Madame Sebin

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Madame Sebin is mentioned twice in the letters of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. The surname Sebin or Sabin is derived from Old French, so it seems likely that the lady's husband was of French descent. The name is also found in Russia, Romania, and the United Kingdom.

In a letter to A. P. Sinnett, Madame Blavatsky seems to have been travelling with Madame Sebin in the Middle East:

then went to Cairo where I stopped from Oct. or Nov. 1871 to April 1872, only four or five months, and returned to Odessa in July as I went to Syria and Constantinople first and some other places. I had sent Mad. Sebin with the monkeys before hand, for Odessa is only four or five days from Alexandria.[1]

The monkeys are not mentioned elsewhere. They might have been a gift for friends or family members in Odessa.

The second letter was written letter on June 7, 1884 to Henry Steel Olcott, reflecting on Blavatsky's early experiences involving Emma Coulomb:

what Coulomb told you about me (Master told them all her lies about the poor dead child whose mother my aunt & sister both knew, about that poor dead man who lies buried in Alexandria, about Sebin and how she, to thank me for saving her from starvation said lies about me in Odessa and Cairo too...[2]

From this, we can infer only that Sebin received assistance from Madame Blavatsky, and later told lies that damaged HPB's reputation in Odessa and Cairo.


  1. A. Trevor Barker, compiler, The Letters of H. P. Blavatsky to A. P. Sinnett (London: T. Fisher Unwin, Ltd., 1925), 153. See Letter No. 61, written in Wurzburg.
  2. To be published in Volume III of The Letters of H. P. Blavatsky.