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Re: Theos-World Re: Bulwer-Lytton and Bunsen

Jan 09, 2009 04:53 PM
by Cass Silva

Why is it Paul, that I haven't heard of any of the authors you mention while stuyding Theosophy? Do you suppose this knowledge has been shelved ?


From: kpauljohnson <>
Sent: Saturday, 10 January, 2009 10:33:47 AM
Subject: Theos-World Re: Bulwer-Lytton and Bunsen

Dear John,

Following up both your posts at once, I can report on Bunsen as an in-
print author, which just recently became in America thanks to 
Kessinger. His Islam: or True Christianity is a fairly brief tome 
which interestingly argues that the Quran is more accurate than the 
New Testament in its theological interpretation of Jesus. This was a 
very late work, full of Bible scholarship but filled with references 
to "soul power" to convince me that he's Chevalier Louis. Best thing 
about it was an astouding, intense prophetic diatribe at the end 
where he insists that there will be a Jewish state in Palestine. 
This written in 1880, a passionate German/English supporter of 
Zionists, something I didn't anticipate finding. (Or maybe an 
accurate vision of the future? hmmm)

But neither his nor Emma's books as individual authors measure up to 
the quality of Ghost Land and Art Magic. Working together, perhaps 
with Bulwer-Lytton' s assistance in the former case (it was published 
serially in 1872, the year before B-L died and HPB came to America) 
and perhaps with HPB's in the latter, they produced something that 
transcended their individual talents. Thanks for posting the link to 
Ghost Land, which has become my favorite out of all the books in the 
Theosophical literature. Emma and Bunsen started the genre 
of "mysterious pseudonymous adept co-author" quite intriguingly. I 
wish this book got one tenth the interest received by HPB's! 


--- In theos-talk@yahoogro, Augoeides-222@ ... wrote:
> Here is the Google Books listing for Emma Hardinge Britten:
> >>>http://books. books?
q=emma+hardinge+ britten&btnG= Search+Books< <<
> and here is a contrasting view by Rene' Guernon who thinks it 
wasn't Britten who authored but the H B of L:
> >>>http://books. books?id= 4vf-
jYERGR0C&pg= PA25&dq=art+ magic+emma+ hardinge+ britten#PPA25, M1
> Regards,
> John
> ------------ -- Original message ------------ -- 
> From: "kpauljohnson" <kpauljohnson@ ...> 
> Hello all but especially Cass and Frank,
> I have noticed the recent references to Edward Bulwer-Lytton and 
> Bunsen, and while these were made in other contexts I want to point 
> that there is an important connection between these individuals and 
> founding of the Theosophical Society. The first two books published 
> a Founder of the TS, in the first year of its existence, were Art 
> and Ghost Land by Emma Hardinge Britten. Robert Mathiesen's 
> The Unseen Worlds of Emma Hardinge Britten is an amazing tour de 
> 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 
> Edward Bulwer-Lytton. Emma and Bunsen first met as adolescent 
> mediums used in the experiments of this group around 1840; then 
> acquaintance years later after the emergence of the Spiritualist 
> movement.
> When I read Marion Meade's HPB biography years ago, I found 
> her assertion that a primary basis for HPB's description of the 
> 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 
> both missed was that it wasn't B-L's *novels* that inspired HPB, it 
> the man himself and his nearly lifelong devotion to occultism. In a 
> letter written NOVEMBER 16, 1875, THE DAY BEFORE THE INAUGURAL 
> OF OLCOTT, HPB wrote to Stainton Moses of Bulwer-Lytton that "He 
was an 
> *adept* [italicized in the book, presumably underlined in the 
> and kept it secret-- first for fear [of] ridicule..and then because 
> 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 
> some excerpts about his occult preoccupations. HPB was very 
> about his fear of ridicule over his occult involvements.
> Paul
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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