The passage on page 245 of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures reads as follows:

The error of thinking that we are growing old, and the benefits of destroying that illusion, are illustrated in a sketch from the history of an English woman, published in the London medical magazine called The Lancet.

Disappointed in love in her early years, she became insane and lost all account of time.Believing that she was still living in the same hour which parted her from her lover, taking no note of years, she stood daily before the window watching for her lover’s coming. In this mental state she remained young. Having no consciousness of time, she literally grew no older. Some American travellers saw her when she was seventy-four, and supposed her to be a young woman. She had no care-lined face, no wrinkles nor gray hair, but youth sat gently on cheek and brow. Asked to guess her age, those unacquainted with her history conjectured that she must be under twenty.1

Over the years, various people both here and in Britain have taken up the task to locate The Lancet published during the early part of the nineteenth century that includes mention of a woman who did not age. Despite searches by numerous people, no mention has ever been found. It is possible that Eddy read the account in another magazine entirely, which mistakenly named The Lancet as the source. Many periodicals of the time reprinted articles freely from other publications, and we have found several cases of incorrect attribution. We know that she read the account some time before 1875 because it has appeared in Science and Health from the first edition.


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  1. Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (Boston: The Writings of Mary Baker Eddy, 1906), 245.