79th out of 108 books — 84 voters
Mary Baker Eddy
In 1866, a frail, impoverished invalid, middle-aged, widowed and divorced, rose from her bed after a life-threatening fall, asked for her Bible, and took the first steps toward the founding of the Christian Science Church. Four decades later, she was revered as their leader by thousands of churches in the U.S. and Europe, had founded a national newspaper, and had become pr...more
Paperback, 776 pages
Published September 24th 1999 by Da Capo Press
(first published 1998)
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Not so much a biography as a history of Mary Baker Eddy and the times in which she lived, which influenced many of her activities and decisions. It is certainly a wonderfully researched, well documented, and objective ('warts and all') examination, if not a little dry in some spots. In the end, though, she emerges most human; complex and inconsistent, but with an insatiable desire to devote herself to studying the Science she discovered.
The book was diligently researched by the author and a sincere effort to be objective is made. I dare say this is probably the most authentic and objective book o the life of Mary Baker Eddy. The author is a student of philosophy and delves into the philosophy of Christian Science a bit and the many trails and tribulations of Mary Baker Eddy. The reader gets to know Mrs. Eddy quite intimately...both her good and bad sides. Mrs. Eddy is a very interesting subject. The book does drag a bit and exc...more
I need to finish reading it. I've read through the first few chapters, which were hard to get through b/c the subject matter was somewhat dry to me. I'm sure it picks up though. I do enjoy Gillian Gill's perspective as a non-Christian Scientist and how she comes to respect and admire Mary Baker Eddy.
I just started this, but am excited by it so far. It's really massive, and one of the few bios on Mary Baker Eddy not written by a Christian Scientist or a major CS critic. It's a good companion to the other MBE bio I'm reading, which is from 1907 and was totally CS sanctioned. Gill's bio style is appealing thus far. She also wrote one on Agatha Christie. Which I don't think I'll read.
Gillian Gill's talent lies in being able to bring an historical figure to life within the context of the times in which they lived. Not only do I learn about the person, but I deepen my understanding of the time in history. Her books deserve close reading and in return, deliver a deeper understanding of the obstacles famous women have overcome.