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Linda Bargmann

Thank you for spending your Saturdays in this way, so that I can spend Sunday morning enjoying and learning from what you have put up on Saturday! Such unselfishness - I love it!!!

Craig Beardsley

Thanks, Skip. Your previous post on catalogs was awesome. I have several of the more important ones but your post reveals the extensiveness of dealers who specialized in CS rare books and how their commerce was inter-related.

One thing that struck me with regard to hymnal evolution is that the Chicago field displays its pioneer efforts but the New York field except for a few exceptions doesn't. Surprisingly, with her huge interest in music, Augusta E. Stetson didn't put First Church New York at the forefront of this fertile ground. The New York Public Library has a copy of a thin publication featuring thirty-nine hymns entitled "The Church of Christ (Scientist). New York City." N.p., N.d. 14 p.; 24 cm. On pencil on the cover is written "2nd Church, N.Y." I have no other research on this.

Several other quick things to add: Frederick W. Root contributed "Christian Science from a Musician's Standpoint" to the July 1907 Fine Arts Journal, which was reprinted in the CSS 9 (17 August 1907): 963-65. Also, a number of "latter day" compositional compilations for organ and solo were to appear over the decades, such as Hunt, Solos, Ditson, 1913; Hymns for Male Voices, CSPS, 1918; Kirby, Seventeen, Schirmer, 1935; Arno, Sacred, Fischer, 1939; Harrell, Sacred, Fischer, 1939; Hymns (abridgement of hymnal), CSPS, 1941; Sacred, Huntzinger, 1952; Humphres, Songs, Row, 1960; Phelps, Anthology, Fischer, 1966--among several others not mentioned getting into more recent decades.

One more thing: I have a reference to something I've never seen: anybody out there? It is Paul O. Williams, The Evolution of the Christian Science Hymnal, 1979. I saw ther reference online at Idealo.com/Idealbooks.com.


Thanks both Linda and Craig, and Craig I really appreciate the additional information. That is a very intriguing item from the NYPL. If it is 2nd Church NYC it might be a Laura Lathrop-inspired production. Later Stetson was quite involved in music with her acolytes, from about 1915 and later. I knew Paul Williams but don't recall his article or booklet about the hymnal. He taught the Christian Science History course at Principia College, and perhaps that has some connection to the item.

Mrs. Eddy worked with Lyman Johnson on music for her hymns, and here is a letter that I have from Gilbert C. Carpenter (at Pleasant View) to Lyman Johnson [mistakenly addressed to his father, William B. Johnson]:

“August 10th 1905

William B. [sic] Johnson

Dear Bro:

Our beloved Leader requests me to indite to you the following ‘Kindly send me your bill for the composition of your music.’ I have a number of times had it in my heart to write you. I wanted to and I owed you a number of letters but the duties here are such that time is the most valuable thing we have not got. I wish you would send up some time a picture of your son [i.e., Lyman Baker Johnson, born March 13, 1905] an heir for we [sic] all to look at if we could [view?] it for a few moments we would like it. Why don’t you ever come up here[;] don’t you ever have business to bring you up? Give my best regards to the wife and pinch the boy[’]s nose for me–not hard.

With best regards
Yours in Truth
[s] Gilbert Carpenter”

Craig Beardsley

Another aspect worthy of research regards the superiority accorded William Lyman Johnson's (or was it Albert F. Conant's?) work vis-a-vis that of Lyman Brackett. I can't recall if I encountered this bias in the 2 volume Johnson History or elsewhere. I'd like to see a musicological analysis of all seven of Mrs. Eddy's hymns by the various composers written by someone who knows music well (thus rendering an expert discussion rather than simply a show of hands by lay people who have favorite tunes).

Linda Bargmann

Have you seen the book "A Most Agreeable Man" about Brackett by Peter Hodgson? He was a wonderful musicologist as far as I know - at least I always enjoyed his company at Asilomar and in Boston!

Craig Beardsley

I have it but haven't yet read it.


I have the booklet, A Most Agreeable Man. I also enjoy his works. I believe the debate was over WLJ versus Lyman Brackett. Johnson was a big fan of Wagner, and his taste for music differed from that of Brackett. I too hope that someone who knows music well can make a comparison of the hymns of Mrs. Eddy.

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