to Mrs. Longyear, who recognized her logical role in establishing a living museum to Mrs. Eddy's life and cause. She had the vision and she had the wherewithal to turn vision into reality. And yet she had to judiciously, even privately, work with those in a position to contribute mightily--notably, men such as Dittemore, Johnson, and Bancroft, whereas it would take the church many decades before opening of the vaults to the public. The entire issue of the secrecy with which these things were enshrouded is something that richly deserves discussion. To paraphrase one writer, imagine that truth should need to be protected!
Thanks for this post and its special core text, a source with which few are familiar. Johnson's fine specimen of historical Christian Science fiction, From Hawthorne Hall (Homewood Press, 1922), was set in 1885--chosen as (a) zenith of American Culture and, perhaps not coincidentally, a high water mark for an epochal period in the history of the movement. I'm indebted to Keith for sharing that a 1942 letter by Johnson identifies the real-life counterparts of the characters depicted in the novel. Thanks, too, for the photos that bring together the city, the period, and this nascent period of Christian Science history.