H.P. Blavatsky Collected Writings, Volume 8 Page 313


[Lucifer, Vol. XV, No. 85, September, 1894, pp. 6-7]

[In the Editorial pages of the above-mentioned issue of Lucifer, the Editors—Annie Besant and George R. S. Mead—opening the Fifteenth Volume of this Journal, indulged in some musings concerning the events of earlier years, when the magazine was being launched At the time, H. P. B., as Chief Editor, was assisted by Mabel Collins The Editors write “There is a flavour of the old days gone by, when Lucifer had neither name nor local habitation, in a time-stained document that chance has just brought to light” This is followed by a brief letter, or perhaps only a fragment of one, which is as follows ]

The editors who have been chosen to conduct the new magazine wish to express to the Theosophical Publishing Company their conviction that they can only carry on their work if they are not interfered with in any way by members of` the Company. Interference and expressions of opinion about details only confuse the workers and

Page 314

delay the work, and it is hoped that the Company elected its editors with full confidence in them; any individual member who has not got this would do well to withdraw. The editors make this statement now in order to prevent delay and difficulty in the future. From the moment the work begins they alone must have the responsibility and authority.

[It is stated that this letter was signed by both editors—which would mean H. P. B. and Mabel Collins—and that the word begins has been changed to began, evidently dating this letter, at least approximately, as being in the Fall of 1887, possibly as early as September, when the first issue of Lucifer came out. The Editors state further: “To a somewhat later date is to be assigned the following, in the handwriting which has driven so many printers to despair,” meaning, of course, H. P. B.’s handwriting. They publish then the following letter:]
December 20th, 1887.

To the Board of Directors of the Theosophical
Publishing Co.
In reply to your letter of the 19 inst., I must state as follows:
(1) I am editing Lucifer in accordance with directions received from theosophical authorities, as a magazine chiefly, if not entirely devoted to theosophical subjects, i.e., to the serious discussion of theosophical or esoteric tenets offered to the public for their serious consideration, giving them an opportunity for enquiry and discussion in the magazine.

[Unfortunately, the Editors did not see fit to give the full context of this communication, for reasons of their own. They merely indicated that at this point in the letter there followed “certain suggestions,” the letter ending with the words:]
This is the only way I see, if I am believed to be any good as an editor.
[Considering the fact that these two communications addressed to the Theosophical Publishing Company, belong to a period not far removed from the actual inception of this Company in the Fall of 1887, they are inserted at this point for obvious chronological reasons.]

A very rare picture of H.P.B., presumably in her
forties, originally published in The Review of Reviews,
New York, Vol. VIII, December, 1893, p. 659. The
faint print in that journal does not permit a better
reproduction to be made.