Madame Blavatsky: The Woman Behind the Myth

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Open Road Media, Apr 1, 2014 - Biography & Autobiography - 660 pages
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Recklessly brilliant, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky scandalized her 19th century world with a controversial new religion that tried to synthesize Eastern and Western philosophies. If her contemporaries saw her as a freak, a charlatan, and a snake oil salesman, she viewed herself as a special person born for great things. She firmly believed that it was her destiny to enlighten the world. Rebelliously breaking conventions, she was the antithesis of a pious religious leader. She cursed, smoked, overate, and needed to airbrush out certain inconvenient facts, like husbands, lovers, and a child.

Marion Meade digs deep into Madame Blavatsky’s life from her birth in Russia among the aristocracy to a penniless exile in Europe, across the Atlantic to New York where she became the first Russian woman naturalized as an American citizen, and finally moving on to India where she established the international headquarters of the Theosophical Society in 1882. As she chased from continent to continent, she left in her aftermath a trail of enthralled followers and the ideas of Theosophy that endure to this day. While dismissed as a female messiah, her efforts laid the groundwork for the New Age movement, which sought to reconcile Eastern traditions with Western occultism. Her teachings entered the mainstream by creating new respect for the cultures and religions of the East—for Buddhism and Hinduism—and interest in meditation, yoga, gurus, and reincarnation.

Madame Blavatsky was one of a kind. Here is her richly bizarre story told with compassion, insight, and an attempt to plumb the truth behind those astonishing accomplishments. 
 

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Contents

Section 20
Section 21
Section 22
Section 23
Section 24
Section 25
Section 26
Section 27

Section 9
Section 10
Section 11
Section 12
Section 13
Section 14
Section 15
Section 16
Section 17
Section 18
Section 19
Section 28
Section 29
Section 30
Section 31
Section 32
Section 33
Section 34
Section 35
Section 36
Copyright

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About the author (2014)

Marion Meade studied at Northwestern University in Illinois and later received a master’s from Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. She worked as a freelance writer and her articles have appeared in leading magazines and newspapers, including the New York TimesMcCall’s, the Village VoiceMs. Magazine, and Cosmopolitan. Meade has written novels, biographies, and nonfiction books. Bitching was a significant contribution to the second phase of development in the feminist movement. She has written biographies of Victoria Woodhull (Free Woman), Eleanor of AquitaineMadame Blavatsky, Buster Keaton (Cut to the Chase), Woody Allen (The Unruly Life of Woody Allen), and Dorothy Parker (What Fresh Hell Is This?). She has published two historical novels: Sybille, which narrates the life of a woman troubadour in thirteenth century southern France, during Europe’s first great holocaust, the Albigensian crusade; and Stealing Heaven, The Love Story of Heloise and Abelard. She lives in New York City.

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