Published by Blavatsky Study Center. Online Edition copyright 2004.
The Myth of the
"Missing" Third Volume of The Secret Doctrine
by Daniel H. Caldwell
THE THIRD VOLUME FROM HPB'S DEATH TO 1897
Let us now follow the history of the third volume of The Secret Doctrine from May 1891 to its publication in June-July 1897.
October 1891---Isabel Cooper-Oakley wrote (Path, December 1891, 295):
The H.P.B. Press...is developing into a regular printing office....A new edition of The Secret Doctrine is to lead the van, and last but not least the third volume is to be published.
October 29, 1891---Dr. Archibald Keightley wrote in a letter to Bertram Keightley (cited by C. Jinarajadasa in "Dr. Besant and Mutilation of the Secret Doctrine," Messenger, January 1926, 166):
There is some talk of entirely reprinting Secret Doctrine [Volumes I and II] and of correcting errors when the Third Volume is issued.
December 1891---A notice was published in The Path, The Vahan, and The Theosophist by Annie Besant and G. R. S. Mead:
The second edition of H.P.B.'s masterpiece being exhausted, a third edition has to be put in hand immediately. Every effort is being made to thoroughly revise the new edition, and the editors earnestly request all students who may read this notice to send in as full lists of ERRATA as possible.... It is important that the ERRATA of the first part of Volume I should be sent in IMMEDIATELY.
January 1894---A notice appeared in The Path (323):
Volume one of the new edition of The Secret Doctrine is now ready, and a copy has been sent, charges paid, to all subscribers.... Volume two, it is now thought, can be sent out in January.
January 1894---A statement was published in Lucifer (354):
The third volume of The Secret Doctrine is being typewritten from the MS.
May 1895---Annie Besant wrote in Lucifer (188):
The third volume of The Secret Doctrine...was placed into my hands by H.P.B.
June 1895---The first pages of Volume III went to the printer (Lucifer, June 1895, 271).
June 1896---An editorial note appeared in Lucifer (265):
In the course of preparing the third volume of The Secret Doctrine for the press, a few manuscripts were found mixed with it that form no part of the work itself, and these will be published in [Lucifer]....
September 1896---Volume III was completed (Lucifer, September 1896, 271).
June 1897---Volume III of The Secret Doctrine was published (Theosophist, September 1897, 766).
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