The Life of Mary Baker G. Eddy and the History of Christian Science
|Author||Willa Cather (1873–1947) and Georgine Milmine|
|Publisher||Doubleday, Page & Company (1909)|
Baker Book House (1971)
Bison Books, University of Nebraska Press (1993)
|Pages||566 (first edition)|
The Life of Mary Baker G. Eddy and the History of Christian Science was published in November 1909 in New York by Doubleday, Page & Company. Mostly ghostwritten by the novelist Willa Cather, the book is a highly critical account of the life of Mary Baker Eddy (1821–1910), the founder of Christian Science, and the early history of the Christian Science church in 19th-century New England.
The first major examination of Eddy's life and work, published when she was 85 years old, the material first appeared in McClure's magazine, in 14 installments, between January 1907 and June 1908. The articles were preceded in December 1906 by a six-page editorial announcing the series as "probably as near absolute accuracy as history ever gets". The eyewitness accounts and affidavits became key primary sources for practically all independent accounts of the church's early history.
The magazine's publisher and editor-in-chief, S. S. McClure, assigned five writers to work on the articles: Willa Cather, winner of the 1923 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, who had joined McClure's as an editor in 1906; Georgine Milmine, a freelance reporter who originally brought some of the research to McClure's; Will Irwin, McClure's managing editor; Burton J. Hendrick and Mark Sullivan, both staff writers; and, briefly, the journalist Ida Tarbell. The original byline on the book and articles was Milmine's, but it later emerged that Cather was the principal author.
The New York Times wrote at the time that the book's evidence against "Eddyism" was "unanswerable and conclusive". Christian Scientists reacted strongly to it; there were reports of Scientists buying all available copies and stealing it from libraries. The Christian Science church purchased the manuscript, and soon the book was out of print. It was republished by Baker Book House in 1971 after its copyright had expired, and again in 1993 by the University of Nebraska Press, this time naming both Cather and Milmine as authors. David Stouck, in his introduction to the University of Nebraska Press edition, wrote that Cather's portrayal of Eddy "contains some of the finest portrait sketches and reflections on human nature that Willa Cather would ever write".
- 1 Overview
- 2 Authorship
- 3 Reception
- 4 Publication details
- 5 Notes
- 6 Sources
- 7 Further reading
- 8 External links
Eddy and 26 followers founded the Christian Science church in 1879 in Boston, Massachusetts, following the publication of Eddy's book Science and Health (1875). In the book Eddy argued that disease is a mental error rather than a physical disorder, and that it should be treated not by medicine, but by a form of silent prayer that corrects the mistaken beliefs. Her ideas were not new, she said; on the contrary, the church sought to "reinstate primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing".
At a time when medical practice was in its infancy, and patients often fared better if left alone, the Christian Science message was a welcome one.[a] In 1882 Eddy set up the Massachusetts Metaphysical College in Boston, where, for $300 for a 12-lesson course, she and her students taught mostly women how to become Christian Science practitioners, licensed to offer Christian Science prayer to the sick. The college made Eddy a wealthy woman; when she died in December 1910 her estate was valued at $1.5 million.
Christian Science became the fastest growing religion in the United States. The church had 27 members in 1879; 65,717 in 1906 when McClure's began its research; and 268,915 at its height in 1936. In 1890 there were just seven Christian Science churches in the U.S.; by 1910 there were 1,104. Construction of the mother church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, was completed in Boston in December 1894, and in 1906 the Mother Church Extension, rising 224 ft and accommodating nearly 5,000, was built at a cost of $2 million. Art historian Paul Ivey writes that, for many, the building "visibly declared that Christian Science had, indeed, arrived as a major force in American religious life".
The McClure's articles were published in 14 installments between January 1907 and June 1908, under Georgine Milmine's byline, as "Mary Baker G. Eddy: The Story of Her Life and the History of Christian Science". The series was preceded by a seven-page editorial in December 1906, outlining the difficulties of the investigation and explaining why it was being published. Referring to Christian Science as a cult based on a "hazy and obscure" book, the editorial continued: "A church which has doubled its membership in five years, which draws its believers mostly from the rich and respectable ... and which has just paid for the most costly church building in New England—to the worldly, this is no longer a joke":
In 1875 no one living outside of two or three back streets of Lynn had heard of Christian Science. Now, the very name is a catch phrase. In those early days the leader and teacher paid out half of her ten dollars a week to hire a hall, patching out the rest of her living with precarious fees as an instructor in mental healing; now, she is one of the richest women in the United States. She is more than that—she is the most powerful American woman.
The series got off to an unfortunate start by reproducing a photograph on page two of the editorial that purported to be of Eddy, but was in fact of someone else.
The book's criticism of Eddy is considerable. She is portrayed as greedy, uneducated and deceitful, someone who regularly revised her life story and was interested only in making money. The authors produce witness statements from Eddy's childhood alleging that she engaged in repeated fainting spells to gain attention or avoid punishment, particularly from her father, and that, as an adult, she developed a habit of appearing to be seriously ill only to recover quickly.[b]
Eddy was widowed when she was 22 years old and pregnant, after which she returned to live in her father's home. Her son was raised there for the first few years of his life, looked after by domestic staff because of Eddy's poor health. The Life of Mary Baker G. Eddy alleges that she allowed him to be adopted when he was four. According to Eddy, she was unable to prevent the adoption,[c] but McClure's implied otherwise.
Her next two marriages, lifelong poor health, and the numerous legal actions in which she was involved, are examined in detail—including lawsuits she initiated against her students, a criminal case in which her third husband was accused of conspiring to murder one of them (an allegation never proven), her conviction that her former students killed her third husband by using "mental malpractice", and her legal adoption of a 41-year-old homeopath when she was 67. The authors also allege that Eddy's major work, Science and Health (1875), which became Christian Science's main religious text, borrowed heavily from the work of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby, a New England faith healer. Quimby had treated Eddy in the years before his death and had given her some of his unpublished notes.
Georgine Milmine was born in Ontario, Canada. Before joining McClure's as a researcher, she worked for the Syracuse Herald in New York.[d] She had been collecting material about Eddy for years—newspaper articles from the 1880s, court records, and a first edition of Science and Health, all of which were hard to obtain—but lacked the resources to check and write it up herself, so she sold it to McClure's. Apparently when McClure's was sold, the new publisher threw away the research, including the first edition.
S. S. McClure assigned five writers to the story, including Milmine, Willa Cather, Burton J. Hendrick, political columnist Mark Sullivan, Will Irwin and, for a short time, the journalist Ida Tarbell. Cather had started working for McClure's as an editor in 1906 when she was 32 years old. She and Sullivan spent time traveling in New England seeking confirmation of the material about Eddy's early life. The journalist Elizabeth Shepley Sergeant, a friend of Cather's, wrote in 1953 that McClure saw Eddy as a "natural" for the magazine, because of her marital history and idiosyncrasies:
The material was touchy, and would attract a world of readers both of the faithful and the doubters. ... The job seemed to [Cather] a little infra dig, not on the level where she cared to move. But she inspired confidence, had the mind of a judge and the nose of a detective when she needed it.
David Stouck, professor emeritus of English at Simon Fraser University, writes that the Mary Baker Eddy Library holds the original manuscript, and that Cather's handwriting is evident in edits for the typesetter and notes with queries.
Cather discussed her authorship privately with her father and friends, but otherwise said she was not the author. She was reluctant to discuss most of her work before O Pioneers! (1913). According to L. Brent Bohlke, editor of Willa Cather in Person (1990), Cather regarded the Eddy book as poorly written. While it contains some excellent writing and character analysis, Bohkle wrote, it is not well-structured; the editing had failed to rid the book of the serialized nature of the McClure's pieces. Stouck adds that Cather wanted to distance herself from journalism, and sought to minimize her role in the articles because they had angered the Christian Science church.
Cather identified herself as the author on December 17, 1906, in a letter to her father, Charles F. Cather. The articles beginning February 1907 (at that time written, but not published) were hers, she wrote. Apologizing for being unable to come home for Christmas, she explained that she had to get the March article ready:
But if you were here, my father, you'd tell me to stand by my job and not to desert Mr. McClure in this crisis. It would mean such a serious loss to him in money and influence not to have the March article come out—Everyone would think he was beaten and scared out, for the articles are under such a glare of publicity and such a fire of criticism. I had nothing to do with the January article remember, my work begins to appear in February. Mr. McClure is ill from worry and anxiety ...
Cather referred to her authorship again in a letter to the writer Harrison G. Dwight on January 12, 1907:
Mr. McClure tried three men on this disagreeable task, but none of them did it very well, so a month ago it was thrust upon me. You may imagine me wandering around the country grubbing among newspaper files and court records for the next five months. It is the most laborious and sordid work I have ever come upon, and it takes every hour of my time and as much vitality as I can put into it. ... You can't know, never having done it, how such work does sap your poor brain and wring it dry of anything you'd like to pretend was there. I jump about like a squirrel in a cage and wonder how I got here and why I am doing it. I never in my life wanted to do this sort of thing. I have a clean conscience on that score. Then why am I hammering away at it, I'd like to know? I often wonder whether I shall ever write another line of anything I care to.
On November 24, 1922, Cather wrote to a friend, Edwin H. Anderson, director of the New York Public Library, that she was the author of the entire book except for the first chapter. Burton J. Hendrick had written the first installment, but it had been based largely on rumor. McClure asked her to complete the series because she was regarded as impartial. For the rest of the installments, she told Anderson, no expense had been spared in verifying Milmine's material. McClure had promoted her to managing editor on the basis of the work. She ended the letter by asking Anderson to keep the information confidential; she added that had not told the truth about it to anyone before this, but felt that someone ought to know.
Cather's letter to Anderson can only be paraphrased by scholars, because she left a clause in her will forbidding the publication of her letters and private papers. The correspondence enters the public domain in 2018, 70 years after her death. The Willa Cather Trust permitted the publication of selected letters in 2013, and a complete edition is planned for early January 2018.
In letters to others, Cather continued to deny her authorship. She told Genevive Richmond in 1933 and Harold Goddard Rugg in 1934 that she had helped only to organize and rewrite parts of the material. One of the first public indications of Cather's authorship came in 1935, when a copy of the book listed for sale by Philip Duschnes, a New York bookseller, was found to contain an editor's note from Witter Bynner. Bynner had signed the book on February 12, 1934, and added: "The material was brought to McClure's by Miss Milmine, but was put into the painstaking hands of Willa Cather for proper presentation, so that a great part of it is her work."
Eddy responded to the early installments in McClure's by challenging its description of her father, early family life, and the issues surrounding her marriages. McClure's had said that the Bible was the only book in the house when she was growing up; on the contrary, she wrote, her father was a great reader. To counter McClure's claim that her childhood home had provided a "lonely and unstimulating existence", her statement described the educational and professional achievements of her family. In response to McClure's description of her as bad tempered, she offered as an example of her own kindness that a housekeeper of the family's had resigned because Eddy allowed a blind girl, who had knocked on the door and was unknown to the family, to stay with them.
According to Peter Lyon in his biography of S. S. McClure, when the series began, three Christian Science officials arrived at the McClure's offices and asked Witter Bynner, then managing editor, to take them to McClure:
The Christian Scientists came in. Before they sat down, they stood on chairs and closed the transoms over the two doors to the rooms. Then they made their demand: the series must not be published. S.S. scowled at them and said nothing. To fill the silence, Brynner began rather nervously to assure the Scientists that the articles were not sensational, not offensive; that there was no cause for apprehension; that all the facts had been most carefully verified.
One of the Scientists cut in to suggest that perhaps there would be no objection to publication of the material if the Scientists were permitted to edit it as they might please.
When McClure refused, they said he would soon notice a loss of advertising. The church purchased the manuscript when the book appeared, and there were rumors that the plates had been destroyed. In June 1920 it also purchased some of McClure's research files from a New York manuscript dealer, including notes from Milmine and drafts of the book handwritten by Cather. Christian Scientists were reported to have bought and destroyed copies of the book, and removed them from libraries. Sergeant wrote in 1953 that the book "disappeared almost immediately from circulation—the Christian Scientists are said to have bought the copies". It had become scarce even in libraries. According to Sergeant, readers in the 1950s were likely to have to borrow it from the chief librarian and be watched while reading it. The book's copyright expired 28 years after publication. Baker Book House, a Christian publishing house, republished it in 1971 "in the interest of fairness and objectivity", according to its back cover.
University of Nebraska Press edition
Caroline Fraser writes that the church tried to stop the University of Nebraska Press from republishing the book in 1993. The press was interested in doing so, with a new introduction by David Stouck, because the articles and book were Cather's first extended work, and therefore important in her development as a writer. According to Fraser, the head of the church's public-relations office, the Committee on Publication, called the press and told them the reprint might damage the church's and Eddy's reputation. According to a press representative who spoke to Fraser, the church representative "felt it was his responsibility to try to bully us into stopping publication or into saying that the book was worthless".
Stouck made clear his view in the book's preface that Willa Cather was "indisputably the principal author". But, according to Fraser, there were fears for the jobs of the church researchers who had helped make the Cather–Milmine manuscript available for examination. Stouck therefore agreed to add a statement to the book, which, in Fraser's view, was essentially a church press release:
Since the Bison re-issue of The Life of Mary Baker G. Eddy and the History of Christian Science went to press new materials have come to light which suggest that Ms. Eddy's enemies may have played a significant role in organizing the materials for the "Milmine" biography. New information about Georgine Milmine, moreover, suggests that she would have welcomed biased opinion for its sensational and commercial value. The exact nature of Willa Cather's part in the compiling and writing of the biography remains, accordingly, a matter for further scholarly investigation.
The "enemies" Stouck refers to relate to the "Next Friends" lawsuit that was being prepared during the McClure's serialization. The lawsuit was brought by Eddy's relatives, who maintained that she was unable to manage her own affairs; had it succeeded, she would have lost control of the church and her fortune. According to Fraser, the suit was organized in 1907 by Joseph Pulitzer, owner of the New York World (1860–1931); his motive was to engineer a story about Eddy to rival that of McClure's. The McClure's journalists were in touch with the litigants.
According to Fraser, the head of the church's Committee on Publication included the following in a report for its 1993 annual meeting:
A major corrective opportunity this year involved the rerelease of one of the earliest malicious biographies of Mrs. Eddy, The Life of Mary Baker G. Eddy and the History of Christian Science by Georgine Milmine. Dating from the yellow journalism period, this book was published in an attempt to discredit her. The current publisher, after much correspondence with our office, instead issued a statement accurately characterizing its bias. The book has received almost no attention in the public, proving if Truth isn't spoken, nothing is said.
General reception and influence
The Life of Mary Baker G. Eddy became a key primary source for biographies of Eddy that were published independently of the church. It influenced Lyman Pierson Powell's Christian Science: The Faith and its Founder (1907); Edwin Franden Dakin's Mrs. Eddy: The Biography of a Virginal Mind (1929); Ernest Sutherland Bates and John V. Dittemore's Mary Baker Eddy: The Truth and the Tradition (1932); and Martin Gardner's The Healing Revelations of Mary Baker Eddy (1993). The New York Times wrote in 1910 that the book "ranks among the really great biographies—or would were its subject of more intrinsic importance":
Since this Life first appeared in McClure's Magazine not one important statement as of fact in it has been disproved or even seriously questioned. It is a product of much and highly intelligent labor, and were Christian Scientists open to argument or amenable to reason the wretched cult would not have survived its publication for a single month. It is unanswerable and conclusive, and nobody who has not read it can be considered well-informed as to the history or nature of Eddyism.
Gillian Gill disagreed that the book offers an accurate portrayal of Eddy. She argued, for example, that the story of Eddy having "fits" as a child to get her own way, or the way McClure's described them, was "invented more or less out of whole cloth" by McClure's journalist Burton Hendrick, and that the accounts of her as "hysterical" were misogynist. That Eddy would regularly appear to lose consciousness as a child is supported by Robert Peel, who worked for the church and wrote a sympathetic three-volume biography of Eddy.[e]
The journalist Adela Rogers St. Johns, who was a minister in the Church of Religious Science—a belief system closely related to Christian Science—wrote in 1974 that Cather was "a fine—maybe our finest—American woman novelist", but also a "lousy unscrupulous reporter". She argued that Cather had "stirred with grim fancy the most vicious and inaccurate of all the attacks on Mrs. Eddy". David Stouck, in his introduction to the 1993 University of Nebraska Press edition, wrote that Cather's portrayal of Eddy "contains some of the finest portrait sketches and reflections on human nature that Willa Cather would ever write."
- "Editorial announcement", McClure's, December 1906.
- Georgine Milmine, "Mary Baker G. Eddy: The Story of Her Life and the History of Christian Science", McClure's, January 1907 – June 1908 (14 installments).
- Georgine Milmine, The Life of Mary Baker G. Eddy and the History of Christian Science, Doubleday, 1909 (Internet Archive).
- Georgine Milmine, The Life of Mary Baker G. Eddy and the History of Christian Science, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1971, with an introduction by Stewart Hudson.
- Willa Cather and Georgine Milmine, The Life of Mary Baker G. Eddy and the History of Christian Science, Lincoln: Bison Books, University of Nebraska Press, 1993, with an introduction by David Stouck. ISBN 0-8032-6349-X
- When one of its first Christian Science practitioners opened a clinic with Eddy in Lynn in 1870, local people would say: "Go to Dr. Kennedy. He can't hurt you, even if he doesn't help you."
- Cather and Milmine (1993): "These attacks, which continued until very late in Mrs. Eddy's life, have been described to the writer by many eye-witnesses, some of whom have watched by her bedside and treated her in Christian Science for her affliction. At times the attack resembled convulsions. Mary fell headlong to the floor, writhing and screaming in apparent agony. ... At home the family worked over her, and the doctor was sent for, and Mary invariably recovered rapidly after a few hours; but year after year her relatives fully expected that she would die in one of these spasms."
- Mary Baker Eddy (1891): "A few months before my father's second marriage ... my little son, about four years of age, was sent away from me, and put under the care of our family nurse, who had married, and resided in the northern part of New Hampshire. I had no training for self-support, and my home I regarded as very precious. The night before my child was taken from me, I knelt by his side throughout the dark hours, hoping for a vision of relief from this trial. ..."My dominant thought in marrying again was to get back my child, but after our marriage his stepfather was not willing he should have a home with me. A plot was consummated for keeping us apart. The family to whose care he was committed very soon removed to what was then regarded as the Far West."After his removal a letter was read to my little son, informing him that his mother was dead and buried. Without my knowledge a guardian was appointed him, and I was then informed that my son was lost. Every means within my power was employed to find him, but without success."
- Not much is known about Georgine Milmine. She married Benjamin E. Welles, an editor with the Syracuse Herald and Auburn Citizen, on August 22, 1905; he died in January 1912. On August 24, 1914, she married Arthur A. Adams of Auburn, New York.
- Robert Peel (1966): "This was when life took on the look of a nightmare, overburdened nerves gave way, and she would end in a state of unconsciousness that would sometimes last for hours and send the family into a panic. On such an occasion Lyman Durgin, the Baker's teen-age chore boy, who adored Mary, would be packed off on a horse for the village doctor ..."
- Bohlke 1982, 288–294.
- Jewell and Stout 2013, 97.
- Georgine Milmine, "Mary Baker G. Eddy", McClure's, January 1907 – June 1908.
- "Editorial announcement", McClure's, December 1906, 216.
- Gardner 1993, 41.
- Gill 1998, 567.
- Stouck 1993, xv–xviii.
- "Mrs. Eddy's Life and Teachings", The New York Times, February 26, 1910.
- Streissguth 2011, 42.
- Fraser 1999, 139.
- Stouck 1993, xviii.
- Wilson 1961, 125; Eddy 1908, 17–18.
- Stark 1998, 197–198.
- Cather and Milmine, May 1907, 97–98; also see Peel 1966, 222, 239.
- Bates and Dittemore 1932, 258, 274.
- "Church gets most of her estate", The New York Times, December 15, 1910.
- Stark 1998, 189–191.
- Cunningham 1967, 892.
- Classe 2013, 58.
- Ivey 1999, 73.
- "Editorial announcement", 211.
- Mary Baker Eddy, "Reply to McClure's Magazine" in Chapter XVII of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, 1913, pp. 308-316.
- Cather and Milmine 1993, 21–22.
- Eddy, Retrospection and Introspection, 1920 , 20–21.
- "Editor Wells' Death", Auburn Semi-Weekly Journal, January 5, 1912.
- "Georgine Milmine Collection", Mary Baker Eddy Library, 3 (webcite).
- Also see "She Feared Death: Auburn writer of Mrs. Eddy's Life Gives Interview", Auburn Citizen, 19 December 1910.
- Stouck 1993, xv.
- Bohlke 1982, 292, citing Willa Cather to Edward H. Anderson, 24 November 1922, letter in the Anderson Papers, Manuscripts and Archives Division, New York Public Library.
- Bohlke 1982, 289.
- Sergeant 1953, 55.
- Stouck 1993, xvii.
- Bohkle 1982, 288.
- Bohlke 1982, 290.
- Jewell and Stout 2013, 99.
- Jewell and Stout 2013, 101.
- Stout 2002, 98, letter number 649.
- Bohlke 1982, 293.
- Stout 2002, xi; for a summary of the letter, see 98, letter 649.
- Jewell and Stout 2013.
- "The Complete Letters of Willa Cather", Willa Cather Archive.
- "Gossip of the Book World", Los Angeles Times, 3 March 1935.
- Gutjahr 2001, 348.
- Lyon 1963, cited in Fraser 1999, 138–139.
- "Georgine Milmine Collection", Mary Baker Eddy Library (WebCite).
- Sergeant 1953, 56.
- The Copyright Act of 1909 extended copyright from 14 to 28 years; see "An Act to Amend and Consolidate the Acts Respecting Copyright", 1 July 1909, here for background information.
- Fraser 1999, 140.
- Stouck 1993, iv.
- Gillian Gill, "Mrs. Eddy's Voices", The New York Review of Books, June 29, 2000 (letter by Gill, reply by Caroline Fraser).
- Fraser 1999, 137.
- Fraser 1999, 140–141.
- Peel 1966, 45.
- Adela Roger St. Johns, cited in Bohlke and Hoover 2001, 58.
- That Adela Roger St. Johns was a minister in the Church of Religious Science, see Dennis McLellan, "Adela Rogers St. Johns", Los Angeles Times, 1988.
- News sources and websites are listed in the References section only.
- Bates, Ernest Sutherland and Dittemore, John V. Mary Baker Eddy: The Truth and the Tradition, New York: A. A. Knopf, 1932.
- Bohlke, L. Brent. "Willa Cather and The Life of Mary Baker G. Eddy", American Literature, 54(2), May 1982, 288–294. JSTOR 2926137
- Bohlke, L. Brent; Hoover, Sharon. Willa Cather Remembered, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2001.
- Willa Cather and Georgine Milmine, The Life of Mary Baker G. Eddy and the History of Christian Science, Lincoln: Bison Books, University of Nebraska Press, 1993.
- Classe, Olive. "Boston: The First Church of Christ, Scientist", in Trudy Ring, Noelle Watson, Paul Schellinger (eds.), The Americas: International Dictionary of Historic Places, New York: Routledge, 2013.
- Cunningham, Raymond J. "The Impact of Christian Science on the American Churches, 1880–1910", The American Historical Review, 72(3), April 1967 (885–905), 892. JSTOR 1846660
- Eddy, Mary Baker. Manual of the Mother Church, Boston: The First Church of Christ, Scientist, 89th edition, 1908 .
- Eddy, Mary Baker. Retrospection and Introspection, Boston: The First Church of Christ Scientist, 1920 .
- Fraser, Caroline. God's Perfect Child: Living and Dying in the Christian Science Church, New York: Metropolitan Books, 1999.
- Gardner, Martin. The Healing Revelations of Mary Baker Eddy, Amherst, Prometheus Books, 1993.
- Gill, Gillian. Mary Baker Eddy, Boston: Da Capo Press, 1998.
- Gutjahr, Paul C. "Sacred Texts in the United States", Book History, 4(1), January 2001, 335–370. doi:10.1353/bh.2001.0008 JSTOR 30227336
- Ivey, Paul Eli. Prayers in Stone: Christian Science Architecture in the United States, 1894–1930, Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1999.
- Jewell, Andrew; Stout, Janis (eds.). The Selected Letters of Willa Cather, New York: Vintage Books, 2013.
- Lyon, Peter. Success Story: The Life and Times of S. S. McClure, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1963.
- Peel, Robert. Mary Baker Eddy: The Years of Discovery, New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1966 (later published by the Christian Science Publishing Society).
- Sergeant, Elizabeth Shepley. Willa Cather: A Memoir, Philadelphia and New York: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1953.
- Stark, Rodney. "The Rise and Fall of Christian Science", Journal of Contemporary Religion, 13(2), 1998, 189–214.
- Stouck, David. "Introduction", in Willa Cather and Georgine Milmine, The Life of Mary Baker G. Eddy and the History of Christian Science, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1993.
- Stout, Janis P. A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2002.
- Streissguth, Tom. Writer of the Plains: A Story about Willa Cather, Millbrook Press, 2011.
- Wilson, Bryan R. "Christian Science", in Sects and Society: A Sociological Study of the Elim Tabernacle, Christian Science, and Christadelphians, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1961.
- Fraser, Caroline. "Mrs. Eddy Builds Her Empire", New York Review of Books, 11 July 1996 (includes a review).
- Westberg, M. Victor and Robert David Thomas. "Christian Science: An Exchange", New York Review of Books, 14 November 1996 (letters in response to the above; reply from Fraser).
- The Nation. "The Origins of Christian Science", 10 February 1910 (review).
- Works related to The Life of Mary Baker G. Eddy at Wikisource