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Hal Bush <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 29 May 2019 11:31:48 +0000
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Now I'm just riffing on Barb's excellent post.  But her concerns about such obscure comments as the "probably" match my memory of the Phipps book.  I found it to be filled with a great deal of useful information and many good leads, but also somewhat unwieldy in terms of overall content; often unreliable about specifics; and dubious in terms of many of the conclusions and the analysis offered.  So I would just take all that into consideration as well.

(I suppose similar remarks could be made about most of the scholarship in the world...)

The other thing I thought of, after I sent in my little response, was the excellent "spiritual life" on Harriet Beecher Stowe of a couple years back, by Nancy Koester.  In that book, she does a very good job of parsing out those sorts of denominational nuances as you describe (easily overlooked too), and how and why they were relevant to Stowe.  I thought you might like to take a look at it, as a good model for the kind of thing it sounds like you are attempting.  Maybe other folks on here know of similarly nuanced studies?  The other thing I though of is the rich new material coming out recently on hymns, especially by folks like Claudia Stokes, Chris Phillips, and others.

Again, I look forward to hearing what you learn, Sarah.

Dr. Hal Bush

Dept. of English

Saint Louis University

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From: Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Barbara Schmidt <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, May 28, 2019 10:38:58 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Hannibal Presbyterian Church hymnal?

A close reading of Phipp's book shows he may have hedged his bets on the
book _Psalms and Hymns_ (1843) when he stated it was "probably" the book
that most influenced Mark Twain, second to the Bible.  It is unclear if
"probably" refers to the actual book or the actual influence. Nothing
definite. (Phipps, p. 22). Unfortunately, Phipps died in 2010, so it's
impossible to ask him for a clarification.

Terrell Dempsey does have an indepth discussion about what was going on in
Hannibal between the "old" and "new" schools of religious thought and it
was a complicated political/religious situation much of it revolving around
the slavery issue.  Dempsey does not discuss old and new hymn books.

Regarding hymn books -- it would be interesting to make a side-by-side
comparison between the two hymnals to determine what hymns might have been
deleted and what might have been added.  The question also arises -- Did
Jane Clemens keep a copy of any discarded "old" hymnals? Especially if she
was ambivalent about the "new" directions.