Item description for Mary Baker Eddy (Radcliffe Biography Series) by Gillian Gill...
In 1866, a frail, impoverished invalid, middle-aged, widowed and divorced, rose from her bed after a life-threatening fall, asked for her Bible, and took the first steps toward the founding of the Christian Science Church. Four decades later, she was revered as their leader by thousands of churches in the U.S. and Europe, had founded a national newspaper, and had become probably the most powerful woman in America.Who was this astonishing woman, the mother of the Mother Church? How did she prepare for her illustrious career during her years of obscurity, and what was her inspiration for the healing practices and doctrine of Christian Science? Gillian Gill, a non-Christian Science Scientist scholar, who managed to win unparalleled access to the Church archives, offers here an entirely new look at Mary Baker Eddy.For the first time readers will see the extraordinary leadership skills exercised by Mrs. Eddy despite the repressive forces facing women in her time. For the first time we learn the full story of the bizarre attack on Mrs. Eddy by Joseph Pulitzer and his "New York World"--alleging that she was at least senile and possibly not even alive. In this enthralling biography, we rediscover Mary Baker Eddy as a radical Christian thinker, pioneer in the recognition of mind/body connections, survivor of scandal, and target of both admiration and scorn from such eminent contemporaries as Mark Twain. Gillian Gill's sense of drama, her critical acumen, and her delicious wit bring to life a brilliant religious leader whose message has new meaning in our time.
Citations And Professional Reviews Mary Baker Eddy (Radcliffe Biography Series) by Gillian Gill has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Wilson Public Library Catalog - 12/31/2008 page 979
Wilson Public Library Catalog - 01/01/2004 page 772
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Studio: Da Capo Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.28" Width: 6.2" Height: 1.95" Weight: 2.44 lbs.
Release Date Oct 1, 1999
Publisher Da Capo Press
ISBN 0738202274 ISBN13 9780738202273
Availability 60 units. Availability accurate as of Sep 25, 2017 11:15.
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More About Gillian Gill
Gillian Gill has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Mary Baker Eddy (Radcliffe Biography Series)?
Exhaustive and, at times, exhausting Jun 11, 2007
I bought this book at the Christian Science reading room in Boston next to the Mother Church at the recommendation of one of the staff members. She said the book was a good fit for someone who wasn't a Christian Scientist, but wanted to learn more about Mrs. Eddy. I found Gillian Gill's carefully documented biography to be thorough in most respects. Some of the financial issues were glossed over -- How did Ms. Eddy really become so wealthy? While she certainly isn't fawning, Ms. Gill seems too gentle in her treatment of Mrs. Eddy's paranoia about "malicious animal magnetism." The second half of the book is markedly more readable than the first.
Charisma Mar 19, 2006
Biographers of Eddy have assumed she was an ordinary woman in possession of an astonishing achievement and success. This strikes Gill as an absurdity. Surely her talent must account for her achievement. Mary Baker Eddy's freedom from domestic care was won at enormous cost when she was separated from her six year old son. She lived with her second husband, Daniel Patterson, in North Groton, New Hampshire between 1855 and 1860. After 1862 she began a transition. By 1875 she was active and independent. She first consulted Quimby, a healer, in 1862. Both Quimby and Mary Baker Eddy were autodicts. Mary Baker Eddy suffered from life-long loneliness. During the Civil War Daniel Patterson had the look of a fool and a failure because he was captured by the rebel forces while he was, remarkably, sight-seeing. The situation encouraged Mary to take an independent stand. For such an undertaking good health was requisite. Under the ministrations of P.P. Quimby she was healed. She became a Quimby disciple and publicist. She made several visits to Portland, Maine between 1863 and 1865. Quimby published nothing in his lifetime. He was barely literate. The Quimby papers were, in all probability, transcriptions of Quimby dictations. Quimby died in 1866. Eddy's healing in 1866 after a fall on the ice, as her marriage was collapsing, was produced through Bible reading. It was a turning point.
Between 1866 and 1870 Mrs. Eddy moved nine times. She was penniless. Hiram Crafts was MBE's first student. While living with Mrs. Webster she met Richard Kennedy and Sarah Bagley. In 1870 MBE and Richard Kennedy moved to Lynn. Kennedy was a healer and MBE a teacher. The early students, except for Putney Bancroft, were a source of endless trouble to Eddy. By 1872 Kennedy had declared his independence. Nearly all of the Eddy-Kennedy correspondance has disappeared. SCIENCE AND HEALTH appeared in print in 1875. Many revisions took place in the foundational text, finally issued for posterity in 1907. MBE underwent social ostracism and cultural and intellectual isolation. She was writing alone in a cultural vacuum. Gill characterizes the work as the loneliest book she has encountered.
The author of the biography functions as a sort of counsel to the defense as she evaluates MBE's essential intergrity and authenticity. She separates the strands of the rival schools of biographers, Milmine-Dakin-Dittemore versus Peel-Wilbur. Asa Gilbert Eddy and Mary Baker Glover, (after separating from Patterson she resumed using the Glover surname), were married January 1, 1877. Gilbert proved to be very useful. He died June 3, 1882. In August 1882 Calvin Frye was offered employment by Mrs. Eddy at her Massachusetts Metaphysical College. His employment with her extended to the end of her life in 1910. Calvin Frye had grown up in the shadow of his mother's insanity.
Mrs. Eddy's religion succeeded as she created a persona appealing to both the rich financier and the aspiring artisan. John Wilson, University Press, became the printer of SCIENCE AND HEALTH to the great betterment of the book in its subsequent editions. Between 1885 and 1891 some editorial services were provided by James Henry Wiggin, a Unitarian minister. Gill argues that SCIENCE AND HEALTH is a flawed but fascinating and radical work. Mary Baker Eddy was unschooled but brilliant. By the end of the 1880's Christian Science was a religious force. It was challenged by the New Thought Movement.
In 1889 Mrs. Eddy moved from Boston to New Hampshire and thereafter appeared in public infrequently. She closed the Metaphysical College and other Christian Science institutions underwent reorganization. In 1892 the Mother Church was established. The building of the church on Norway Street was completed in eight months. Joseph Armstrong wrote interestingly of the building of the church and the extension. The directors supplied on-site supervision of the work. Part of Mrs. Eddy wanted to be entertained and adored. There was, for example, her adopted son Ebenezer Foster. Unfortunately Foster exploited his influence. This biographer identifies one of the problems in Mrs. Eddy's dealings with others is that she hated noise. Pleasant View was a garden and a farm. In her first decade at Concord she enjoyed relative anonymity. In the nineteenth century New Hampshire was a tourist mecca.
A rigid household routine enabled Mrs. Eddy to cope with uneven progress in Christian Science affairs. In her pursuit of domestic perfection Mrs. Eddy may have been a little mad. Household workers learned to fear her anger. Mrs. Eddy taught her last Christian Science class in 1898. Students received special invitations to join the gathering in Concord. In 1906 the New York WORLD reported that Mrs. Eddy was more dead than alive. Her reclusiveness puzzled friends and family. The citizens of Concord were prepared to combat the press attacks. After the Next of Friends law suit Mrs. Eddy moved to Chestnut Hill, (to a great barn of a place, she said). Within three weeks the rooms were reduced to the dimensions of those at Pleasant View and the dwelling became more tailored to Mrs. Eddy's needs. In the end Mrs. Eddy and her followers dealt with Josephine Woodbury and Augusta Stetson, errant leaders of the movement.
Gillian Gill finds that Eddy was not an hysteric, a drug-addict, or deficient in maternal feelings. Acts to change the structure of the religion undertaken subsequent to 1889 are called amusingly the great disestablishment by Gill. Notes, source book descriptions, and an index follow the epilogue in this accomplished and judicious retelling of the life of Mary Baker Eddy.
One of the best biographies I've read about Mary Baker Eddy Jun 17, 2005
I have read a number of biographies about Mary Baker Eddy and this is probably one of the best. Don't skip the footnotes! They are long but well worth reading. I kept one bookmark in the book and another in the footnotes. A few parts that I really enjoyed was learning more about Mary Baker Eddy's life before her discovery of Christian Science. There seems to be very little reliable information on this time period and Gillian Gill fills this void. I also enjoyed reading about the Next Friends case. Gillian Gill seems to have gone further than any previous biographer and actually read what seems to be practically everything on this subject - from newspaper clippings in Lynn, court transcripts, letters between the individuals filing the lawsuit, and more. It is the clearest explanation of the lawsuit I have ever read. And on top of this, I have a little clearer idea of what life must have been like for women in the 1800s - whether you writing a book about the Bible and healing or not.
A Model for Mid to Late Life Accomplishment Apr 21, 2005
For far too long, Mary Baker Eddy has been worshiped by Christian Scientists and either castigated or ignored by nearly everyone else. Thanks to this long-needed biography, we now know that Eddy provides an inspiring model for mid to late life accomplishment. As biographer Gill puts it, she was "conventional in her 20s, weak in her 30s, struggling in her 40s, a social outcast in her 50s, indefatigably working in her 60s, famous in her 70s, formidable in her 80s." Over her long life, Eddy overcame ill health, poverty, widowhood, divorce, accusations of plagiarism, lawsuits, mockery and deception, in addition to the expected obstacles of being born poor, uneducated and female in the 19th century. Yet this woman became the most influential and controversial woman in America at the turn of the century. Her writings so challenged contemporary mores that her detractors expended massive amounts of energy producing -- or manufacturing -- damning facts and damaging documents. Over the years, men from Mark Twain to Noel Coward stooped to cheap shots, calling her, variously, shallow, stupid, egotistic, illiterate, illogical, uncultured, poorly read, incapable of love, painted, bedizened, affected, hysteric , paranoiac, mad, ambitious, mercenary, tyrannical, a man eater, a husband killer, a drug addict, a mesmerist, a plagiarist, and even, long after her death, "Hitler with no mustache." Unhappily, most feminists have been so blinded by Eddy's religion that they have failed to properly acknowledge much less honor her considerable courage and accomplishments. Thank you Gillian Gill for setting this straight.
Waste of time Apr 22, 2004
Gill's book is 2 inches thick. Nothing is new and Eddy as all CS approved literature always comes out on top. She is the infallible prophet that without Rev. Wiggin's revisions of Science and Health, making sense of non-sense, she would have never suceeded in having individuals follow what she herself never did. Morphine was her friend when pain was present.
For a more objective view see: Fraser's "God's Perfect Child" or Bliss "Destiny of the Mother Church" which really shows Eddy=Christ.
Kessinger Publishers publish a lot of out of print Eddy Books/Christian Science books and is worth a look at.