Mrs. Eddy, the Biography of a Virginal Mind

Mrs. Eddy, the Biography of a Virginal Mind

Mrs. Eddy, the Biography of a Virginal Mind

Mrs. Eddy, the Biography of a Virginal Mind

Excerpt

Popular conceptions of Mrs. Eddy have shown an extraordinary variance. To some of her followers she has appeared as nothing less than a Christ incarnate. Other observers have portrayed her as a bigger humbug than Barnum and the worst virago since Xantippe. Such a wide range of concepts cannot solely be accounted for by mere variation in human points of view. Rather is the conclusion justified that few individuals have ever had an opportunity to weigh the facts regarding this extraordinary woman at something approaching their true relative values. And it is indeed true that many of the facts have been purposely concealed; others are obscure; and still others appear on the surface so contradictory that they seem to bear no relation to any accepted picture of the woman, and hence have been more or less ignored.

It is the task of the biographer to reconcile, as well as to recount; to omit, in selecting his data, only material representative of that already included. Otherwise he must cast the values of the picture out of balance. In particular it is necessary to avoid that state of mind which accompanies a desire to prove a preconceived thesis--the attitude which has resulted in attempts to show variously that Mrs. Eddy was an earthly archangel and a maniacal fiend. Certainly neither interpretation can suffice to explain her glamorous rise from the lot of a simple country girl to a position of unique eminence and wealth, such as few men or women through their own efforts ever attain.

There undoubtedly prevails a certain notion that all those who dare to talk intimately of God should conform in character to a conventional pattern, much as the designs for sacred faces on church windows must all have an orthodox stare. This is a notion that has been shared alike, strangely enough, both by . . .

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