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Besant [née Wood], Annie (1847–1933), theosophist and politician in India  

Anne Taylor

Besant [née Wood], Annie (1847–1933), theosophist and politician in India, was born at 2 Fish Street Hill in the City of London on 1 October 1847, the only daughter of William Persse Wood (d. 1852), underwriter, and his wife, Emily Roche Morris (...

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Cover Besant, Annie (1847–1933)

Besant, Annie (1847–1933)  

Maker: Hayman Selig Mendelssohn

Annie Besant (1847–1933) by Hayman Selig Mendelssohn © National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

Blavatsky, Helena Petrovna (1831–1891), founder of theosophy  

Richard Davenport-Hines

Blavatsky, Helena Petrovna (1831–1891), founder of theosophy, was born at Yekaterinoslav (Dnepropetrovsk), Ukraine, at midnight on 30–31 July 1831, the daughter of Colonel Peter Hahn (d. 1873), descended from the counts Rotenstern-Hahn of Mecklenburg, and of his wife, Helena Pavolovna Fadeev. She was a petted, wayward, invalid child whose mother, a novelist who advocated women's emancipation, died when she was small. From girlhood onwards she was a beguiling story-teller. On 7 July 1848 she married an older man, ...

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Codd, Clara Margaret (1876–1971), suffragette and theosophist  

Heloise Brown

Codd, Clara Margaret (1876–1971), suffragette and theosophist, was born on 10 October 1876 at Pill House, Bishops Tawton, Barnstaple, north Devon, the eldest of ten children of Henry Frederick Codd (d. 1899) and his wife, Clara Virginia, née Botto (1853–1927). She was educated at home by governesses, and at fifteen rejected Christianity and declared herself an atheist. When she was twenty-three her father, a school inspector, died and the family moved to ...

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Farr [married name Emery], Florence Beatrice [performing name Mary Lester] (1860–1917), author and mystic  

Virginia Crosswhite Hyde

Farr [married name Emery], Florence Beatrice [performing name Mary Lester] (1860–1917), author and mystic, was born on 7 July 1860 at Southlands, Bromley, Kent, the last of the eight children of William Farr (1807–1883), medical statistician, honorary MD, and FRS, and his second wife, ...

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Cover Farr, Florence Beatrice (1860–1917)

Farr, Florence Beatrice (1860–1917)  

Maker: unknown photographer

In 

Florence Beatrice Farr (1860–1917) by unknown photographer, c. 1905 [with her Dolmetsch psaltery] courtesy of the National Library of Ireland

Article

Krishnamurti, Jiddu (1895–1986), religious teacher  

Mary Lutyens

Krishnamurti, Jiddu (1895–1986), religious teacher, was born on 11 May 1895 at Madanapalle, between Madras and Bangalore, the eighth son of Narianiah, a Telugu-speaking Brahman employed by the British as a rent-collector, and his wife and cousin, Jiddu Sanjeevama (d. 1905). When compulsorily retired, ...

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Lutyens [née Bulwer-Lytton], Lady Emily (1874–1964), theosophist  

Jane Ridley

Lutyens [née Bulwer-Lytton], Lady Emily (1874–1964), theosophist, was born on 26 December 1874 in Paris, the third surviving child among the five children of (Edward) Robert Bulwer-Lytton, first earl of Lytton (1831–1891), a diplomatist and poet, and his wife, Edith Bulwer-Lytton (1841–1936)...

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Cover Lutyens, Lady Emily (1874–1964)

Lutyens, Lady Emily (1874–1964)  

Maker: F. A. Swaine

In 

Lady Emily Lutyens (1874–1964) by F. A. Swaine, 1913 © Mary Evans Picture Library

Article

Müller, (Frances) Henrietta (1845/6–1906), women's rights activist and theosophist  

Rosemary Auchmuty

Müller, (Frances) Henrietta (1845/6–1906), women's rights activist and theosophist, was born in Valparaíso, Chile, daughter of William Müller, a German emigré businessman and JP for Hertfordshire, and his wife, Maria Henrietta Müller. She grew up in Chile with little formal schooling but was evidently well-educated; she spoke six languages and travelled widely in ...

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See Sinclair, James, fourteenth earl of Caithness

Article

Sinnett, Alfred Percy (1840–1921), journalist and theosophist  

Janet Oppenheim

Sinnett, Alfred Percy (1840–1921), journalist and theosophist, was born in London on 18 January 1840, the younger son in the family of three daughters and two sons of Edward William Percy Sinnett (1799–1844), a journalist who was latterly a staff member on the Morning Herald for which he wrote parliamentary reports, and his wife, ...