It must be borne in mind that my design is not to write histories, but lives. — Plutarch
I’ve started reading Edwin Franden Dakin’s biography, Mrs. Eddy. The biography of a virginal mind, published in 1929. I’m reading a well-worn second hand copy that was “released for sale” from an East Coast library/historical society. Dakin’s biography got solid reviews in its day (1) and has been highly recommended by several ex-Christian Scientists. It is my understanding that Dakin’s biography was not vetted or authorized by The Mother Church, and I look forward to seeing an “outsiders” perspective.
In a nutshell (aka the GoogleBooks summery), the Biography of a Virginal Mind is
The story of the life of Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Christian Science movement and the only American woman to establish a worldwide religion. Although controversy surrounded Mrs. Eddy’s Christian Science movement over the issue of whether its origins were hers alone or actually existed in the teaching and practice of Phineas P. Quimby, she is still credited for using her strong organizational skills to have this healing message heard round the world. One of her last and greatest accomplishments was founding The Christian Science Monitor in 1908, a newspaper respected around the world for its editorial integrity and news insight. (1)
The book is divided into five parts, and each part is further sub-divided into sections. The five main sections are as follows:
- A Quest for Minerva’s Parentage
- A Book to Conjure with
- A Woman Becomes a Deity
- The Secret Place of the Most High
- The Twilight of a God
This will be presented as a series of posts summarizing Dakin’s work, and sharing thoughts and insights.
I strongly suspect I’m going to be turning to wikipedia to make sense of some of Dakin’s references, it has been a while since we glossed over Plutarch and Minerva in school — if they were covered at all (3). I will try and include end notes and links for obscure references whenever possible. All posts will be tagged the Biography of a Virginal Mind.