The New International Encyclopædia/Blavatsky, Helena Petrovna Hahn-Hahn
BLAVATSKY, blȧ-väts′kê, Helena Petrovna Hahn-Hahn (1831-91). A Russian traveler and theosophist, born in Ekaterinoslav, Southern Russia. She traveled widely, penetrated to Tibet, and originally dealt much in spiritism and the occult. In 1873 she came to the United States, where, with H. S. Olcott, she in 1875 founded the Theosophical Society. In 1879, under her direction, a branch of the society was organized at Bombay, India, and the official journal, The Theosophist, was established. She met numerous 'adepts' in India and elsewhere, and did somewhat to popularize the content of Buddhist philosophy alike among foreigners and native Indians; but the imposture of her miraculous pretensions has been adequately demonstrated by V. S. Solovyoff in his work, A Modern Priestess of Isis (trans. by W. Leaf, London, 1895), and by the investigations of the Society for Psychical Research in 1884. Although but slightly acquainted with Sanskrit, she wrote voluminously on the ancient esoteric doctrines of India. The accredited text-book of her disciples as her Isis Unveiled (1876), which displays the subtitle, "A Master Key to the Mysteries of Ancient and Modern Science and Theology." Consult Olcott, Old Diary Leaves (New York, 1895). See Theosophy.