Mary Baker Eddy in a New Light
d’Humy, Fernand E. Mary Baker Eddy in a New Light. New York: Library Publishers, 1952.
d’Humy’s ‘new light’ is now (in 2020) a dated attempt to depict the drive behind Eddy’s life work. Since his work (as a non Christian Scientist) pre-dates the opening of the Christian Science Church archives in 2002 by half a century, his resource options were extremely limited: either the polemic writings or the nearly hagiographic writing of Sibyl Wilbur’s 1907 biography. Based on his admiration for Eddy’s life accomplishments, he chose Wilbur’s historical record as his guide. From there, d’Humy describes Eddy’s wisdom, decisions, struggles, prophetic inclination, and human circumstances in favorable comparison with other important historical figures. Mary Magdalene, Saint Theresa, Martin Luther, and Elizabeth Blackwell—a pioneer female physician—were examples, like Eddy, of those who served a divine cause. Without access to Eddy’s letters and more private thoughts, d’Humy frequently resorts to speculation as to what Eddy ‘must have’ felt or thought. Explaining the benefits of Eddy’s childhood years of leisure, for example, d’Humy argues that “Leisure renders meditation and concentration possible” (19). Abraham Lincoln exemplifies one who was known to have “worked hard as a farm laborer. Yet he took time off to loll under a tree…[to] study and meditate” (19). The rest of the historical sketch includes similar explanations.