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Dallas recommends 3 sources on Blavatsky & history of Theosophical Movement

Dec 13, 2001 10:50 PM
by danielhcaldwell

Dallas, you recommend the following 3 sources on Blavatsky & the 
history of Theosophical Movement. I will make a few comments on 
these titles and also offer other recommended titles.

Your first title is:

"1. Michael Gomes edited 'THEOSOPHY IN THE 19th CENTURY' --
There he provides us with a record and a synopsis of the content
of some 2057 (or more) DOCUMENTS. These are available (in
original) in various libraries for scrutiny. [Orchard
Publishing, New York] [ 582 pages]."

Dallas, this book by Gomes was published by Garland Publishing, not 
Orchard. It is basically a bibliography but with chapter summaries 
and annotations for each document. 

But I'm surprised that you do not inform your readers that hundreds 
of the most important, original articles listed in this book have 
been published in their ENTIRETY on my website BLAVATSKY ARCHIVES at:

Furthermore, I have published on my website scores of important 
original source documents on Blavatsky, etc. that are NOT listed in 
the Gomes volume. 

Your second remmendation is:

"2. In 1925 E. P. Dutton published "THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT
(1875-1925" a history and a survey. It is based on documents
which any one can check. [ 705 pages ] This is Out of Print."

"A second, condensed version of this book was issued in
1951 by the Cunningham Press, Los Angeles. It was titled "THE
THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT (1875-1950)" [ 351 pages ]. It is based on
documents, and is available from Theosophy Company, Los Angeles,
(213-748-7244) for about $ 8.00."

Dallas, certainly these two volumes contain alot of valuable material 
but also present some strong opinions of the anonymous writers. 
Nothing is necessarily wrong with that but interested readers will 
also want to read divergent points of view and also be informed about 
primary sources that are NOT mentioned or are glossed over by the 
writers of these two books. One can only gain that additional 
perspective and material by perusing some of the books and material 
listed at the end of this email.

Your third recommendation is:

"3. In 1993 (updated in paperback to 2000) Sylvia Cranston
published at Tarcher (PUTNAM): "H.P.B. -- THE EXTRAORDINARY LIFE
OF Helena Blavatsky, Founder of the Modern THEOSOPHICAL
MOVEMENT." This biography is fully documented and every
reference can be checked. [649 pages] In print."

Certainly, the Cranston biography contains much valuable material and 
presents a good overview of Blavatsky's life, influences and 
teachings. But I would also suggest a number of other books to 
supplement and complement what is given in Cranston. 

I will be bold to suggest my own book THE ESOTERIC WORLD OF MADAME 
BLAVATSKY (2nd, enlarged ed) which presents a unique collection of 
rare primary source material on Madame Blavatksy. This volume 
contains scores of reminscences of HPB that are extremely hard to 
find. See for more 
info. on this title.

Another biography that should be required reading is Marion 
Meade's "hostile" biography titled MADAME BLAVATSKY. It has been 
reprinted in the last year or so and is available form

Dallas, it is really impossible to recommend JUST ONE BOOK or even 
two or three books (taken as a totality) that give a fair, balanced, 
accurate, detailed and comprehensive overview of Madame Blavatsky's 
life or gives the history of the modern Theosophical Movement. 

If readers are really interested in this subject and interested in 
educating themselves in the pros and cons, they would need to read 
and study many (if not all!) of the following sources, books and 
articles. I'm leaving out many other titles!

Daniel Caldwell

Esoteric World of Madame Blavatsky. Compiled by Daniel H. 
Caldwell. 2000.

Containing hundreds of original source documents on Blavatsky

Theosophy: A modern revival of ancient wisdom by Alvin Boyd Kuhn. 

Ancient Wisdom Revived: A History of the Theosophical Movement. by
Bruce F. Campbell. 1980.

A Short History of the Theosophical Society by Josephine Ransom. 

H. P. Blavatsky and the theosophical movement, A brief historical
sketch. by Charles J. Ryan. 1937.

The Theosophical Movement: 1875 - 1950. 1951 ed.

The Theosophical Movement: 1875 - 1925. 1925 ed.

California Utopia: Point Loma: 1897-1942 by Emmett Greenwalt.

The Theosophical Enlightenment by Joscelyn Godwin 

Theosophy and the Theosophical Society by James Santucci. 1985

"Theosophy and the Theosophical Societies" by James Santucci. This is
an article in Odd Gods: New Religions and the Cult Controversy 
Edited by James R. Lewis. 2001.

HPB: the extraordinary life and influence of Helena Blavatsky, 
founder of the modern Theosophical movement /by Sylvia Cranston. 

The Truth about Madame Blavatsky by Walter Carrithers, Jr.

Madame Blavatsky: The Woman behind the Myth by Marion Meade. 1980.

Madame H. P. Blavatsky, her occult phenomena and the society for
psychical research by K.F. Vania. 1951.

The Dawning of the Theosophical Movement by Michael Gomes. 1987.

Yankee Beacon of Buddhist Light: Life of Henry S. Olcott by Howard
Murphet. 1988.

The White Buddhist: The Asian Odyssey of Henry Steel Olcott by 
Stephen R. Prothero. 1996.

Astral Projection and the Work of the Early Theosophical Society
by John Patrick Deveney

William Quan Judge, 1851-1896; the life of a theosophical pioneer and
some of his outstanding articles. Compiled by Boris de Zirkoff and 
Sven Eek.

William Quan Judge 1851-1896. Compiled by W. Dallas Tenbroeck.

The Elder Brother : A Biography of Charles Webster Leadbeater by
Gregory Tillett. 1982.

The First five lives of Annie Besant by Arthur H. Nethercot. 1960.

The Last four lives of Annie Besant by Arthur H. Nethercot. 1963.

The Seventy-Fifth Anniversary Book of the Theosophical Society: A 
Short History of the Society's Growth from 1926-1950 by Josephine 
Ransom. 1950

100 Years of Theosophy: A History of the Theosophical Society in
America by Joy Mills. 1987.

Society for Psychical Research. First Report of the Committee of the
S.P.R. 1884.

Some account of my intercourse with Madame Blavatsky from 1872 to
1884; with a number of additional letters and a full explanation of 
the most marvellous theosophical phenomena by Emma Coulomb. 1885.

Hodgson, Richard. "Account of Personal Investigations in India, and
Discussion of the Authorship of the 'Koot Hoomi' letters. 1885.

Obituary: The Hodgson Report on Madame Blavatsky by Adlai Waterman 
[Walter Carrithers]. 

H.P. Blavatsky and the SPR : An examination of the Hodgson report of
1885 by Vernon Harrison. 1997.

Defence of Madame Blavatsky by Beatrice Hastings. 2 volumes. 1937.

Isis very much unveiled : being the story of the great Mahatma hoax :
told from sources mainly theosophical by F. Edmund Garrett. 1894.

The Case against W.Q. Judge by Annie Besant. 1895.

Old Diary Leaves by Henry S. Olcott. 6 volumes.

Isis and the Mahatmas: A reply by William Q. Judge. 1895.

Reply by William Q. Judge to Charges of Misuse of Mahatmas' Names and
Handwritings. 1895.

Stokes, Henry S. Series of Articles on Relationship between William
Judge and Katherine Tingley. O.E. Library Critic. 1932-1935.

Some Reminiscences of William Q. Judge by E. August Neresheimer.

Robert Crosbie: The Friendly Philosopher 1849-1919. Compiled by
W. Dallas Tenbroeck

B.P. Wadia: A Life of Service to Mankind compiled by W. Dallas 

Theosophy in the Nineteenth Century: An Annotated Bibliography by
Michael Gomes. 1994.

Other Controversies surrounding Madame Blavatsky's Life and Work 

Historical Material about H.P. Blavatsky & the Mahatmas published on 
the World Wide Web

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