“A Woman of Sound Education” – Mary Baker Eddy’s School Years
Heather Vogel Frederick. “A Woman of Sound Education” – Mary Baker Eddy’s School Years. Chestnut Hill, MA, Longyear Museum Press, 2020.
In the first decade of the 1900s, when Mary Baker Eddy’s renown was at its height, so, too, were criticism and attacks on her. A major legal suit challenged her mental competency, and a satire by Mark Twain accused her of being only “a village schoolgirl.” Frederick’s book, published by a church-friendly press, documents Eddy’s diverse education and touches on broader issues in the education of girls in early America. Eddy began school at the age of four. At age fifteen her parents moved from the family farm to a larger town for the purpose, as her father explained, “to better educate his children.” Her home had newspapers and was visited by many educated visitors and ministers. She was also tutored by a brother who graduated from Dartmouth. At age twenty, Eddy was enrolled in Sanbornton Academy where she studied natural philosophy, chemistry, rhetoric, logic. She eventually became a teacher herself and published poetry in local newspapers. Frederick concludes that, for a young woman of her era, Eddy was quite well educated, having “more formal education, for instance, than Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison, Andrew Carnegie, and ironically, her formidable critic, Mark Twain” (79).
ISBN-13 : 9780578675060