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Craig Beardsley

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.


Thanks, Craig. By the way a copy of From Hawthorne Hall is currently available on eBay, I see. A copy of that book in my collection includes the following nice inscription:

“May the contents of this book surround you with the wonderful atmosphere of the period when Mrs. Eddy walked among her people, and for their great need, as pilgrims in a new world of Spirit and Love, gave them the seven steps upward from suffering to health and spirituality in her poem:

‘Christ My Refuge’
William Lyman Johnson

March 5, 1938.”

The transcript that I have of the 1942 letter has the following information as to which characters in the novel correspond to which real Christian Scientists:

Delia Barker = Miss Julia S. Bartlett
Capt. and Mrs. East = Capt. and Mrs. Eastaman
Mrs. Roe = Mrs. Mary W. Munroe
Mr. Johns = William B. Johnson
Mary Hamilton = "one now living, who was remarkably healed."
"Gerald is what I would have liked to have been but ---- Parker is a composite character."

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