The Theosophical Review (periodical)

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The Theosophical Review was a monthly periodical that was the successor to Lucifer. It was published in London with Annie Besant and G. R. S. Mead as the editors, as the organ of the Theosophical Society in Europe.

In a postscript to a letter written on July 5, 1907, C. W. Leadbeater wrote, "By the way, all our people ought to know that Mrs. Besant is withdrawing from all connection with The Theosophical Review; probably they will like to transfer their subscriptions to The Theosophist, which will be her organ henceforth."[1]

American edition

Annie Besant wrote to the readership of Mercury to let them know their American periodical would be subsumed by a new edition of The Theosophical Review to be printed in Chicago:

At the request of some leading members of the American Section of the Theosophical Society, I have consented to issue an American edition of the Theosophical Review simultaneously with the English. Mercury merges in the American Theosophical Review, the first number of which will appear on September 15th. It will be published in Chicago, and all orders, subscriptions, etc., can be sent to the Theosophical Book Concern, 26 Van Buren Street, where also all information can be obtained by addressing Mr. Robert Burnett, who has kindly consented to act as Chairman of the Business Committee.

It is hope that the issue of this American edition will be of service in presenting the Theosophical movement in a dignified and attractive way to the intelligent public of America, and that it will also draw American and English Theosophists more closely together. My co-editor, Mr. G. R. S. Mead, cordially concurs in this hope, and will strive with me to realize it.

Mr. W. J. Walters, who has conducted Mercury with so much devotion and self-sacrifice, has agreed to merge it in the Review as his contribution to the realization of this same hope, and will do all in his power to ensure the success of the new departure. We all join in the appeal to American Theosophists to lead us their aid, which can alone crown the venture with prosperity.[2][3]

Major contributors and series


Index to the periodical

The Union Index of Theosophical Periodicals[1] provides a searchable index that is available online for the issues from September 1897 to February 1909, listing article titles and authors in chronological sequence.

Another selective index of articles in the periodical is "Selected Articles from The Theosophical Review (1897-1907)" in Kurt Leland's Spiritual Orienteering web page.

Issues available online

Some volumes of this periodical are available at:


  1. C. W. Leadbeater letter to Mrs. Holbrook. 5 July 1907. Records Series 02. International History. Theosophical Society in America Archives, Wheaton, Illinois.
  2. Annie Besant, "The Theosophical Review" Mercury 5.12 (August, 1899), 462.
  3. Note: Mr. Robert A. Burnett was married to the better-known Theosophist Dr. Mary Weeks Burnett.