Articles for the Methodist Publishing House CWS

Articles for the Methodist Publishing House

Savery wrote twenty-five articles for the British METHODIST MAGAZINE, but she also wrote stories, serials, and articles for the Methodist Publishing House in the United States. These appeared in CLASSMATE, FIVE | SIX, and TRAILS FOR JUNIORS, all of which were distributed in weekly Sunday School classes across America. A great many were printed, but not many survive. Among the archives where they may be found are Drew University in New Jersey and Emory University in Georgia.

CLASSMATE was intended for older students and may have included adults. TRAILS FOR JUNIORS had young adolescents in mind. Following a church reorganization, TRAILS FOR JUNIORS was discontinued in favor of two other journals, TWELVE | FIFTEEN for twelve to fifteen-year-olds, and FIVE | SIX for younger students in the fifth and sixth grades in the United States. Savery had a story printed in TWELVE | FIFTEEN, but no articles.

The articles in CLASSMATE are listed first, followed by those that appeared in TRAILS FOR JUNIORS, followed by the one article published in FIVE | SIX. This order creates a chronological list.

CLASSMATE

Experiment in Co-Operation. Photographs by Fox Photos, Ltd. Nashville: CLASSMATE, LII(19), pt. 2, The Methodist Publishing House, 810 Broadway, Nashville 2, Tennessee. Cover of Periodical May 13, 1945, pp 8-10.

On November 14, 1940, German fire-bombs destroyed all of Coventry Cathedral except its spire. It is doubtful the target was intentional. Armaments were manufactured in Coventry. Almost immediately there was a call to build a new cathedral, and, uniquely, an appeal was made to all Christian churches in Coventry to cooperate in the process.

Looking at the pictures by Spence and Snoek of the beautiful building that was consecrated in 1962 with Queen Elizabeth in attendance, I think it probable that state monies were provided, and the dependence upon ecumenical cooperation was lessened. Yet the final cathedral includes, and extends, the Unity Chapel featured in the postwar design.

Savery's article was timely and informative, although she failed to mention the Cathedral's original founder and benefactress, the wife of Leofric, Earl of Mercia: Lady Godiva.

Book by Fifty Authors. Nashville: CLASSMATE, LIII(47), pt. 4, The Methodist Publishing House, 810 Broadway, Nashville 2, Tennessee. Nov. 24, 1946, pp 12, 15.

An annotator must do more than read the review. You must read the book. This report, commissioned in 1943 and entitled Toward the Conversion of England, was a controversial 'religious best-seller' when it was published just before the end of World War II, and it provided important information and incisive advice for the Church of England. Savery chose this sentence for emphasis:
England will never be converted until laity use the opportunities for evangelism daily afforded by their various professions, crafts, and occupations.
The book is no longer a best-seller, even in religious circles, but it can still be purchased and read with profit. Savery herself never shrank from the responsibility of confessing her Lord and Savior in her own profession.

American Books in Britain. Nashville: CLASSMATE, LIV(19), pt. 2, The Methodist Publishing House, 810 Broadway, Nashville 2, Tennessee. May 11, 1947, p 7. Cover of Periodical Printed at 420 Plum St., Cincinnati 2, Ohio.

Volume V of the fair copy of the work diary contains several unpublished works, including a personal appreciation entitled American Books and an English Child. In revising that essay Savery extended the audience for American books from herself to English readers generally, but she retained a personal interest in some lesser known books and authors. Here is a 'large mixed bag, good, bad, indifferent' of the latter: Mrs. Prentiss, the Rev. E.P. Roe, Susan and Anna Warner, Margaret Deland, the Rev. Charles Sheldon, Susan Coolidge, Miss Cummins, Frank Stockton, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, Lew Wallace, Edward Bellamy, Kate Douglas Wiggin, and Pansy. Although I enjoy out-of-fashion authors, I scored six out of fourteen on that list.

I felt more comfortable with the familiar names, from Alcott and Longfellow to Artemus Ward and Twain, but Savery lost me when she came to devotional works and the lives of missionaries. Ah well, this was an article for a Methodist magazine.

She ended with a postwar request: "Send your books over the Atlantic soon, please..." I'm sure America did.

TRAILS FOR JUNIORS

He Started School at Twenty-One. Illus. by Manning de V. Lee. Nashville: TRAILS FOR JUNIORS, 21(5), pt. 2, Nashville: The Methodist Publishing House, 201 Eighth Avenue South, Nashville, Tennessee. May 13, 1962, pp 2-3.

Ulfilas (or Ulfila or Wulfila; 311?-381) was one of the very first to translate the New Testament into his native language. He preceded even Jerome, who prepared the Latin translation known as the Vulgate, the Catholic standard for over 1000 years.

Ulfilas, a Goth, was taken as a hostage to Constantinople, where he learned to read at age 21. Converted to Christianity, he was a bishop by age 30, when the emperor allowed him to return to the Goths to attempt to convert them as well. He was only partially successful, establishing a separate community for Christian Goths on the Christian side of the Danube near the Balkan mountains. There he translated the Bible into Gothic, inventing his own alphabet to do so, and omitting, as too warlike, the books of Samuel and Kings. Chronicles isn't mentioned.

Savery tells her story through the eyes of a boy, Wulfila, who sees Ulfilas marched off as a hostage and sees him again when he returns years later to preach the gospel and lead the Christian Goths to their new home. In doing so, she establishes a pattern for most of her short biographical sketches, beginning each with her subject as a child.

A Man of Many Mercies (Henry Martyn). Illus. by Manning de V. Lee. Nashville: TRAILS FOR JUNIORS, 21(10), pt. 1, Nashville: The Methodist Publishing House, 201 Eighth Avenue South, Nashville, Tennessee. Oct. 7, 1962, pp 6-7.

Henry Martyn (1781-1812) has five lines in Webster's Biographical Dictionary, but I was introduced to him by Savery. Like many Englishmen of his era, he left home for the East, where he worked for a short while and died. He is remembered for translating the New Testament and The Book of Common Prayer into Hindustani and the Psalms and New Testament into Farsi. Sometimes it is those who are most obscure that deserve recognition.

In the Magic Mirror. Illus. by Edith Cunnings. Nashville: TRAILS FOR JUNIORS, 22(10), pt. 3, Nashville: The Methodist Publishing House, 201 Eighth Avenue South, Nashville, Tennessee. Oct. 20, 1963, pp 3-5.

Savery begins her brief biography of John Milton (1608-1674) with a night watchman seeing the candlelit window of the 12-year-old John and grousing about how the boy's father is wasting money on his child. The watchman is very wrong, of course, and by the time Milton is fifteen he has already written the familiar hymn "with the joyful refrain
For His mercies shall endure,
Ever faithful, ever sure."
Graduating from Christ's College in Oxford, Milton spends five years working on his father's estate before becoming Latin Secretary to Oliver Cromwell. Besides translating Cromwell's correspondence into and out of Latin, the diplomatic language of the day, Milton writes fierce Puritanical attacks on King Charles I and the Royalists. After Cromwell's death and the restoration of the monarchy, Milton's books are burned, he is imprisoned, and he narrowly escapes being executed as a regicide, perhaps because he is now blind. Despite this handicap, "Page by page his magnificent epic, Paradise Lost, gets itself written."

It is not possible to come away from Savery's story with much liking for the strong-minded poet, but his indomitable spirit and enduring perseverance cannot be questioned. In the end, Paradise Lost remains a standard by which all English poetry is measured. And like "His mercies" it endures.

Dearest Joe. Illus. by Manning de V. Lee. Nashville: TRAILS FOR JUNIORS, 22(10), pt. 4, Nashville: The Methodist Publishing House, 201 Eighth Avenue South, Nashville, Tennessee. Oct. 27, 1963, pp 2-3.

The Joe in Savery's title is Joseph Addison (1672-1719), who is well known as an essayist and Richard Steele's partner in publishing THE SPECTATOR. He also had a career in public service, retired young with a comfortable pension, and died before he was fifty. Savery's account of his life begins with his flight from school as a young boy, mentions his public successes, and concludes with praise for five hymns. Speaking of one of them, The Spacious Firmament on High, Savery writes:
The last hymn, which is based on the nineteenth psalm, may be regarded as the best hymn for the space age that we are ever likely to have. Sung by astronauts as they circle the earth, it has a far richer and fuller meaning for the present century than it had for Addison's first readers in the year 1712.
Savery then quotes a verse to show us what she means. She may well have quoted the psalm itself: "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork." In support of Savery's emphasis, The Dartmouth Bible, an edited version of the King James translation, uses one of its relatively few footnotes to point from the Nineteenth Pasalm to Addison's hymn.

Secret in a Cedarwood Box. Nashville: TRAILS FOR JUNIORS, Nashville: The Methodist Publishing House, 201 Eighth Avenue South, Nashville, Tennessee. July 1965?

This information is from the work diary, and purchase of the piece is confirmed by correspondence; however, TRAILS FOR JUNIORS ceased publication prior to July of 1965. Secret in a Cedarwood Box may be in THREE | FOUR or FIVE | SIX, two publications that replaced TRAILS. And it may be a short story. I am not usually so ill-informed, but this one has eluded me. A 1964 note in the diary reads
May 28-30. Wrote the story about William Tyndale: Secret in a Cedarwood Box.
Once it was purchased (published?), she wrote:
Secret in a Cedarwood Box (very short story--biography)

FIVE | SIX

The Father of History. Nashville: FIVE / SIX, 3(9), The Graded Press, Methodist Publishing House, 201 Eighth Ave. South, Nashville, Tennessee 37203. May 21, 1967, pp 2-3.

Neither he nor history recorded his first name, so he is known by the adjective on his tomb as "The Venerable Bede." Like Eusebius before him, he was a light shining in a time of deep darkness, and he has preserved for us countless accounts from the past that would otherwise be lost. Savery goes so far as to describe his book as "vivid and charming," and she creates an interesting biographical sketch by citing details from, probably, Sherley-Price's introduction to the modern edition of Bede's History of the English Church.