The Indian Biographical Dictionary (1915)/Besant, Annie
Besant, Annie, President, Theosophical Society: author and lecturer on religious, philosophical, and scientific subjects; Editor, New India, Madras since 1914; b. 1847; d. of William Page Wood and Emily, d. of James Morris; m. Rev. Frank Besant, Vicar of Sibsey, Lincolnshire, 1867: legally separated from him, 1873; one s. one d. Educ.: privately in England, Germany .and France; took honours in Botany at the Preliminary Science Exam, Lond. University, and at South Kensington Science and Art Exam; Joined the National Secular Society, 1874: worked in the Free Thought and Radical movements led by the late Mr. Charles Bradlaugh. M.P.; was co-editor of the “National Reformer”; was prominent in the Labour and Socialist movements, and member of the Fabian Society and Social Democratic Federation; took active part in Trades Union work among unskilled labourers, and with Herbert Burrows led the great Match Strike to a successful conclusion; aided the defence of public meeting in London; was a member of the London School Board (for Tower Hamlets), 1887-90, but declined re-election; joined the Theosophical Society. 1889; became a devoted pupil of Mme. Blavatsky, and travelled to all parts of the globe in its service; elected its President, 1907; founded the Central Hindu College at Benares, 1898; the Central Hindu Girls’ School, Benares, 1904; worked to found a Hindu University in India; lectured and wrote widely on India and Indian Grievances in England, 1914; purchased the Madras Standard and founded the New India, 1914. Publications: Reincarnation, 1892; Seven Principles of Man, 1892; Autobiography, 1893; Death and After, 1893; Building of the Kosmos, 1894; In the Outer Court, 1895; Karma, 1895; The Self and its Sheaths, 1895; Path of Discipleship, 1896; Man and his Bodies, 1896; Four Great Religions, 1897: The Ancient Wisdom, 1897; Three Paths to Union with God, 1897; Evolution of Life and Form, 1898; Dharma, 1899; The Story of the Great War, 1899; Avataras, 1900; Ancient Ideals in Modern Life, 1901; Esoteric Christianity, 1901: Thought-Power, its Control and Culture, 1901; The Religious Problem in India, 1902; The Pedigree of Man, 1903; A Study in Consciousness, 1904; Theosophy and the New Psychology, 1904; Hints on the Bhagavad Gita, 1905; The Wisdom of the Upanishads, 1906; Buddhist Popular Lectures; Occult Chemistry; The Changing World; editor of the Theosophist and of the Central Hindu College Magazine; tracts and pamphlets; translations of Force and Matter and Mind in Animals (Buchner), Israel (Soury), and Bhagavad Gita. Recreations: as a girl, expert archer and croquet player; rode much till 1889, and resumed in 1900. Address: Theosophical Society, 106, New Bond Street, W; Benares City; “New India” Office, Pophams Broadway, Madras; and Theosophical Headquarters, Adyar, Madras, India. T.A.: Blavatsky, London; Besant, Benares; Olcott, Madras.