Book Review — Madame Blavatsky








Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin

The author of Jung the Mystic and Swedenborg has turned his biographical skills to the life H.P. Blavatsky, the driving force behind esoteric spirituality in the modern world. She is said to have influenced the likes of Thomas Edison, L. Frank Baum (The Wizard of Oz), Gandhi, and Albert Einstein. Dead for over a century, her influence is still evident in occult writing and practice to this day.

A biography of HPB represented a considerable challenge. She was a seeker not an historian. She deliberately obscured her past. Lachman tells us that he saw his job as one of peeling away the myths and misconceptions in an attempt to reveal the person behind the mask. It was not an easy task. In the end he presented the myths in the context of her calculated elusiveness, and focused on her ideas, their effect throughout the past century, and their continued relevance today. His end product reads like a Russian novel, dense with comings and goings on a world stage, complete with royalty, Freemasons, Jesuits, Rosicrucians, and gurus.

Because of Blavatsky’s involvement with the Spiritualist movement in America in the latter half of the 19th Century, Lachman’s account of her life also adds clarity to the murky waters which mixed and matched spiritualism and occultism during that time. His history of the spiritualist movement and secret societies during the time that Blavatsky was involved with them is a valuable contribution, in and of itself, to esoteric history.

This is a must read for any one with a serious interest in Western esoteric spirituality. SHOP FOR THE BOOK

© 2012 Anna Jedrziewski and

This entry was posted in Anna's Books of Interest, Penguin. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.