The Theosophical Society in America


Esoteric World Chapter

The Esoteric World of Madame Blavatsky 

The Esoteric World of Madame Blavatsky: Reminiscences and Impressions by Those Who Knew Her
Compiled and edited by Daniel H. Caldwell
2nd edition, preprint

© January, 2001 Theosophical Society in America

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[Publisher’s Note: This electronic version is a preprint of the second edition of The Esoteric World of Madame Blavatsky, by Daniel H. Caldwell. The print edition with expanded text, illustrations, biographical notes, index, and other helpful editorial material is available from the Theosophical Publishing House, Quest Book Shops, and other book stores.]


Here for the first time is the story of H. P. Blavatsky's life in the words of her contemporaries. Although not a biography per se, this collection tells the story of Madame Blavatsky's eventful life with a special look at the "Esoteric World" in which she lived. These reminiscences by her relatives, acquaintances, friends, co-workers, and enemies allow the reader to enter into the historical milieu of HPB's time and give a vivid portrayal of Madame Blavatsky's personality. The narratives are arranged in chronological order and include

  1. striking word portraits of HPB;
  2. reminiscences giving insight into HPB's enigmatic character;
  3. incidents that are sometimes humorous and witty;
  4. accounts of psychic phenomena performed by Madame Blavatsky; and
  5. descriptions of encounters with HPB's Masters.

At the beginning of each installment, a brief sketch of HPB’s life during the period it covers is given. At the beginning of each narrative, the author, time-period, and place of the account are given. The narratives have been transcribed from the original sources but spelling and punctuation has been modernized. For people's names, the spelling used in HPB's Collected Writings has been adopted. Material not relevant to the narratives has been silently deleted. The original texts, however, can be found from the bibliographical references. Explanatory notes added by the editor are enclosed within brackets.


Chapter 1 Russia, 1831-1849

Chapter 2 Travels around the World and Home to Russia, 1849-1865

Chapter 3 More World Travels, 1865-1873

Chapter 4 New York and Chittenden

Chapter 5 New York and Ithaca: Writing Isis Unveiled

Chapter 6 The Founding of the Theosophical Society and the Writing of Isis Unveiled

Chapter 7 Marvels in the Lamasery and Departure from New York

Chapter 8 London, Bombay, and Allahabad, 1879

Chapter 9 Sri Lanka and Bombay, 1880

Chapter 10 Simla, 1880

Chapter 11 India, 1881-1882

Chapter 12 India, 1882-1884

Chapter 13 France and England, 1884

Chapter 14 Germany and Return to India, 1884-1885

Chapter 15 From India to Italy and Germany, 1885

Chapter 16 Germany, 1886

Chapter 17 Belgium and England, 1886-1887

Chapter 18 England, 1887

Chapter 19 England, 1887-1888

Chapter 20 England, 1888

Chapter 21 England, 1888-1889

Chapter 22 England, 1889

Chapter 23 England, 1890-1891

For more information, go to the Blavatsky Archives
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