J. Émile Marcault

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Professor Jean Émile Marcault was a French Theosophist and professor of psychology and French literature, known for his brilliant lectures.

Early life and education

M. Marcault had an English mother, and grew up bilingual. Marcault was awarded a Master of Arts degree, and a Bachelor of Laws.

Professional career

From 1909 to 1919, Marcault served as Professor of Psychology and French Literature at the University of Clermont and University of Grenoble. He taught Psychology at the University of Pisa from 1917 to 1924. In 1930, the physician of the English royal family invited to collaborate in applying new educational methods for medicine and health at a the conference of the British Medical Association.[1]

Marcault was particularly interested in the evolution of human consciousness, and in 1936 toured India investigating yogic states of consciousness. Around that time in Paris, he met Therese Brosse through the co-Masonic organization, Le Droit Humain, and "later converted her to theosophy... in September 1939, at the same time as Marcault, she began a political career as deputy head of the sociotechnical cabinet of the Ministry of Public Health."[2]

Theosophical Society involvement

In the early 1920s, Marcault came to live in London, and there followed a period of some years of intense activity for the Theosophical Society. At the 1920 World Congress in Paris, he served as translator for speeches from French to English and English to French.[3]On June, 4, 1927, he presented the Blavatsky Lecture at the Queen's Hall, London, for the annual convention of the English Section. His topic was "The Psychology of Intuition".

His friend and collaborator I. A. Hawliczek wrote,

There were already several theosophical schools in India, Britain and elsewhere, and groups for theosophically-minded teachers also existed. In 1925 all these became integrated into The Theosophical World University and its supporting Association, and into this movement Professor Marcault threw himself heart and soul.

Apart from extensive lecture tours in Europe, he was the presiding genius of the [Theosophical] Study Centre in Brompton Road, London, conducting there a number of study courses some of which were available to a wider group through correspondence. He was a brilliant exponent of Intuition and the Buddhist consciousness, about which he was both inspiring and tiresome: inspiring because he had the power to make others share something of his vision; tiresome because he (quite rightly) refused to set down these intangibles in writing and thus tie them down to earth.

There are reports of some of his lectures and a few articles from his pen in various pamphlets and periodicals of the time but, alas, he never wrote a book. Nevertheless he made a considerable impact on theosophical thinking, one outcome of which was the Theosophical Research Centre which still exists.

Of the later years of his life almost nothing is known. He flashed like a meteor across the theosophical sky - and now he is gone! But his memory is still very dear to the contemporaries who knew him well.[4]

Mr. Hawliczek may have underestimated Marcault's contribution to Theosophical literature, judging from the Subba Row Medal awarded to the professor in 1936. From 1934 to 1945 Marcault served as the General Secretary of the Theosophical Society in France.


In 1936, Professor Marcault was awarded the Subba Row Medal for his contributions to Theosophical literature.[5] He served as editor for the French Section journal, Le Lotus Bleu, and the Union Index of Theosophical Periodicals lists 135 articles by or about Professor Marcault. M. Marcault also edited a quarterly bulletin for the Theosophical World University from 1925 until at least 1931.

He wrote several books in French on academic subjects, and these booklets on Theosophy:

  • The Next Step in Evolution. 1932. Written with Iwan A. Hawliczek.
  • The Evolution of Man: Being an Outline of the Development of Human Consciousness as Illustrated by the Pre-Aryan Races, with a Brief Note on the Aryan Race. London: Theosophical Society in England, 1931. Written with Iwan A. Hawliczek.
  • Notes on Method: Psychology.
  • The Psychology of Intuition. London: Theosophical Publishing House, 1927. Text of Blavatsky Lecture. 24 pages.
  • Liberation: essay on the significance of Krishnamurti's teaching on the evolution of the spirit in man. Woodstock, NY: What-Is Press, 1988. 18 pages.


  1. "Marcault, Prof. J. Emile," The Theosophical Year Book, 1938 (Adyar, Madras, India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1938), 199.
  2. Samuel Boussion, Mathias Gardet, and Martine Ruchat, "Rebuilding a World Devastated by War," A History of UNESCO: Global Ats and Impacts (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), 103. Poul Duedahl, editor.
  3. D. Graham Pole, "The T.S. in England and Wales" The General Report of the T. S 1921 (Adyar, Madras, India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1922), 43.
  4. I. A. Hawliczek, "Obituary - Jean Émile Marcault," Science Group Journal (Spring 1969), 29.
  5. International Theosophical Year Book 1938, The (Adyar, Madras, India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1938), 148.