Cardiff Theosophical Society

206 Newport Road,

Cardiff, Wales, UK, CF24 -1DL



Helena Petrovna Blavatsky

1831 - 1891




H P Blavatsky

The Legendary Smoker



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In polite Western Society of the late 19th century, it was very unusual for women of H P Blavatsky’s social status to smoke and indeed any that did were careful not to do it in public. H P Blavatsky was a notorious rebel in this area.


The attitude of contemparies to HPB’s smoking is illustrated by the following incident which took place in 1875. HPB was the guest of Hiram Corson, professor of Anglo-Saxon and English Literature at Cornell University. HPB was invited to stay with Corson and his wife after a period of correspondence between them in which she warned him that she would embarrass her hosts by sneaking away every fifteen minutes for a smoke.


Corson invited HPB for a carriage ride to see the countryside but was worried that if she smoked in the carriage, this would create a bad impression and harm his reputation. He therefore begged her not to smoke. The journey began but after only a short distance HPB was desperate for a cigarette and told him that she must have a smoke or she would jump out of the carriage.


Corson was in a state of panic but HPB just asked him “what if people see me smoke ?” “what’s the harm in that ?” and went on to tell him that people would just think she was a gypsy. Corson found a quiet spot and ordered his driver to stop the carriage. HPB got out and quickly rolled a cigarette which she smoked in front of an amazed carriage driver.


Corson later wrote a letter to a friend in which he told him that HPB smoked two hundred cigarettes a day. This was a clearly exaggerated figure but gives some idea of the effect HPB’s smoking had on him.




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Cardiff Theosophical Society

206 Newport Road,

Cardiff, Wales, UK, CF24 -1DL



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Tekels Park

Camberley, Surrey, England GU15 – 2LF


Tekels Park to be Sold to a Developer

Concerns are raised about the fate of the wildlife as

The Spiritual Retreat, Tekels Park in Camberley,

Surrey, England is to be sold to a developer


Many feel that the sale of a sanctuary for 

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H P Blavatsky’s Heavy Duty

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Published 1892




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The Occult World

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