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Re: Theos-World Bulwer-Lytton and Bunsen

Jan 09, 2009 10:03 AM
by Augoeides-222

Here is a free download of B . L.'s "Zanoni" 



-------------- Original message -------------- 
From: Cass Silva <> 
Yes Paul, I would be very interested in reading those extracts.  My first teacher pointed me to Bullwer Lytton's Zanoni, but still haven't read it. Perhaps this is the cue I needed


From: kpauljohnson <>
Sent: Friday, 9 January, 2009 6:51:55 PM
Subject: Theos-World Bulwer-Lytton and Bunsen

Hello all but especially Cass and Frank,

I have noticed the recent references to Edward Bulwer-Lytton and Ernest 
Bunsen, and while these were made in other contexts I want to point out 
that there is an important connection between these individuals and the 
founding of the Theosophical Society. The first two books published by 
a Founder of the TS, in the first year of its existence, were Art Magic 
and Ghost Land by Emma Hardinge Britten. Robert Mathiesen's monograph 
The Unseen Worlds of Emma Hardinge Britten is an amazing tour de force, 
establishing beyond reasonable doubt that Bunsen was the "Chevalier 
Louis" of those two books, and that the "Orphic Circle" depicted in 
them was a genuine occult research group whose most eminent member was 
Edward Bulwer-Lytton. Emma and Bunsen first met as adolescent trance 
mediums used in the experiments of this group around 1840; then renewed 
acquaintance years later after the emergence of the Spiritualist 

When I read Marion Meade's HPB biography years ago, I found ridiculous 
her assertion that a primary basis for HPB's description of the Masters 
was the novels of Bulwer-Lytton. Why, I thought, would someone with 
such vast documented experience with so many authentic teachers have to 
rely on silly Victorian novels for her inspiration? What Meade and I 
both missed was that it wasn't B-L's *novels* that inspired HPB, it was 
the man himself and his nearly lifelong devotion to occultism. In a 
OF OLCOTT, HPB wrote to Stainton Moses of Bulwer-Lytton that "He was an 
*adept* [italicized in the book, presumably underlined in the letter] 
and kept it secret-- first for fear [of] ridicule..and then because his 
vows would not allow him to explain himself plainer than he did." 
(Letters I:202) At the moment I'm reading Leslie Mitchell's 2003 
biography of Bulwer-Lytton, and if any here is interested will share 
some excerpts about his occult preoccupations. HPB was very accurate 
about his fear of ridicule over his occult involvements.


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