'Find your refuge': Mary Baker Eddy and hymns

. . . I am writing you in the midst of music, very sweet.

This brief statement is from a letter Mary Baker Eddy wrote to a student in March of 1882, a letter that tells us of her love of hymns, and their role in the culture of her time (see L02056, Eddy to Eldridge J. and Mollie Smith, March 26, 1882, The Mary Baker Eddy Collection, The Mary Baker Eddy Library). Long before there were CDs, radios, MP3 files, or even phonographs, the Victorian parlor was a center for live entertainment and daily inspiration. Recorded music was an innovation of the early 20th century, so instrumental performances and singing were to be found (and heard) in virtually every home in America in Mary Baker Eddy’s lifetime. And the tunes that were played and sung were often hymn tunes—religion was central to the lives of so many. No surprise, then, that the 19th century was a great era for hymns and hymn singing in the United States. And no surprise that Eddy deeply loved hymns, and often turned to them. 

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