« A surprisingly rare first edition | Main | The future of the Christian Science movement »



Craig Beardsley

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.


Thanks Craig for the great post. Yes, the Zadek information came from Ralph Geradi. I think the Library of Congress decided that it had two copies of everything and it was running out of room, so it decided to start selling off items. Gilbert Carpenter early on was able to take advantage of this to get some good stuff, sometimes by making trades with the Library. What especially interests me about No and Yes is that the copyright edition was about ten pages shorter than the published edition, which in turn was suppressed by Mrs. Eddy so that it could be amended. Most of the copyright editions sent to the Library of Congress are identical to the published editions, thus when I find one that differs I find it especially interesting.

The comments to this entry are closed.