The Letters of H. P. Blavatsky to A. P. Sinnett

Letter No. 90


Mr dear Mr. Sinnett,

You are collecting materials for my biography, and it appears there is one already in English literature I knew nothing about. I learn of it from the Russian papers. In the feuilleton of Novoye Vremya, there is a review of an English book that appeared in 1885 by a Mrs. Frances Hays called "Women of the Day, a Biographical Dictionary of Notable Contemporaries, by F. Hayes." London. In this Dictionary in company with Mrs. Beecher Stowe, Sarah Bernhardt, Mrs. Wood, Madam Juliette Adam, Ouida, Anna the Celestial Dr. Kingsford, Dr. Blackwell, Florence Maryat (she forgot the Bibiche) I read the following, which please compare if you can get the book —

"Among the women who have won for themselves fame through their scientific researches (?) and travels, one of the first places is given to our countrywoman Helen P. Blavatsky (pseud. "Radda-Bay" in Russian literature). She is the daughter of a Russian Artillery Colonel, Hahn, and was married to General Blavatsky, ex-Governor of Tiflis, during Crimean War. When quite a young girl yet, Mme. B. studied languages and learned not less than forty European and Asiatic languages and dialects . . . (Do you want your smelling bottle and salts?); she travelled in all Europe and lived in India for over forty years, (!!) where she became a Buddhist. Her work 'Isis' published in 1877 in English is considered as a most remarkable and learned research on Buddhism (!!!). In 1878 Mme. B. founded in America the Theosophical Society, and the year following she returned to India with the object of spreading her mystic brotherhood."

Et c'est ainsi qu'on ecrit l'Histoire!! Say now, if not a literal translation from the "Dictionary," that no one is prophet in his own country.

Please oblige me by seeing whether this report and translation are true; and then, you may advertise me as a reincarnation of Cardinal Meggofanti with twenty-two more languages in my head than he knew, since it was only 18, I believe.

I wrote to the Remnant, Pulley and Grub, word for word as you wanted me. They must be some sorry Remnants of solicitors pulling on for grub, for 6 pence ha'penny. But what can they hope to get from a Bibiche?

I will not write. I will wait. But indeed I do it for you only. I am sick of all this.

Your H. P. Blavatsky.
Of the "40 languages"

Theosophical University Press Online Edition