The Editing of Volume III of the SD
Sep 08, 2003 03:58 PM
by Daniel H. Caldwell
Here is what I wrote in my essay on the Third Volume of THE SECRET
DOCTRINE about the editing of that volume:
"Nevertheless, some students of HPB's writings have voiced concern
about how much Besant and her assistants may have edited the
manuscript. James M. Pryse in a review of the third volume of The
Secret Doctrine (Theosophy, New York, September 1897, 314-6) wrote:
'If it had been printed as H.P.B. wrote it, then Theosophists
generally would have prized it; but Mrs. Besant and others having
edited it, they will regard it with a just suspicion.'
(It should be noted that, some thirty years later, Pryse reversed his
view on this subject.)
Another personal student of HPB's, Alice Leighton Cleather (H.P.
Blavatsky: A Great Betrayal, l922, 75), testified:
'It so happens that while it [Volume III] was being set up [for
publication] I was able actually to peruse one or two of the familiar
long foolscap sheets which H.P.B. always covered with her small fine
hand-writing. They were mutilated almost beyond recognition, few of
her sentences remaining intact; and there were 'corrections'.'
More recently, Nicholas Weeks, who helped in the preparation of the
manuscripts of volumes 13, 14, and 15 of HPB's Collected Writings,
has expressed similar concerns to me (private correspondence):
'When we were working on BCW 14 we found many differences or changes
between the "First Draft" [the Wurzburg Manuscript] and "SD III"
. Some of the most radical are included in the Index to 14.
see "Wurzburg MS Interpolations." On pp. 104 & 266-67 of BCW 14 are
two examples of HPB's typically sharp criticisms of the Roman
Catholic Church that did not appear in "SD III" [ 1897]. I find it
impossible to believe that HPB deleted them, or approved of their
removal. Thus the question arises, how many other "corrections"
and "innovations" were made that HPB would not have permitted?. . .
Without the "Wurzburg MS" there would have been not even a clue as to
any tampering having occurred.'
The issue of the editing of the manuscript of Volume III (1897) needs
to be carefully researched in the future."
Mauri, you might want to peruse my whole essay:
"The Myth of the 'Missing' Third Volume of The Secret Doctrine"
Daniel H. Caldwell
BLAVATSKY STUDY CENTER
THEOSOPHY STUDY CENTER
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