Blavatsky and The Theosophist


Bibliography and Sources


Anonymous. (February, 2012) “PIE in the Skei.” Vibrant Wiggle – A Blog about Language,

Blavatsky, H. P, & Mead, G. R. S. (1892). The theosophical glossary. New York, NY: Theosophical Publishing Society.

Blavatsky, H. P, & Russell, G. William. (1889). The key to theosophy: being a clear exposition, in the form of question and answer, of the ethics, science, and philosophy for the study of which the Theosophical society has been founded. London, UK: The Theosophical publishing company, limited.

Blavatsky, H. P, Barker, A. Trevor, & Sinnett, A. P. (1925). The letters of H. P. Blavatsky to A. P. Sinnett and other miscellaneous letters transcribed. London, UK: T. Fisher Unwin Ltd.

Blavatsky, H. P, & Codd, C. M. (1953). The key to theosophy. 1st simplified Adyar ed. Adyar, Madras, India: Theosophical Pub. House.

Blavatsky, H. P. and Boris de Zirkoff (editor). (1972). H. P. Blavatsky, Collected Writings. 1877. Isis Unveiled, Vol. I, Science. Wheaton, Illinois: Theosophical Publishing House. 

Blavatsky, H. P. and Boris de Zirkoff (editor). (1972). H. P. Blavatsky, Collected Writings. 1877. Isis Unveiled, Vol. II, Theology. Wheaton, Illinois: Theosophical Publishing House.

Blavatsky, H. P, & De Zirkoff, B. (1975). From the caves and jungles of Hindostan, 1883-1886. Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Pub. House.

Blavatsky, H. P. (1978). The secret doctrine: H. P. Blavatsky collected writings. Madras; Wheaton, IL: Theosophical University Press.

Blavatsky, H. P, & Van Mater, K. (1979). H. P. Blavatsky to the American conventions, 1888-1891: with a historical perspective. Pasadena, CA: Theosophical University Press.

British Library. “Print Culture.” The British Library, The British Library, 6 Mar. 2014, 

de Zirkoff, Boris.  (1972) Introductory: How Isis Unveiled was written. In Blavatsky, H. P. and Boris de Zirkoff (editor), H. P. Blavatsky, Collected Writings. 1877. Isis Unveiled, Vol. I, Science. (First Quest edition, pp. 1–62). Wheaton, Illinois: Theosophical Publishing House. 

Doré, G., Carrère d’Encausse, H. (1991). Histoire de la Sainte Russie. Genève: Editions de l’unicorne.

Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. (August 1, 2020). Helena Blavatsky. Encyclopædia Britannica

Figes, Orlando. (2010). The Crimean War: a history. New York: Picador. 

Harris, P. S. (Ed.). Theosophist, The: Theosophy World.

Hobsbawm, Eric. (1989). The Age of empire: 1875–1914.  (1st Vintage edition). New York: Vintage Books.

Hobsbawm, Eric. (1996). The Age of capital: 1848–1875. (1st Vintage edition). New York: Vintage Books.

Hutch, R.A. (1980), Helena Biavatsky Unveiled. Journal of Religious History, 11: 320-341.

Jelihovsky, Vera P. (1895 & 2015) Introduction: Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. In Mary Neff, Personal memoirs of H.P. Blavatsky.  (pp. 6–43). New York: The Theosophical Publishing House.

Lubelsky, Isaac and Yael Lotan (translator). (2012). Celestial India: Madame Blavatsky and the birth of Indian nationalism. Sheffield, UK: Equinox. 

Max Müller, F. (1893) Theosophy or psychological religion: The Gifford lectures delivered before the University of London in 1892. Oxford: Horace Hart. 

Neff, Mary. (1929, October). The Hidden side of The Theosophist. The Theosophist, 51(1), 65-8.

Neff, M. K. (1971). Personal memoirs of H.P. Blavatsky. New York: The Theosophical Publishing House.

Obscure Vermont. (n.d.). “The Eddy Brothers.” Obscure Vermont, 31 Mar. 2020,

Olcott, H. Steel. (1881). A Buddhist Catechism, According to the Canon of the Southern Church by Henry S. Olcott, President of the Theosophical Society, Etc. Approved, and recommended for use in Buddhist schools by H. Sumangala, High Priest of the Sripada (Adam’s Peak) and Galle, and Principal of the Widyodaya Parivena (Buddhist College).

Olcott, H. Steel. (1895). Old diary leaves : The True story of the Theosophical Society.  London: Putnam & Sons .

Olcott, H. Steel. (1900). Old diary leaves : the only authentic history of the Theosophical Society, second series, 1878 -83.  Adyar, Madras, India: Theosophical Pub. House.

Washington, Peter. (1993). Madame Blavatsky’s baboon: theosophy and the emergence of the western guru. London: Secker & Warburg.

Wikipedia (n.d.) Caricatures of Charles Darwin and his evolutionary theory in 19th-century England.

Wikipedia (n.d.) Alexander II of Russia.

Theosophy Wiki.  (n.d.) Edward Wimbridge.

Theosophy Wiki.  (n.d.) The Lamasary.

Theosophy Wiki. (n.d.)The Theosophist (periodical).

Annotated Bibliography of Theosophy Research Tools:

International Association for the Preservation of Spiritualist and Occult Periodicals
This resource was particularly valuable during the final phase of my research when I was interested in detailing the many periodicals produced by the Theosophical society. I used this resource to examine numerous titles produced by the 19th  century TS, such as the Theosophist and Lucifer.

Janet Kerschner, Archivist. Theosophical Society in America. Wheaton IL.
Janet is the archivist working for the Theosophical Society in America’s library archives in Wheaton Illinois. Unfortunately, I was unable to visit this location in person due to the corona virus outbreak. I was nonetheless able to speak with Janet on the phone and by email on several occasions. I initially inquired of her about Indiana connections to the Theosophy movement in the 19th century, which proved to be scarce. Nonetheless, she provided me with information concerning many useful resources such as the Theosophy Wiki and the IAPSOP database.

Oxford Handbooks Online.
The Oxford Handbooks Online were a useful storehouse of information concerning the historical period backgrounding my research. I used this tool to examine a number of topics including the Indian National Congress and the Women’s Suffragette movement in the UK. This is a great resource for historical and bibliographic information, and the bibliographies attached to the articles are a rich resource for finding additional material.

BROWN UNIVERSITY LIBRARY COLLECTIONS. Damon Collection of Occult and Visionary Literature.
A unique and specialized collection, I came to this archive through an initial search on ArchiveGrid ( for “Theosophy” related archives in the U.S.. Brown maintains a unique collection dedicated to the Occult and was of interest to me in pursuing an early thread of Spiritual Alchemy. This archive contains more than 700 scanned letters from alchemical researcher and English author Mary Anne Atwood (1817-1910), an early subject of my investigation.

National Library of Australia: Guide to the papers of Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton (as filmed by the AJCP)
I found this material after a general search for information on Lytton, who was a British MP and an esoteric influence on Mme. Blavatsky. Lytton was an early Victorian author in the genres of Science Fiction and Supernatural Thrillers and the National Library of Australia maintains a scanned collection of his correspondence and personal papers.

The Campbell Theosophical Research Library.
Maintains a helpful and searchable index of Brahmavidya — The Adyar Library Bulletin. I used this resource to find articles on and by Anne Besant during her time in India. This library has a unique collection and if I continue to research this topic in the future I look forward to communicating with them in more depth.

Theosophy Wiki.
I found the Theosophy Wiki invaluable during the research process for this bibliography. I had numerous instances where I used it to look up quick facts on specific people or incidents such as “The Coulomb Affair”. While many of the articles did exhibit some bias in favor of the movement and the principle actors in it, they could also be relied upon to give the basic facts about events or people in question, as well as providing citations for further exploration. Although much of the information available here was likely available elsewhere, the convenience of a topic dedicated wiki cannot be overstated. This resource saved me many late-night trips to the library and protected me from forgetting the questions I wanted to ask by providing quick if imperfect answers to many of them.

Rothstein, M., & Hammer, O. (2013). Handbook of the Theosophical Current. Brill.
The only instance of a source in the genre of ‘academic handbooks’ covering theosophy specifically, I discovered this resource through EBSCO as an e-book and used it to find some well researched articles. In particular I was helped by the article “Blavatsky and the first generation of Theosophy,” by Jocelyn Goodwin (pp.15-31).

Lewis, J. R. (1998). The encyclopedia of cults, sects, and new religions. Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books.
I found this reference book useful in my first explorations of this topic. It contained useful explanatory articles on Theosophy as well as Spiritualism. Its article contents are concise but provide a good basic entry point for finding out more detailed information.

Queen, E. L, Prothero, S. R, & Shattuck, G. H. (2009). Encyclopedia of American religious history. 3rd ed. New York, NY: Facts On File.
Another early source, I used the EARH to find topic articles on Theosophy and related movements including “spiritualism” and “transcendentalism”. Because this resource covers only the American aspects of religious movements it is less useful for an international movement like Theosophy.

The Theosophical Society in Australia. Union Index Of Theosophical Periodicals.
One of the most important resources for this research, I knew of it early but consulted it only lately. It provides an article by article index of The Theosophist magazine, allowing the researcher to follow events within the movement with scrutiny. Used to search for reactions to the Hodgson Report.

Back to the Beginning