Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Research Needs

Our outline calls for a chapter on the writing of Plan of the Ages. Mrs. Russell claimed to have written part of it. We believe her claim is somewhat exaggerated. We are open to observations and new research. Anyone?

9 comments:

Robert Crompton said...

I have no information on this one, but my impression when researching my own book was that the first three volumes of Studies were well written and tightly argued. Vol 4, "The Battle of Armageddon" was very different and appeared to have fallen well below the standard set by the previous work. Since this volume was published around the same time that Russell was going through divorce proceedings, I speculated that his earlier work may have drawn heavily upon his wife's talents. I did not look at the final two volumes in detail because they dealt with areas outside the scope of my research.

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

During their divorce Maria claimed to have written virtually all fo Battle of Armageddon, then called Day of Vengeance. That might tell us something.

Miquel Angel Plaza-Navas said...

I think to have read somewhere that she also claimed to have written Poems and Hymns of Millennial Dawn together with some of the volumes of the Millennial Dawn series.

At the preface of Poems and Hymns of Millennial Dawn you can find the following: "We can speak
the more positively our opinion, because we praise not our own efforts to serve the Lord and the truth, nor our own writings, but those of God’s saints of the past, as well as of the present time—though among the latter you will be pleased to know are some from the pen of our beloved helpmate, Sister Russell."

Then, if "Sister Russell" helped in this way (and C.T. Russell confirms that)) for a poetical work that was a companion volume to the other Millennial Dawn volumes... may be, she also had an active role in other writings. The problem is to know which kind of role and to which degree...

At my thesis I went a little far and assumed that despite C.T. Russell could be considered as the main compilator of Poems and Hymns... I think that her wife can be considered also as compilator. Maybe she selected and re-wrote some of the poems and hymns.

Sorry, I include a spanish portion of my thesis about this subject... may be someone can translate it to a good english and then contribute to critize it.

"En el caso de Poems and Hymns of Dawn me decanto más por indicar que se trataría de una co-edición de Russell y su esposa, y así quiero indicarlo cuando en las citas del himnario cito a los dos como sus editores o compiladores. Es cierto que Russell controlaba muy de cerca todo lo que se publicaba y su papel en el himnario sería de
mayor calado, pero creo que la labor de su esposa tuvo que ir más allá de una mera revisión del producto. Nadie niega que ella tuviera la educación y habilidades necesarias para editar, compilar, revisar, etc., y de sobras es conocido que escribió artículos en Zion's Watch Tower. No sería difícil entender que ella, siendo colaboradora personal de su esposo, ayudara en la selección de los himnos, revisión de su contenido, lo discutiera con él y, finalmente, le ayudara en su formato final. ¿Hasta que grado? Es un tema que sigue mereciendo futuras investigaciones pues siguen habiendo aspectos que también me crean grandes dudas. Cuando Russell publicó por separado, en 1906, la edición con música de Hymns of Dawn los himnos fueron prácticamente los mismos. Si su esposa hubiera tenido gran peso en la edición del volumen Poems and Hymns of Dawn ¿los hubiera mantenido Russell casi íntegramente años después de su ruptura? De manera que, posiblemente, el papel de su esposa fuera bastante menor en comparación con el suyo."

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

I think the divorce transcript gives us a fairly clear picture of how they worked together. ... But we're still researching this subject.

jerome said...

Here is what I hope is a reasonably translation of Miquel’s Spanish paragraph, courtesy of Mrs Jerome:

In the case of Poems and Hymns of Dawn, I consider it to be a joint work between Russell and his wife; and so I want to indicate where, in quotations, the two were cited as editors. It is true that Russell controlled very closely all that was published, and his part in the hymn book would be the major one; but I believe that the work of his wife was more than just that of revising the finished product. Nobody denies that she had the education and ability necessary to edit, compile and revise etc, and also it is known that she wrote articles in Zion’s Watch Tower. It would not be difficult to understand that in collaborating with her husband she would help to select hymns, revise their contents, and in discussion help with the final format. But to what degree? It’s something that deserves future investigation, because there continue to be aspects of this that give me great doubts. When Russell separately published the edition of Hymns of Dawn with music in 1906, the hymns were practically the same. If his wife had had greater influence in the Poems and Hymns of Dawn, would Russell have kept this unchanged years after their separation? So, possibly, the role of his wife was considerably less when compared with his.

jerome said...

In response to Robert Crompton:

It is difficult to pinpoint the truth of authorship just from reading the material. Robert's analysis assumes that Volume 4 (unlike the previous 3 volumes) did not draw so heavily on Maria's talents. Yet in the Russell vs. Russell 1907 transcript on page 121, while Maria claims to have written at least half of the first three volumes, she actually claims to have written the entire fourth volume herself (apart from just one chapter).

Of course, that is if you believe Maria.

Robert Crompton said...

Jerome, I've just seen your comment - this is very interesting and puts things completely the other way round to what had been my first impression.

Miquel Angel Plaza-Navas said...

Thanks Jerome... and Mrs. Jerome.

jerome said...

Maria claimed during the hearings that she had written over half of the first three volumes and all of the fourth volume – apart from one chapter. There is an expression in my country about over-egging the pudding.

CTR made the point when questioned about her claims that, while she undoubtedly assisted him, “She labored in connection with myself on some of the chapters, among other things, but she had no knowledge of the subject, because it was new to her.”

So CTR claimed that the subject material came from him, not Maria. Volume 1 of Separate Identity shows how far his theological development had come, before he ever met Maria.

As to comparing styles of writing to determine who the author really was, CTR issued the challenge: “If anyone will compare Mrs Russell’s new book which she published a few years ago with the Dawn, they will see a very different style in every sense of the word.”

This was followed by the following exchange between Maria’s counsel and CTR:

Q. You took considerable interest in the book she wrote two or three years ago?

A. Not much; I bought a copy.

Had Maria been author of both ideas and sentence structure for the first four volumes to the extent she claimed, one would have expected to see a marked change in the quality of both for volumes 5 and 6, and the ZWT magazines from 1897-1916.