H.P.B. The Extraordinary Life & Influence of Helena Blavatsky Founder of the Modern Theosophical Movement

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9780874776881: H.P.B. The Extraordinary Life & Influence of Helena Blavatsky Founder of the Modern Theosophical Movement
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A biography of the woman who first brought Eastern philosophy and religion to the Western world describes Blavatsky's role as cofounder of the Theosophical Society and discusses her book, The Secret Doctrine.

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From Publishers Weekly:

This overstuffed, sometimes absorbing biography aims to rehabilitate Russian-born Helena Blavatsky (1831-1891), whose studies in religion, philosophy and psychic power were overshadowed in 1885 by her "exposure" as a fraud. Cranston (coauthor of Reincarnation in World Thought ) has gathered an enormous amount of research on Blavatsky's upbringing, background and travels, unskeptically accepting claims of her subject's psychic powers. She also traces the growth of the Theosophical Society, which Blavatsky helped found in 1875 and which not only flourished in the West but also, according to Cranston, spurred the revival of Hinduism and Buddhism in the East. She describes how Blavatsky's writings fueled the anti-vivisection movement, seemed to predict certain scientific discoveries and presaged the revival of beliefs in both reincarnation and the New Age. Though Cranston does not assess Theosophy today, she notes its influence on various writers, artists and composers, including Yeats, T. S. Eliot, Kandinsky, Gauguin and Sibelius. Photos not seen by PW. $50,000 ad/promo.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

Cranston, author of Reincarnation (Crown, 1984), takes the reader through the earthly life of Blavatsky, known as "HPB" to her initiates. We follow her from her girlhood in Russia, where she communed with rocks, mold, and empty space; through her three-month virginal marriage to Nikifor Blavatsky; her world travels; her growing interest in spooks; and her founding of the Theosophical Society in 1875. Cranston suggests that Blavatsky should be credited with starting the New Age. Much space is devoted to her production of psychic phenomena for audiences of believers, such as making music from a bowl of water and hexing a card table so no one could lift it; little is said about her alleged unmasking by an investigator from the Society of Psychical Research in 1884. Although the book gives the appearance of being thoroughly researched (it offers over 70 pages of notes and bibliography), it is sadly lacking in balance, depth, or even interest.
- Dave Summers, Holly Twp. Lib., Mich.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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9780874777697: H. P. B.: The Extraordinary Life & Influence of Helena Blavatsky, Founder of the Modern Theosophical Movement

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ISBN 10:  0874777690 ISBN 13:  9780874777697
Publisher: Putnam, 1994
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