Helena Petrovna Blavatsky was a prolific and skillful writer in English, French, and Russian. Her Theosophical works were produced first in English, and later translated by other people into many languages. Most of the Russian writing was travel stories and occult tales for popular consumption. Her contract to provide material to the publisher Katkoff was her principal source of income in the early 1880s.
Chronological listing of major writings
- September 29, 1877 - Isis Unveiled in 2 volumes.
- October 1, 1879 - beginning of publication of The Theosophist which she edited and to which she contributed frequently.
- September 1887 - beginning of publication of Lucifer which she co-edited and to which she contributed frequently.
- October 20, 1888 - The Secret Doctrine Volume I published, followed by Volume II in December.
- July 1889 - The Key to Theosophy.
- Second half of 1889 - The Voice of the Silence.
- 1890 - Gems From the East. It was first published by the Theosophical Publishing Society in London and New York in birthday book format, with illustrations by "F. W."
- 1890-1891 - The Transactions of the Blavatsky Lodge were issued in two parts.
- 1892 - The Theosophical Glossary. A digital version is available of Boris de Zirkoff's annotated copy.
- 1892 - Nightmare Tales.
- 1892 - From the Caves and Jungles of Hindostan. Available at Gutenburg.org, Theosophy World, Internet Archive (1908 edition), ManyBooks.com, and other sources.
- 1893 - The People of the Blue Mountains.
- 1897 - The Secret Doctrine, Volume III, first edition. This was compiled by Annie Besant and G. R. S. Mead from fragmented material left by Madame Blavatsky. This volume was much maligned, but defended by James Morgan Pryse and Daniel Caldwell. See The Secret Doctrine (book)#Theosophical Publishing House.
- 1985 - The Inner Group Teachings of H.P. Blavatsky, first edition.
- 1995 - The Inner Group Teachings of H.P. Blavatsky, second edition.
- 2010 - The Secret Doctrine Commentaries.
- 2014 - The Secret Doctrine Wurzburg Manuscript.
Online versions of most of Blavatsky's writings at Universal Theosophy website.
The fifteen volumes of H. P. Blavatsky Collected Writings (fourteen volumes and index) include almost all of her known writings from 1874-1891, excluding personal letters. It is available online at Katinka Hesselink's website, at Theosophy World, and at Teopedia. The editor was Boris de Zirkoff. The first volume of her personal letters was edited by Dr. John Algeo and published by TPH in 2003 as part of the Collected Writings series. Publishing efforts leading into this series included A Modern Panarion: A Collection of Fugitive Fragments from the pen of H.P. Blavatsky (London, New York and Madras, 1895, 504 pp.) and the four volumes of The Complete Works of H.P. Blavatsky (London: Rider and Co., 1933-1936). See this history of the series.
The Secret Doctrine
HPB's masterwork, The Secret Doctrine, was published in 1888 in two volumes.
- The Secret Doctrine Volume I: Cosmogenesis. 1888 edition. Full text online at Theosophical University Press Online or available in PDF format at Philalethians web page.
- The Secret Doctrine Volume II: Anthropogenesis. 1888 edition. Full text online at Theosophical University Press Online or available in PDF format at Philalethians web page.
- The Secret Doctrine Volumes I and II. Searchable HTML text at Universal Theosophy.
- Pages from The Secret Doctrine: Version 1 Abridged. Selections commended by H. P. Blavatsky and B. P. Wadia. Available at Philalethians web page.
- Pages from The Secret Doctrine: Version 2 Full Text. Selections commended by H. P. Blavatsky and B. P. Wadia. Available at Philalethians web page.
- The Secret Doctrine Index. Prepared by John P. Van Mater. Pasadena, CA: Theosophical University Press, 1997. Available at Theosophical University Press Online. This valuable study aid, 441 pages in length, indexes major subject terms; foreign-language terms with 1888 and modern spellings; and people and works mentioned in the SD.
The Secret Doctrine Commentaries
In 2010 the I.S.I.S. Foundation (TS Point Loma-Blavatskyhouse) in The Hague published The Secret Doctrine Commentaries. The Unpublished 1889 Instructions, transcribed and annotated by Michael Gomes.
In 2014 the Eastern School Press in Colorado, USA, published The Secret Doctrine Wurzburg Manuscript. The 1885-1886 Version with the Stanzas of Dzyan and H.P.B.’s Accompanying Commentaries, transcribed by David Reigle. Available online at Eastern Tradition Research Institute
The Inner Group Teachings
In 1985 Point Loma Publications (San Diego, CA), published The Inner Group Teachings of H.P. Blavatsky. To Her Personal Pupils, 1890-91, compiled by H. J. Spierenburg (Author). In 1995 a 2nd revised and enlarged edition was produced.
Isis Unveiled was HPB's first major work, in which she discussed scientific theories and religious beliefs of the time. Some of the information presented is considered to be inaccurate compared to her masterwork The Secret Doctrine. Searchable HTML version of 2 volumes in 1 at Universal Theosophy
The Key to Theosophy
The Key to Theosophy is a basic work about the principles of Theosophy, in which HPB answers questions. It was written in 1889. Sources of audio and printed versions, both free and commercial offerings, are listed at KeytoTheosophy.Net. Another HTML version at Universal Theosophy.
The Voice of the Silence
The Voice of the Silence is a small volume that serves as a guide for those who wish to become disciples on the spiritual path.
- The Voice of the Silence. 1889. HTML text available at Universal Theosophy with spelling of foreign terms corrected
- Sources of audio and printed versions, both free and commercial offerings, are listed at voiceofthesilence.net.
HPB also worked on a glossary of Theosophical terminology, but did not live to complete it. The volume was published posthumously in 1892 after some editorial work by G. R. S. Mead, but the final result was regarded as unsatisfactory by many Theosophists. Boris de Zirkoff wrote an illuminating study of the glossary in "Who Played That Trick on H. P. B.? the Puzzle of 'The Theosophical Glossary.'".
- The Theosophical Glossary by H. P. Blavatsky. This link is Boris de Zirkoff's personal annotated copy of the glossary.
The Theosophist magazine
Lucifer was a magazine founded by H. P. Blavatsky in 1887.
- Volumes 1-10 and index available at Blavatsky Study Center Blavatsky Study Center
- Volumes 1-20 (some partial runs) available at IAPSOP website.
- The Durbar in Lahore. 1880-1881. Serially published in Russkiy Vestnik (Russian Messenger). In 1960-61 a translation was published in The Theosophist in eight parts. Boris de Zirkoff introduced that series: "The present English translation is based on a rough MSS. translation made many years ago by Miss Inga Sjostedt. It has been compared word for word with the original Russian text, worked over by the present writer [de Zirkoff], and thoroughly gone over and polished up by Mrs. Irene R. Ponsonby."
- Digital version in 2009 by Mark Jaqua at Scribd.com. Per Mark Jaqua: "H.P. Blavatsky's "This is my transcription and scans. This is the only book of Blavatsky's that has never been published in book-form."
- Another digital version is available in Teopedia.
- Russian edition is available in print-on-demand format.
- The People of the Blue Mountains. Wheaton, Illinois: Theosophical Press, 1930. This was compiled from a series of five monthly installments written for the Russian Messenger newspaper between December 1884 and April 1885). Mrs. A. J. Gouffe made the translation for the 1930 edition.
- Spanish translations, 1984, 2006.
- A digital version is available at FilosofiaEsoterica website.
- From the Caves and Jungles of Hindostan. London: Theosophical Publishing Society; New York: The Path; Madras: Theosophical Society, Adyar, 1892, 1908. The 1908 edition is available at Internet Archive. Other editions and printings:
- Delhi: Indological Book House, 1892.
- London: Theosophical Publishing Society; New York: The Path; and Madras: Theosophical Society; 1892. A PDF is available at Teopedia.
- Wheaton, Illinois: Theosophical Pub. House, 1975, 1994.
- Mr. Peters and the Goddess. Los Angeles, California: Philosophical Research Society, 1970s. Excerpt of The People of the Blue Mountains.
- Digital versions available at Hathitrust, Internet Archive, and Project Gutenberg.
- Numerous Russian editions and printings beginning in 1883; also Spanish translation, 2012.
NOTE: A new translation of Caves and Jungles from the Russian is being posted on the Teopedia website.
Translations into Russian
- The Mystery of Edwin Drood, a posthumous work by Charles Dickens, was completed by spiritualist T. P. James, a practitioner of automatic writing. HPB translated this into Russian. Russian text is available at the Bakhmut Roerich Society website.
- Nightmare Tales. London: Theosophical Publishing Society; New York; The Path; Madras: Theosophical Society, 1892. The cover art was by Reginald Machell. An account in Lucifer relates that both the cover art of Nightmare Tales and this illustration were created by Reginald Machell, along with "some clever tailpieces, consisting of Japanese monsters of indescribable curliness." Other editions and translations:
Organizational lectures, instructions, and reports
- The Original Programme of The Theosophical Society. 1886. Available at Theosophy Northwest.
- Madame Blavatsky's Esoteric Papers A Comprehensive Compilation of H. P. Blavatsky's Esoteric Papers. 1888-1891. Compiled by Daniel Caldwell. Portions are available at the Blavatsky Archives and at Teopedia.
Pamphlets and articles
- The Kabalah and the Kabalists. Adyar, Madras, India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1919. Adyar Pamphlet #105. Reprinted from "Kabalah and the Kabalists at the Close of the Nineteenth CenturyLucifer Vol X (May, 1892), 185-196. Available at Hathitrust and Canadian Theosophical Association.
- What is Truth?. From Lucifer, February, 1888.
Collections and compilations
The Lucifer Collection
Articles written by or edited by H. P. Blavatsky from 1887-1891 in her journal Lucifer have recently been collected into a series called The Lucifer Collection.
Studies in Occultism series
Studies in Occultism: a Series of Reprints from the Writings of H. P. Blavatsky comprised six volumes of reprints issued in 1895 at New England Theosophical Corporation in Boston. These works were originally published in Lucifer have been reissued numerous times. The text of each article is available online from Theosophical University Press, and PDFs of some are available from Teopedia and other sources.
- 1 – Practical Occultism. Occultism versus the Occult Arts. The Blessings of Publicity.
- 2 – Hypnotism. Black Magic in Science. Signs of the Times.
- 3 – Psychic and Noetic Action.
- 4 – Kosmic Mind. Dual Aspect of Wisdom.
- 5 – The Esoteric Character of the Gospels, Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. Also available at IAPSOP and Blavatsky Archives.
- 6 – Astral bodies. Constitution of the Inner Man.
- Gems from the East: A Birthday Book of Precepts and Axioms. A Birthday Book of Precepts and Axioms, compiled by H.P.B. from Oriental literature. It was first published in 1890 by the Theosophical Publishing Society in London and New York in birthday book format, with illustrations by "F. W." The original edition is available at Hathitrust and Teopedia, and a recent edition at Theosophical University Press Online. Many later editions were published as books of quotations, without the birthday book format or illustrations. [See also Sources of the Gems by Pavel Malakhov.]
- Other Writings from H.P. Blavatsky's Pen. Letters, articles, and E. S. instructions available at Blavatsky Archives. Some are not in the Collected writings.
- A Modern Panarion: A Compilation of Forgotten Fragments 1874-1884. Edited and abridged by G.R.S. Mead, published in 1895. It is available at The Theosophy Company website and at the Blavatsky Archives. This was a predecessor to the H. P. Blavatsky Collected Writings.
- The Complete Works of H. P. Blavatsky. Compiled by a committee including A. Trevor Barker and Boris de Zirkoff and published by Rider and CO. in four volumes from 1933-1936. Available as free e-books from Internet Archive and Open Library. This was a predecessor to the H. P. Blavatsky Collected Writings.
- Pamphlets by H. P. Blavatsky. A compilation of articles arranged by topics by the United Lodge of Theosophists. Available at Ultindia.org
- Blavatsky Speaks. A compilation of articles arranged by topics available at Philaletheians.co.uk
- Theosophical Literature by H. P. Blavatsky. A collection of books and articles available at the Theosophy Library Online
- Dynamics of the Psychic World; comments by H. P. Blavatsky on magic, mediumship, psychism, and the power of the spirit.. Compiled with notes by Lina Psaltis. Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1972.
- This photo was taken by William Quan Judge using a Kodak camera in her home at No. 17 Lansdowne Road, London. The occasion was described in Volume 1 of Echoes from the Orient, Judge's collected writings on pages 259 and 262-263. Photo courtesy of Will Thackara at International Theosophical Society (Pasadena); restoration of photo by Pavel Malakhov.
- Boris de Zirkoff, "Who Played That Trick on H. P. B.?", Theosophia 24.113 (Winter, 1967-1968), 12.
- Library of Congress registration card. Records Series 16. Book Publishing. Theosophical Society in America Archives.
- H. P. Blavatsky letter to A. N. Aksakoff dated October 28, 1874. The Letters of H. P. Blavatsky, Volume I(Wheaton, Illinois: Theosophical Publishing House, 2003), 35.
- H. P. Blavatsky letter to A. N. Aksakoff dated November 14, 1874. The Letters of H. P. Blavatsky, Volume I(Wheaton, Illinois: Theosophical Publishing House, 2003), 45.
- "Nightmare Tales" Lucifer 10.57 (May, 1892), 264.
- "Nightmare Tales" Lucifer 10.57 (May, 1892), 264.