The Mother of Modern Spirituality
By Gary Lachman
Tarcher, Paperback, 9781585428632, 331pp.
Publication Date: October 25, 2012
Pioneer. Visionary. Provocateur. Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky mystic, occult writer, child of Russian aristocrats, spiritual seeker who traveled five continents, and founder (with Henry Steel Olcott) of the Theosophical Society is still being hailed as an icon and scorned as a fraud more than 120 years after her death. But despite perennial interest in her life, writings, and philosophy, no single biography has examined the controversy and legacy of this influential thinker who helped define modern alternative spirituality until now.
Gary Lachman, the acclaimed spiritual biographer behind volumes such as Rudolf Steiner and Jung the Mystic, brings us an in-depth look at Blavatsky, objectively exploring her unique and singular contributions toward introducing Eastern and esoteric spiritual ideas to the West during the nineteenth century, as well as the controversies that continue to color the discussions of her life and work.
"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."
—Anna Jedrziewski, Retailing Insight
"Dense and exhaustive, a valiant attempt to capture the essence of a life that defies simple retelling."