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Craig Beardsley

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, Craig. The historical issue of secrecy in the Christian Science movement is one that needs more historical analysis. To those of us in prior years who grew used to having access to only a small fraction of the holdings of the Church archives, the openness of the Mary Baker Eddy Library is a quantum leap beyond what we knew. Now is not the time to go over all of the historical reasons for that, but perhaps I can go over that in a later post.

Linda Bargmann

Thanks, Skip (and Craig)
Reading this, I not only found out about a lot I didn't know, but it pushed me to get out "The Life of Asa Gilbert Eddy" and keep reading. I had put it down right after Christmas and not picked it up again.
So much to read as you both know...
Some day I hope there is more available, especially on the supressions.
Since I'm fairly new to all this, I've had the MBEL the whole time, for which I am extremely grateful!


I do feel like the old timer who tells the young whippersnapper, "I had it a lot tougher when I was your age!" I will try to bring out in the blog more history on some of these books that are lesser known, whether suppressed or not.

Book buying today is a completely different world than even 15 years ago; eBay and the Internet have changed everything, but I miss the old days sometimes about needing to go into a musty old bookstore to maybe find a treasure. Collecting is much easier these days.

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