Did Mary Baker Eddy ever mention Hugo or Tolstoy?

December 12, 2018

Mary Baker Eddy never mentioned either Victor Hugo or Leo Tolstoy in her published writings, but she did show an interest in the latter.

Eddy’s library contained copies of Tolstoy’s The Kreutzer Sonata (1890) and Work While Ye Have the Light (1891). In early 1901 she read an interview with Tolstoy, titled “Looking Forward to Death,” from the February 24 issue of the New York World. On her copy of the interview, she marked several of his statements in pencil.1

In March 1901 she sent Tolstoy two copies of her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.2 Tolstoy responded to the gift through his son, Sergius Tolstoy: “I am requested by Leo Tolstoy to thank you very much for the book ‘Science and Health’ that you have sent to him and that he has duly received – Sergius Tolstoy.” 3

Eddy also sent Tolstoy a copy of her book Miscellaneous Writings and drew his attention to a letter written by a man who became interested in reading Science and Health, which appears on pages 463–471, under the heading “How to Understand Science and Health.”4

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  1. SB012, 152-153.
  2. Anna B. White Baker to Tolstoy, 19 March 1901, V03595.
  3. Sergius Tolstoy to Eddy, c. 25 April 1901, IC718aP1.87.018.
  4. Eddy to Tolstoy, 2 May 1901, V03596.