Squires sees the opening of the Mary Baker Eddy Library as an opportunity for literary scholars to give closer attention to the history, doctrines, and distinctions of Christian Science. Only then will there be an honest and accurate account for the literature that seeks to represent or critique them.View Annotation
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This book examines the relationship between American literary history and Christian Science by looking at Christian Science as an influence on the restitution narratives in the writings of Mark Twain and others. Civil War, Reconstruction, and industrialization had left American society searching for how to restore and heal the nation, and Christian Science influenced restitution narratives and stories of recovery.View Annotation
Squires’s research resolves the controversial claims to authorship of the 1907 polemic series in McClure’s, “The Life of Mary Baker G. Eddy.” Squires finds that Willa Cather never took ownership of it, but the multi-authorship makes the relationship among all contributors ambiguous. The work should be understood in the context of the raging public debates at the time.View Annotation
Squires takes up the 1915 novel, “The Genius,” by Theodore Dreiser and compares the many semi-autobiographical parallels between the novel’s main character, Eugene, and Dreiser. Dreiser’s personal philandering and materialism are reflected in his portrayal of Eugene. After scandalous affairs with tragic consequences, both grapple with their own crisis of morality by conversing with Mary Baker Eddy’s teachings in Christian Science.View Annotation