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Books: Winds of Change

Vol. 1 of 3 Past Treatments Quimby-Eddy Controversy
For almost one-hundred forty years an at-times heated discussion has centered around the authenticity of Mary Baker Eddy’s religious and healing theories in Christian Science. Some have contended that Mrs. Eddy derived her ideas from her interaction with a mid-nineteenth century healer named Phineas Quimby while others have denied that. Finally the claim can be evaluated on its own merits based on a definitive look at the subject by respected archivist and historian Keith McNeil.

This first volume explores the effect biographical treatments in the past of both Mary Baker Eddy and Phineas Quimby have had on public perception and writing about the debate. It launches into definitions and descriptions of Animal Magnetism and hypnotic cures and methods in the nineteenth century. It adds further information, some of it anecdotal and including newspaper articles, about Animal Magnetism and spiritualistic healers and mediums, such as Charles Poyen, Dr. J.R. Newton and Semantha Mettler and many others.

The book set is full of fascinating material on the proliferation of methodologies of healing beyond medical practice: mesmerism, phrenology, Swedenborgianism, and spiritualism among others. It is amply illustrated and documented for further study.

This is the definitive version of the Quimby/Eddy story. It is key to understanding the development and growth of an important religious movement, Christian Science, which was said to have 500,000 adherents in 1910 and still has active congregations all over the world today.

Vol. 2 of 3: Details of Quimby’s Life and Practice and contrast of life of Mary Baker Eddy
Provides the first scholarly look at Quimby’s life and healing practice in detail. It covers his writing practices and life and healing in Maine and other localities. Quimby’s writings and later published works are discussed. In contrast, the life of Mary Baker Eddy is covered in special detail in areas never examined before. (Book II covers Quimby and Eddy’s life through 1862.)

Vol. 3 of 3: Eddy and Quimby Intermittently together.
This volume covers the time Quimby and Eddy were sometimes together in 1862-1866. It includes the first biography of Warren Felt Evans, who purportedly was a pupil of Quimby. This volume looks at the evolution of Eddy’s thought both with and away from Quimby. It covers Quimby’s death just before the time Mary Baker Eddy fell on the ice in Lynn, Massachusetts, and experienced a healing which she later said was the key experience that led her to Christian Science.