Richard Harte

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Richard Harte was an early Theosophist who worked on the periodicals Lucifer and The Theosophist.

Personal life

Involvement with Theosophical Society

Harte was among a party of people who accompanied Colonel Olcott to India in 1888. The group included Charles and Vera Johnston, E. Douglas Fawcett and Baroness Kroummess. They left London on October 22 and arrived at Adyar on November 15. Olcott had asked Harte to step into the role of editor of The Theosophist to replace Alfred J. Cooper-Oakley, who had resigned in April.[1]

Harte's copy of The Secret Doctrine

According to a penciled notation in R. Harte's own copy of Volume I of The Secret Doctrine, "This is the first copy ever issued. I got it from Printer by special Messenger on the morning of the 20 Oct. '88 as I was leaving the house 17 Lansdowne Road, with Col. Olcott for India (Col. went personally via Naples). The Second Vol. followed me to India."[2] These books are in the Boris de Zirkoff Papers, Records Series 22, Theosophical Society in America Archives.


Harte was a journalist for the New York Telegram. After becoming a Theosophist, he assisted with periodicals Lucifer and The Theosophist. The Union Index of Theosophical Periodicals lists 19 articles by or about Richard Harte. Additional articles were published under the name R Harte, and probably others were anonymous. He wrote several books:

  • Keely's Secrets. London: Theosophical Publication Society, 1888. Written with Mrs. Bloomfield H. Moore in the Theosophical Siftings series. Part. I. Etheric force identified as dynaspheric force. Part II. One phase of Keely's discovery in its relation to the cure of disease.
  • The Hebrew Talisman. London: Theosophical Publishing Society, 1888. 32 page. The only known copy has been annotated: "Warburg Institute copy bound 13th with: "Lucifer" to the Archbishop of Canterbury, greeting!. [London : Theosophical Society, 188-?]./ 'Reprinted verbatim from a copy of a rare pamphlet, date circa 1836' - t.p." With an introduction by Richard Harte.
  • Lay Religion, Being Some Outspoken Letters to a Lady on the Present Religious Situation. London, E.W. Allen, 1894. 178 pages.
  • The New Psychology, or the Secret of Happiness. Being practical instructions how to develop and employ Thought-Power. R. Harte: Worthing,, 1901. On title page: "By D.C.K. [i.e. Richard Harte.]." 93 pages. A third edition came out in 1903.
  • Hypnotism and the Doctors. London, L.N. Fowler & Co.; New York, Fowler & Wells Co., 1902-1903. Two volumes. Volume 1. Mesmer. De Puységur. 128 pages. Volume 2. From Mesmer to Charcot. 253 pages. Volume 2 is avaiable from Hathitrust.

Additional resources

  • Richard Harte biography at Theosophy Canada (Edmonton Theosophical Society).


  1. The Theosophist 10 Supplement (December 1888), xxvii-xxviii.
  2. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. X (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1988), xxvi.