Published by Blavatsky Study Center. Online Edition copyright 2004.

[George Wyld on Madame Blavatsky]

(Reprinted from The Spiritualist (London), January 24, 1879, p.  42.)

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.