The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
VOLUME XVIII. Later National Literature, Part III.

XXVIII. Popular Bibles

§ 5. The author

As the Book of Mormon describes the hegira of an adventurous folk moving by successive stages from the East to the Salt Lake Valley, so Science and Health marks the pilgrimage of a group of seekers after health and truth from an idealism, at first indeterminate and amorphous, up to a unique religiousness challenging modern medicine, and that odium theologicum which is largely responsible for the multiplication of denominations dividing Christendom, at a time when in union only is there strength.

The founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, was born at Bow, New Hampshire, a hundred years ago, when the news was coming overseas that Napoleon was dead at last in his island prison house. Always a New Englander, never widely travelled, Mrs. Eddy spent her early years in an environment surcharged with interest in the mystical. Clairvoyance, spiritualism, mesmerism, transcendentalism, kaleidoscopic alike in brilliant colouring and rapid changes, were the talk of crossroads and farm-house on many a New England granite hill and in many a river valley.