Mabel Collins

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Mabel Collins is the name under which Mrs. Keningale Cook published her writings. She was an English Theosophist, and author of at least 46 books, including Light on the Path, a perennial favorit among Theosophists.

Early life and education

Minna Mabel Collins on September 9, 1851 at St Peters Port, Guernsey. Her parents were Edward James Mortimer Collins, a self-taught poet and journalist, and Susanna Hubbard, a merchant's daughter. When they married, Mortimer was nineteen years younger than his wife, who already had six children. The family moved frequently, as Mortimer repeatedly overspent and landed in debtors' prisons. "By the time she was twelve years old Minna had begun to write romances and verse herself. She had never attended school – what education she had was from her father. Poetry and philosophy formed the main content of her lessons." [1]


Young Minna began a new life when she married Keningale Robert Cook on August 3, 1971 at St. Peters Church in Knowl Hill. He was six years older than she, and was well educated at Rugby and Trinity College in Dublin. He earned several degrees culminating in a Doctorate in Laws in 1875. During the years at Trinity College he was employed by the Post Office dealing with money orders, but by 1875 he had become a stockbroker in London. He published a book of poetry and numerous articles for the magazine Woman. This same magazine began to publish Minna's writings as well. "Almost every issue contained Minna’s or Robert’s writings. They covered a range of subjects but were primarily concerned with education, the role of women and the arts."[2]


Mabel Collins wrote at least 46 books.

  • The Story of Helena Modjeska, (Madame Chlapowska). London: W. H. Allen, 1883.
  • Light on the Path (1885).
  • The Prettiest Woman in Warsaw (1885)
  • Through the Gates of Gold (1887).
  • The Blossom and the Fruit (1887). A tale of mystery and adventure; true story of a Black Magician.
  • Idyll of the White Lotus (1890). An occult story.
  • Morial the Mahatma (1892).
  • Suggestion (1892).
  • Juliet’s Lovers (1893)
  • The Story of the Year (1895)
  • The Star Sapphire (1896).
  • A Cry from Afar (1905). For students of Light on the Path
  • Fragments of Thought and Life The Thesophical Publishing Society, 1908. Subtitle: "being seven essays, and seven fables in illustration of the essays."
  • The Builders. London: The Thesophical Publishing Society, 1910. An essay on builders, destroyers, and dwellers.
  • When the Sun Moves Northward The Thesophical Publishing Society, 1912. Subtitle: "being a treatise on the six sacred months : containing the mystic ritual from the Story of the year and the teaching concerning the resurrection from Green leaves."
  • The Story of Sensa (1913).
  • The Crucible. London: The Theosophical Publishing Society, 1914. In September-October 1914, MC wrote her prediction that World War I, which had commenced the previous month, would turn into a crucible for humanity. She wrote of her experiences visiting wounded soldiers, and of talking with members of "Kitchener's Army."
  • As the Flower Grows (1915).
  • Love's Chaplet. A short treatise on the inner life.
  • The Awakening. London: The Theosophical Publishing Society, 1906. An account of how Light on the Path came to be.
  • Illusions. London: The Thesophical Publishing Society, ????.Essays on the inner side of nature, illustrated by actual psychic experiences.
  • One Life One Law.
  • The Scroll of the Disembodied Man.


  1. Kim Farnell, "The Many Lives of Mabel Collins," Theosophical History Conference 2003, available at [1]
  2. Kim Farnell, "The Many Lives of Mabel Collins," Theosophical History Conference 2003, available at [2]

Additional resources