Violet Tweedale

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Violet Tweedale

Violet Tweedale, née Chambers (1862 – 19 December 1936), was a Scottish author and poet and a Spiritualist. Claiming to be psychic from a young age, she became involved in Spiritualism and Theosophy, and was a close associate of Helena Blavatsky. Tweedale became also a member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

Personal life

Violet Chambers was born in 1862 in Scotland to publisher Robert Chambers, editor of "Chambers's Journal," and his wife.[1] On June 8, 1891 at St. Peter's Church in Eaton Square, Belgravia, London, she married Clarens (or Clarence) Tweedale.[2] He was a British subject born in Florence, Italy, the son of an Indian army captain, and had served as a Lieutenant in the Royal Perth Rifles.[3] They were independently wealthy. She died at the Villa Languard, Torquay, Devon on December 10, 1936.[4] Clarens outlived her, dying in Devon at August 25, 1950.

Every Woman's Encyclopedia described her in this way:

Exceedingly versatile, Mrs. Tweedale has been described as "a woman of all works." She can paint a landscape and cook a dinner; she can write a book and make a shirt; she can etch a sporting scene and embroider the finest, designs; she is a. brilliant pianist and has the reputation of being one of the best political speakers of the day. "I never know an idle moment, and I never know an unhappy one until by some misadventure I am forced to sit with idle hands," is a remark she has often been heard to make.[5]

Theosophical Society involvement

Violet Tweedale

Mrs. Tweedale was admitted to the Theosophical Society on June 9, 1893 in the London Lodge, although her permanent address at that time in Balquholly, Turriff, Scotland.[6]

Around 1888–1889 in London, when talking to H. P. Blavatsky, she saw the astral form of either an Adept or a chela. She wrote:

On another occasion when I was alone with Madame Blavatsky, she suddenly broke off our conversation by lapsing into another language, which I supposed to be Hindustani. She appeared to be addressing some one else, and on looking over my shoulder I saw we were no longer alone. A man stood in the middle of the room. I was sure he had not entered by the door, window, or chimney, and as I looked at him in some astonishment, he salaamed to Madame Blavatsky and replied to her in the same language in which she had addressed him.

I rose at once to leave her, and as I bade her good-by she whispered to me, "Do not mention this." The man did not seem aware of my presence; he took no notice of me as I left the room. He was dark in color and very sad looking, and his dress was a long, black cloak and a soft black hat, which he did not remove, pulled well over his eyes. I found out that evening that none of the general staff were aware of his arrival, and I saw him no more.[7]


As a teenager Violet assisted her father with his literary journal. She became a prolific writer of short stories, published as anthologies, and novels, often with a romantic or supernatural theme. In addition, she wrote articles for journals such as A. P. Sinnett's Broadviews. The Union Index of Theosophical Periodicals lists 12 articles by or about Mrs. Tweedale].

Mrs. Tweedale wrote over 30 books on spiritual subjects. The Cosmic Christ (1930) influenced Alice Bailey. Tweedale's own personal psychic experiences were documented in Ghosts I have Seen, Phantoms of The Dawn and Mellow Sheaves in which she mentions teachings she learned from Mme. Blavatsky.[8] These are some of her popular titles:

  • And They Two. 1889. This was her first novel.
  • The Beautiful Mrs. Davenant: A Novel of Love and Mystery.
  • The Passing Storm.
  • The Cosmic Christ. London: Rider & Co., 1930. Available at IAPSOP website. This book was published in several languages.
  • Ghosts I Have Seen. This book was published in several languages.
  • Ghosts I Have Seen and Other Psychic Experiences. Available at Project Gutenberg.
  • The Kingdom of Mammon.
  • An Empty Heritage.
  • The Quenchless Flame.
  • Found Dead and Other True Ghost Stories.
  • Phantoms of the Dawn.
  • Love and War.
  • Wingate's Wife.
  • An Unholy Alliance.
  • The House of the Other World.
  • The Heart of a Woman.
  • Austin's career.
  • The Green Lady.
  • Mellow Sheaves.
  • The Mammonist.
  • The School of Virtue.
  • The Passing Storm.
  • A Reaper of the Whirlwind.
  • The Veiled Woman.
  • The Quenchless Flame.
  • Her Grace's Secret.
  • What Shall It Profit a Man?.
  • Unsolved Mysteries.
  • The Honeycomb of Life.
  • The Legends of Life.
  • The Sweets of Office.
  • An Empty Heritage.
  • Mrs. Barrington's Atonement.
  • The Portals of Love.
  • Lord Eversleigh's Sins.

Online resources


  1. Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1931.
  2. Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1931.
  3. 1881 England Census.
  4. England & Wales, National Probate Calendar, 1858-1966.
  5. Every Woman's Encyclopedia reprinted in Chest of Books website.
  6. Theosophical Society General Membership Register, 1875-1942 at See book 1, entry 9702 (website file: 1D/6).
  7. Violet Tweedale, Ghosts I Have Seen and Other Psychic Experiences (New York:Frederick A. Stokes, 1919), 51, 56–61.
  8. H. P. Blavatsky as seen by Violet Tweedale (Theosophy: modern, history and archives) at