“The Standard Oil Treatment: Willa Cather, The Life of Mary Baker G. Eddy, and Early Twentieth Century Collaborative Authorship.”
Squires, L. Ashley. “The Standard Oil Treatment: Willa Cather, The Life of Mary Baker G. Eddy, and Early Twentieth Century Collaborative Authorship.” Studies in the Novel 45, no. 3 (2013): 328–48.
One of the results of the opening of the Mary Baker Eddy Library was the availability of new documentary evidence disproving Willa Cather’s ‘certain’ authorship of the 1907 McClure’s series, “The Life of Mary Baker G. Eddy.” The editorial team included Georgine Milmine (credited author), Ida Tarbell, Burton Hendrick, and Willa Cather, who had just become an editor at McClure’s. Assumptions about Cather’s authorship and the cachet that her imprint carried with it gave the text a level of credibility it did not deserve. Cather never took ownership of it, although her editorship is evident. Squires (author of this article) concludes from her study of the more recent evidence that Milmine must be granted substantial responsibility for the central argument and “deft psychological analysis” (341), but Hendrick’s editorial contributions reveal a harsher agenda of his own. Milmine’s nuanced portrayal of Mary Baker Eddy is replaced with Hendrick’s invective (341). Furthermore, multi-authorship makes the relationship among all contributors ambiguous. “This biography needs to be understood not as a detached account of Mary Baker Eddy’s life and work but in the context of the raging public debates being fought in newspapers, courtrooms, and state legislatures” and as the product of McClure’s own toxic internal politics (346).
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Print ISSN: 0039-3827
See also annotations:
The Life of Mary Baker G. Eddy and the History of Christian Science by Georgine Milmine
“On the Divide: The Many Lives of Willa Cather” by David Porter
Mary Baker Eddy: The Years of Trial by Robert Peel
Annotations related by category:
- Availability: Online - Free
- Controversy: McClure’s Magazine (Milmine, Cather)
- Official Christian Science Publication: No
- People: Cather, Willa
- People: Eddy, Mary Baker
- People: Milmine, Georgine
- Publication Date: 2011-2020
- Resource Types: Article
- Resource Types: Web Resources
- Subjects: Biographies and Chronologies
- Subjects: Polemic Literature and Responses
- Subjects: Social and Cultural Studies