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Craig Beardsley

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.


Thanks Craig for the trip down memory lane. I had forgotten how many versions there have been! Also thanks for confirming that Daystar does in fact have the Spofford copy of Science and Health (1875), specially bound for him.

I should point out to everyone that this Friday, December 3, is the 100th anniversary of Mrs. Eddy's passing, so I will be doing a blog post for that around the end of the week.

Calvin A. Frye

And there is the ongoing debate about "Taking Offense" first published in 1870.

The Mary Baker Eddy Library wrote about it in it's most recent newsletter. www.marybakereddylibrary.org/files/Newsletter%202010_V4_N1.pdf

A portion of the newsletter--

Many critics of Eddy have charged her with plagiarism in an attempt to discredit her ideas. One of the most frequent accusations is that the article “Taking Offense,” included in Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896, was not actually written by Eddy and was instead plagiarized by her.

“Taking Offense” was first published in Godey’s Lady’s Book in February 1870, where it appeared anonymously. On April 14, 1883, it was published anonymously in the first issue of The Christian Science Journal, and later in June 1886 was excerpted in the Journal with the preface “SOMEBODY has written these wise words.” The essay was then gathered and included, along with many other articles of Eddy’s, in the first issue of Miscellaneous Writings in 1897. In 1901, several of Eddy’s articles were included in a thirty-volume compilation titled Masterpieces of Great Literature. Irving Tomlinson, Eddy’s secretary, was in charge of selecting which of her writings would be sent for inclusion, and selected “Taking Offense.” When Eddy received the final published compilation, her only comment was that she was “a little surprised to find so many of her articles in it” (L10241). Researchers have worked extensively, most recently using the tools of the Internet, to find further references to this, but have not found any other instances of its publication, or any further clues as to its authorship.

Although no one ever charged Eddy with plagiarizing this piece while she was alive, in 1929, critics began to claim that Eddy had not, in fact, written “Taking Offense.” They cited the anonymous publications of the article in both Godey’s Lady’s Book and the Journal as proof. Peel makes the same claim in his biography. The truth is that the authorship of the article is still unknown. Given, however, its publication in multiple sources under Eddy’s name during her lifetime, we strongly suspect that the article was written by her.


Thanks, Calvin. You bring up a great point in that I did not mention "Taking Offense." I will try to find time to write a history of that particular article. In this case I do not concur with the conclusion of the staff at the Mary Baker Eddy Library. Actually the first known publication appears to have been published in the 1850s (or perhaps the 1840s), based on its placement in Mrs. Eddy's scrapbook that is largely (but not exclusively) clippings of other writers. The Godey's printing is a later printing. For many reasons, not least of which in my opinion is a writing style that is completely different from Mrs. Eddy's, I do not consider that article to have been written by Mrs. Eddy, which is why it is not included in the above list, but I should at least have mentioned it. Again, I will try to find the time to cover this issue in greater detail. Thanks again, Calvin, for bringing this issue up.


I should add that the article in Mrs. Eddy's scrapbook is anonymous, so we do not know who wrote it.

Linda Bargmann

Whether Mrs. Eddy wrote "Taking Offense" or not, it is clear that she LIKED it, calling the author "wise" and adding it to the first ever Christian Science Journal, then again in a later Journal, then putting it into Miscellaneous Writings, so that's always been good enough for me!
Thanks once again, Skip, for an amazing and comprehensive list.

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