Twain and Eddy: The Conflicted Relationship of Mark Twain and Christian Science Founder Mary Baker Eddy
Brody, Paul. Twain and Eddy: The Conflicted Relationship of Mark Twain and Christian Science Founder Mary Baker Eddy. Scotts Valley, CA: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2014.
Brody claims that a coincidence of history brought together Mary Baker Eddy and Twain, representing one of America’s fastest-growing religious movements and America’s most famous humorist. Although these contemporary authors never met, their mutual interest in sincere religion and the power of thought inevitably brought the two distinguished figures into a provocative relationship. Brody highlights enough of their personal histories and experiences with religion to underscore their mutual interests and dislikes. Twain’s obsession with Eddy and her religion took form in a series of articles and books, but Eddy never responded to Twain’s compliments or scorching criticisms. The fact that he shifted his position on Christian Science several times indicates the conflict within his own worldview. Both the religion and Eddy herself troubled him, but his admiration for both made occasional appearances despite his sarcasm and irony. Brody’s reviews of Twain’s essays on Christian Science detail Twain’s personal wrestling with the impact of these new thoughts on the Christian world. In their day, Christian Science outpaced all its competitors, so Twain critiqued its organization, health system, literary worth, and personalities. On the other hand, he argued that, as crazy as it was, it was no more insane than any other channel of human thought. Just more interesting, perhaps.
ISBN-13 (Softcover): 978-1496083456
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