[George Wyld on Madame Blavatsky]
(Reprinted from The Spiritualist (London), January 24, 1879,
Sir, --- The readers of The Spiritualist will be surprised and interested in
knowing that Colonel Olcott and Madame Blavatsky have been living for the last ten days
with Dr. and Mrs. Billing at Norwood, and have just sailed for Bombay.
The mysterious authoress of Isis Unveiled desired that her presence here should
remain a secret, as her time was so short, and she feared being disturbed by a number of
curious inspectors. She, therefore, saw only the few members of the Theosophical
Society now in London.
Colonel Olcott is a man at once easily understood. A man of robust health and
strength, of great vigour, soundness, affection, and truthfulness of mind, and of
indomitable perseverance; and one of whom you feel that once to be his friend is to be his
friend for ever.
Madame Blavatsky, or H.P.B., as she prefers to be called by her intimates, is not so
easily understood, for she is sui generis and unique, a mystery and an enigma.
Swarthy, and of Tartar aspect, she is tall, strong, vigorous, and in perfect bodily
health. She resembles a very powerful woman, about fifty-five years of age, but she
asserts that she is eighty-two years of age. Her jaws are large, and furnished with
perfectly regular and strong teeth; and her eyes, though almost without colour, yet can
read without glasses the smallest print, and can look you through and through, and can
read your character and thoughts at will. She is highly accomplished in languages
and music, but is totally indifferent to the exhibition of these accomplishments, and to
personal appearances, although she is possessed of a form and bearing of queenly dignity,
if she only condescended to assume the garments and the mien. With irresistible
powers of fascination, she seems only to despise the use of these powers. Enjoying
enormous fits of laughter, she is yet for ever restless and sa78d. She possesses
that powerful dramatic force which proceeds from the intense convictions of a powerfully
emotional nature. She declaims on all subjects, rapidly passing from one to another,
yet ever returning to her central idea; the spiritual wisdom and power of the East, from
which must appear the coming man to rule the spiritual world.
Of truly a great nature, but with, to my mind, one extravagant defect, shown in her
book and in her talk, an unreasoning and intolerant hatred of the doctrines and works of
all Christian teachers.
If you explain to her that your form of Christianity is spiritual and esoteric, and
show that the essence of esoteric Brahmanism, Buddhism, and Christianity are one and
identical, namely, to find your hidden spiritual light, and unite this with the fountain
and centre of all light, she at once accepts you as a spiritual brother; but she cannot
rest in this, but noisily and for ever persists in confusing the essence with the external
garments of Christianity.
This habit of mind arises from her vehement reverence for her Eastern lords and
masters, who are for ever being reviled by Christian missionaries. You may criticise
herself freely as you like, but if you whisper a word of treachery against her revered
chiefs, you convert her into an implacable enemy, and from this characteristic it will be
seen that she is very far from having reached that dignified and calm repose and sublime
toleration which all who attain to the wisdom of the soul possess.
Beyond all doubt she is a magician controlling the movements of matter and countering
the action of poisons, as I experienced in my own person.
She is wonderful and unique, and to have known her as I have, is always to remember her
with affection, admiration, and respect.
George Wyld, M.D.