Besant, Annie
An Autobiography


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A fascinating account of her early years (1847-1893) fighting for women’s and worker’s rights, freedom of thought, secularism and birth control.

“Thus was ushered in 1889, the to me never-to-be-forgotten year in which I found my way “Home,” and had the priceless good fortune of meeting, and of becoming the pupil of H.P. Blavatsky. Ever more and more had been growing on me the feeling that something more than I had was needed for the cure of social ills. The Socialist position sufficed on the economic side, but where to gain the inspiration, the motive, which should lead to the realisation of the Brotherhood of Man? Since 1886 there had been slowly growing up a conviction that my philosophy was not sufficient; that life and mind were other than, more than, I had dreamed. . .

“I finally convinced myself that there was some hidden thing, some hidden power, and resolved to seek until I found, and by the early spring of 1889 I had grown desperately determined to find at all hazards what I sought. At last, sitting alone in deep thought as I had become accustomed to do after the sun had set, filled with an intense but nearly hopeless longing to solve the riddle of life and mind, I heard a Voice that was later to become to me the holiest sound on earth, bidding me take courage for the light was near. . .

“I have been told that I plunged into Theosophy and let my enthusiasm carry me away. I think the charge is true, in so far as the decision was swiftly taken; but it had been long led up to, and realised the dreams of childhood on the higher planes of intellectual womanhood. More than all I hoped for in that first plunge has been realised, and a certainty of knowledge has been gained on doctrines seen as true as that swift flash of illumination. I know, by personal experiment, that the Soul exists, and that my Soul, not my body, is myself; that it can leave the body at will; that it can, disembodied, reach and learn from living human teachers.”

An Autobiography, Annie Besant, T. Fisher Unwin, 1920

Fifth Impression. Hardback. Octavo. Red cloth binding. Formerly belonging to the Theosophical Lending Library, Harrogate. Book covers show some wear. Corners are bumped slightly. End papers have been removed. 9 plates b&w. 368 pp.