Ted G. Davy – Canada
Lavender, Ted G Davy’s first choice. The message behind this flower is the one of refinement and royalty. Lavender decorated homes of kings and queens
Annie Besant (1847-1933) made three visits to Toronto, the first and last being separated by thirty-three years. The primary purpose of each visit was to give public lectures. Internationally renowned, she was recognized as one of the leading orators in the English speaking world. In the 19th century and the first quarter of the 20th her audiences were often reckoned in thousands; and she enjoyed international celebrity status for most of her long life. After she joined the Theosophical Society in 1889, Branches clamored for her to visit them. Toronto was no exception.
In the first two years following its founding in 1891, the Toronto Theosophical Society enrolled several socialist members who were attracted by Mrs. Besant’s dual interest in Socialism and Theosophy. (1) It was probably at the urging of these individuals especially that efforts were made to bring her to Toronto to lecture. The first opportunity arose at the end of 1892 when in early December she began a two-month tour under the auspices of the American Section TS. Toronto TS President Albert E.S. Smythe (1861-1947) wrote to the Section headquarters asking that Toronto be included in her itinerary. The General Secretary of that body, William Q. Judge (1851-1896), replied to this request by regretting that “. . . all the points which it is possible for her to visit have already been arranged for. (2)
Undeterred, a few months later, learning that Mrs Besant would be back in America in September to attend the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago, the Toronto TS asked that she might be able to visit their city either before or after that event.(3) To this end Smythe again wrote to Mr Judge who on July 24 promised to forward his request to her. As before, he held out no hope she would be able to respond favorably, inasmuch as she was scheduled to go to India immediately after the Theosophical Congress at the Parliament. One week later Judge had to reply discouragingly to yet another Smythe plea. Finally, however, on August 21 he was able to write on a much more positive note:
“Mrs Besant has written to me that she considers the idea of going to your place to lecture as proposed by you, favorably...
… As you know, she has no means of sustaining her work but by her own efforts as none of us get any salary. And just at this time the frightful stringency in finance prevents me from assuming risks I would otherwise take and as I did on the last trip she made here.
…The branch or individuals would have to find money for the hall and advertising and she would make an equitable division of any proceeds.”
In spite of Mr Judge being at a low ebb physically during these months, the Congress was a significant success for the Theosophical Society whose delegates delivered no fewer than 28 papers. With her four talks and dynamic platform presence Mrs Besant was certainly a noticeable figure at the Parliament.
Following the Congress, accompanied by Prof. Chakravarti, Mrs Besant first took the train from Chicago to Toledo, Ohio, where, on September 19, she spoke twice and took part in the opening ceremonies of the Toledo TS’ new quarters. (4) On a tight schedule, they left immediately for Toronto, where they were met next day at the railway station by Smythe and Sam Beckett (1850-1928). (5) It was her first visit to Canada and she arrived without her luggage which still had not turned up from Chicago. (6)
Superlatives were not spared in the newspaper advertisements for Annie Besant’s Toronto talks. In one she was described as “The Most Eloquent Woman Living.” In another, “England’s great Socialist.” Chakravarti was not mentioned in the ads: until his arrival in the city the local members were unaware he would be accompanying her! The Toronto TS was not identified as sponsor in the advertisements of the talks; and the only mention of the Society per se in the press reports was in The Globe. There, it was merely stated that Smythe, the President of the Toronto branch, had introduced the speaker. Following a lengthy verbatim report of the second lecture, the obviously well informed unnamed reporter added notes of an interview he had with Smythe, in this way giving the Society more favorable publicity.
The daily papers were generous in reporting the talks, and today it is interesting to read the impression she made on the local press:
“Mrs. Besant is a tall, pleasant looking woman with a face not handsome when judged by beauty standards, yet beautiful, expressive of the noble soul which she possesses. She has an easy, natural manner when speaking and possesses a voice remarkable for its clearness and pleasant as charming music. (7)
…. In personal appearance she is a little above medium height and her countenance in part expresses the power of mind behind. (8)
…. She impresses one as a woman whose prepossession is the result of difficulties brought under subjection after long struggling.” (9 & 10)
Chakravarti’s appearance was not described by the reporters. However, the audience might have seen
“… a light complexioned, rather fat-faced, sleepy Brahmin… with a small, drooping, pointed black mustache, a ‘black observing eye,’ a shiny black turban and a flat white necktie…”
Annie Besant gave two public lectures to large and enthusiastic audiences, the subjects on consecutive evenings being “Dangers Threatening Society” and “What Theosophy Is. (11 & 12) Her oratorical powers were demonstrated on the first evening. Smythe chaired the meeting and reported:
“Mr. Chakravarti was asked to say a few words the first night and he spoke for three-quarters of an hour. The audience was tired but Mrs. Besant took hold of them with her splendid eloquence and stirred them to the depths . . . [T]he Shaftesbury Hall . . . was filled on the second night when Mrs. Besant spoke alone.”
Unfortunately, her triumph was marred before she left the city the following day:
“The impression on the public was very fine, but many adherents among those who attended the meetings but who had not joined the Society met their first initiation when at a reception to which they had been invited to meet Mrs. Besant, she refused to shake hands with any who were not members. The Society felt the effect of this and many left who declared that the profession of Brotherhood was inconsistent. (13)
Although it was published in her lifetime, as far as is known Mrs Besant never repudiated this story of her standoffishness. When Smythe reiterated this incident several years later he remarked that the visit “. . . had one excellent effect, however, it cured us of idolatry.”(14)
Nevertheless, her presence in the city generated a good deal of publicity, thanks to her talks being written up in the press. Surprisingly, however, the public interest, while welcomed by the Toronto TS, resulted in few new memberships.
In passing, it is interesting to note that at the time of their Toronto visit Annie Besant and Gyendranath Chakravarti, who had met for the first time only a few weeks earlier in England, were at the beginning of a disciple-guru relationship that lasted eleven years. At the time and later some Theosophists thought she was completely under his spell, and indeed he had the reputation of being a “skillful hypnotist.” (15) Their association significantly affected early Theosophical history.
Mrs Besant’s next visit to Toronto was in 1897. In the interim the Theosophical movement had been transformed. Two years earlier the Theosophical Society headquartered in Adyar had suffered its first major split, for which state of affairs she herself was mostly responsible. Her dispute with the head of the American Section, William Q. Judge (16) had led to the formation in 1895 of a new organization called the Theosophical Society in America, under Judge’s leadership. His untimely death in 1896 resulted in Ernest T. Hargrove (1870?-1939) being elected President of this organization, although the de facto leader was Katherine Tingley (1847-1929).
In Toronto the outcome of the controversy had been the splitting of the local Society, a minority of members holding on to its original Adyar charter with Alexander Horwood (1856-1927) as President; and the majority establishing a new Lodge named the Beaver TS, which was loyal to the TS in America, (17) The two members most responsible for the 1893 visit were now in the Beaver branch, of which Sam Beckett and Albert E.S. Smythe were President and Secretary respectively. On the whole, the two groups were fairly friendly to each other, with only occasional minor disputes to disturb the peace. Unfortunately, the rivalry was more pronounced in the months before Mrs Besant’s second visit than at any time before or after.
Personalities aside, the local rivalry in Toronto was largely due to competition for public attention. It was stepped up in mid-March, 1897 when the Countess Constance Wachtmeister (d. 1910) came to Toronto as part of a lecture tour under the auspices of the original American Section of the TS. The European Countess had been a friend of the late Madame H. P. Blavatsky, and was well known in the Theosophical Society, including in America where she had lectured extensively. Only two weeks later the city received another prominent Theosophical visitor in the person of the aforementioned Katherine Tingley. She was accompanied by several members who had accompanied her on a round-the-world “Crusade”.
A short item on the entertainment page of Saturday Night magazine announced Mrs Besant’s arrival on Saturday August 21 and the titles of her lectures the following week. It reads like a publicity handout, and may well have been paid for. On this occasion she was accompanied by the Countess Wachtmeister who was thus on her second visit to Toronto within a few months. The item announced: “While here Mrs. Besant and the Countess will receive any persons interested in the teachings of Theosophy. (18)
Annie Besant was not the only celebrity in Toronto that week – indeed she was one of many. Her visit coincided with the meetings in Toronto of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, held in association with the University of Toronto. The timing may well have been deliberate and due to the fact that as early as 1895 Smythe had begun floating the idea of holding a Theosophical Congress in Toronto simultaneously with the British Association’s meetings.(19 & 20))Science today is far more specialized than it was in the 19th century, so it would be hard to compare this gathering with modern scientific conventions, but for its time it was a huge convention, which attracted the contemporary leading authorities of every scientific discipline. Many well-known scientific personalities were present, including Lord Kelvin (formerly Sir William Thompson) who was cited several times in H. P. Blavatsky’s The Secret Doctrine. Ironically, Smythe himself was not present, having gone to Ireland soon after the Tingley visit.
Annie Besant’s series of Theosophical lectures at the Auditorium began on Sunday evening, August 22, with a well-attended introductory meeting. The Toronto World reported:
“Mrs. Besant appeared in a loose-fitting gown of pure white, and spoke eloquently for nearly an hour about reincarnation, evolution, karma, brotherhood and kindred topics.”
The following evening the topic “Reincarnation or the Evolution of the Soul” was even more popular. According to The Daily Mail and Empire the lecture drew a “full house” at the Auditorium. (21) However, instead of a write-up of the talk, ninety per cent of the space was given over to a report of an interview with the lecturer. Finally on Wednesday Mrs Besant’s title, likely deliberately chosen for the occasion, was “Theosophy and Recent Science,” which received scant attention in the press. In addition to her public lectures, she also participated in a members-only meeting of the Toronto branch.
Proof of Annie Besant’s ability to attract crowds was that the competition of the scientists in Toronto that week made hardly a dent in the success of her visit. The only noticeable difference was that newspaper coverage of her talks, while generous, was not on the same scale compared to the 1893 visit. Clearly, the scientific papers and their presenters were editors’ top priority that week. Day after day, several pages were filled with reports of the science convention, leaving less room for reports of other local news including the Theosophical talks
In passing it may be noted that yet another Theosophical personality was visiting Toronto that same week, and it was one of Mrs Besant’s former colleagues in London. This was James Morgan Pryse, a brilliant scholar and writer, one of the many supporters of William Q. Judge who continued their affiliation with The Theosophical Society in America, with loyalty to Mrs Tingley. He had been invited to Toronto by the Beaver branch, and “lectured to full houses at the Forum Hall on the 22d and 23d.” (22) One of his talks covered his personal experiences travelling in Mexico, Central and South America studying native mythology. As interesting as this and his other lecture, “Theosophy and Christianity” might have been, it is hardly to be expected his lectures would have drawn many if any away from Mrs Besant’s talks. His presence in the city drew even less media coverage than hers, so he cannot in any way be considered to have been serious competition to her.
As in 1893, however, although Mrs Besant attracted large audiences in Toronto, in 1897 the number inspired by her to study Theosophy was not large. Indeed, in the years immediately following, measured by popularity, Theosophy in Toronto was in a state of decline.
In 1906, Canadian members were expecting another visit from Mrs Besant the following year, hoping she would be present at the inauguration of a new Canadian Section of the TS, if a sufficient number of branches could be formed in time. (23) In the event, the visit did not take place. Annie Besant was elected President of the Theosophical Society (Adyar) in June 1907 and because of time limitations, curtailed her previously planned 1907 tour of the American Section.
Had her itinerary that year included Toronto she would have noticed more changes in local Theosophical affairs, especially that since 1903 the Beaver members were once again enrolled in the Toronto TS. However, they were without their former leader Albert E.S. Smythe who at this time was still being refused readmission into the Adyar Society. He and a few others were bolstering the local branch of The Theosophical Society in America, which had separated from Mrs Tingley’s Universal Brotherhood in 1898.
After 1897 nearly thirty years went by before Annie Besant again set foot in Toronto. In 1926, now in her 80th year, she had been President of the Theosophical Society (Adyar) continuously since 1907. She also headed the E.S., and led or strongly supported other organizations connected with her various interests. At the same time she was still heavily involved in Indian politics.
The situation of the Theosophical movement in general had changed considerably since 1897. Mrs Tingley’s Universal Brotherhood was still active; the United Lodge of Theosophists had come into being in 1909 and by now was widely represented internationally; and here and there were a few independent Theosophical Societies, usually with small memberships. Most of these organizations wore the Blavatsky-Judge label, whereas the Adyar Society had drifted away from Blavatskian Theosophy. Most of its leaders were also active in other organizations such as the Order of the Star in the East which was preparing for the coming of the World Teacher (Krishnamurti) and the Liberal Catholic Church.
The Theosophical situation in Toronto was also much altered. The Toronto Theosophical Society was now one of the largest TS Lodges on the American continent thanks in no small part to Smythe who had been readmitted and was again its President. The big difference was that under the umbrella of the international Society the Canadian branches and individual members no longer came under the jurisdiction of the American Section. In 1919 the Toronto TS had been one of the Canadian branches that had applied for a separate national charter authorizing the formation of the autonomous Theosophical Society in Canada. (24 & 25) Smythe was the elected General Secretary of the young Canadian Section and he also edited its magazine, The Canadian Theosophist.
Almost from the beginning, the elected General Executive of the TS in Canada were critical of the leadership in Adyar, and their dissatisfaction was given unrestrained expression in the Section’s magazine. In 1923-24 a few branches loyal to Mrs Besant, annoyed with how she and others were portrayed in it, split away to form a separate Canadian Federation which reported directly to Adyar. The President herself had permitted this unfortunate fractionalization of Theosophical work in Canada, a situation she had carefully avoided in other countries. However, the majority of Canadian branches, including the Toronto TS and a smaller group in Toronto known as the West End Lodge, had remained in the Canadian Section and strongly supported the magazine and its Editor. It should be pointed out that The Canadian Theosophist was not hostile to Mrs Besant personally, but within the Society as a whole it continued to be the sternest critic of her policies.
1926 had been a busy year for Annie Besant, starting with a continuation of her intensive political work in India. In May she sailed for England where she attended Theosophical conventions and also engaged in her usual public lectures at the Queen’s Hall in London. In July she travelled to Ommen in Holland to join Krishnamurti for the Star Camp. Then it was back to England for more lectures and other activities. Finally, in mid-August she sailed to New York in company with her now famous ward and began the American tour which included a stopover in Toronto. It was a schedule that few people of her age would want to attempt, but if she was tired, she did not show it. It is a credit to her stamina that at her first lecture in Toronto according to one paper she “. .. addressed the audience in a strong and vigorous voice.”
On her arrival in America Smythe, the Canadian General Secretary, and writing in his dual capacity as President of the Toronto Theosophical Society, sent her a letter reminding her of the 1893 visit. He went on:
“…if we differ from you in some matters we trust you will accept our welcome to Toronto on the broader basis of the primary object of the Theosophical Society.”
In his letter Smythe requested that she would attend a joint meeting of the Lodges on the evening between her professional engagements on November 2. She did not receive Smythe’s letter until a month later when she was in San Francisco but her reply was positive. She not only agreed to meet with the local TS members but also offered to have a separate meeting with those, i.e., the Canadian General Executive, who disagreed with her policies. (26)
Near the end of her continental tour and accompanied by some well-known names in the American Section, Mrs Besant arrived in Toronto on the morning of Sunday, October 31, 1926. She was met off the train by Albert and Janie Smythe and several prominent local members. Typically, she set about attending various functions of organizations that were nominally separate from the TS, but closely identified with it, such as the Liberal Catholic Church. (27)
Her fellow travelers included Marie Poutz, Max Wardall (d. 1934) and A.P. Warrington (1866-1939), all three prominent names in the American Section TS. Just what function they served that could not be provided by the Canadian members is a matter of speculation, but it may be noted that Mr Warrington was the head of the Esoteric Section in North America and perhaps came in that capacity. That their presence hardly impressed the Toronto Theosophists may be gathered from the view expressed by one of them at the time:
“With all due respect to the remaining members of her party, it was felt that the President was not surrounded with people of her own caliber and that a great many reflected her well-earned glory.”(28)
Annie Besant’s two Toronto lectures on November 1 and 3 were arranged by the Pond Lecture Bureau. (29) In all, she had contracted to give 30 talks on her American tour, paying her, according to one scholar, $1,000 per lecture. (30) She was, after all, a professional speaker, and earned her living in this field. (31) From her point of view, having an agency external to the TS gave her freedom to talk on non-Theosophical subjects in which she was interested, especially Indian politics. Also, professional management meant a smooth running program wherever she spoke. On this occasion, however, she was ill-served. The lectures were given in Massey Hall, Toronto’s fine concert hall which sat 3,800, but each talk filled only about ten per cent of its capacity.
The same prominent Toronto member who had criticized her entourage left no doubt as to his opinion of Mrs Besant’s agents:
“Mrs. Besant’s Toronto visit as far as the public was concerned was an entire failure. Toronto members expected that her visit would give a renewed impetus to Theosophy which expectation unfortunately did not materialize. They feel that enough publicity was not given to her lectures by those who were in charge of the arrangements and they feel that they could have made this visit a great success had they had the liberty to choose lecture subjects suitable for local conditions, and had they been in charge of the entire arrangements.” (32)
This was undoubtedly true. On the other hand, the members of the Toronto TS were highly principled and would not have relished the task of helping to “sell” Theosophy for a fee, so the arrangement whereby the business details of her visit was out of their hands was probably not unwelcome to most.
Originally the title of the first talk was that which she had given numerous times before entering Canada, “The Coming of the World Teacher,” but in the event this was replaced with “Theosophy and Life’s Riddles.” Even so, the former subject was given due attention when for example she spoke of
“…a return of the Messiah to earth in spirit through the body of the young Hindu [Krishnamurti] of whom she was guardian.” (33)
The other talk was “India, Past and Present: Has She a Future?” This one was extraordinarily badly timed because that very same evening the Speaker of the Parliament of India was talking on a similar subject in a free lecture at the University of Toronto.
Newspaper coverage of Annie Besant’s stopover in Toronto on her 1926 North American tour was disappointing, although Smythe felt it had been treated “with some consideration.” (34) Except for a brief advance notice probably written by her Agent, The Globe all but ignored Annie Besant’s presence in the city. A report on the first talk was contained in three short paragraphs near the last page; and the second talk went unnoticed. She fared better in the Toronto Daily Star, in which appeared a favorable writeup of the evening she spent with the members. However, this was almost certainly written by insider Albert Smythe himself, who at the time was contributing editorials and other pieces to the Star.
If the public lectures failed to help the Theosophical cause in Toronto, the meeting for members on Tuesday November 2 was a huge success. Nearly 300 were in attendance at the Toronto TS Theosophy Hall to hear her talk on a variety of issues of interest to them. She reminisced on her association with H. P. Blavatsky, and spoke of The Secret Doctrine as a “most wonderful book.” Nor did she shy away from current controversial topics such as the World Religion. Indeed, she said she welcomed differences of opinion. (35) In general, she stayed away from issues that would not have gone over well with the local members. Smythe made a point of saying that “She made no attempt at propaganda for any of the causes with which her name has been associated, and recognized the correctness of the attitude of the [Canadian] National Society regarding these.” (36)
From the perspective of Canadian Theosophical history, however, more important than the public and members’ meetings was her private meeting with the Toronto members of the General Executive of The Theosophical Society in Canada, held in her suite at the King Edward Hotel. It was a significant occasion during which she dealt frankly with issues that had upset the Canadians in the 1920s. These included the property rights of Sections and Lodges, and the current attempt by Adyar to promote the so-called "World Religion”. Clearly, however, she refused to be swayed by the Canadians’ opposition to her policies, and they in turn did not cease to criticize them in the coming years.
If Annie Besant’s final visit to Toronto was a box office disappointment to her agent, she nevertheless left the city richer from her fees and no bills to pay. The three local Lodges had agreed in advance to cover the expenses – quite large for the times – on a per capita basis. (37) She was also given “. . . a portrait of herself, photographed by a new unfading process on metal, to be preserved at Adyar..” (38)
Before leaving Toronto she wrote a farewell message to the members. (39) In it she again touched on the positive value of differences of opinion and pointed to the unity all might find in their gratitude to H. P. Blavatsky. She closed by “. . . thanking the General Secretary and the Theosophists of Canada for the friendly welcome given to me, and the pleasant meetings we have shared.”
Although for four days in 1926 the Toronto Theosophists were enthused by Annie Besant’s presence, few new members were attracted to the Society as a result of her visit. As in 1893 and 1897, she evidently left no lasting impression on the city.
Notes and References
1. See “Early Canadian Theosophists and Social Reform”, Fohat I: 4 (Winter 1997), 81. One of the early Toronto members may have met her when working in Europe.
2 William Q. Judge, Letter to Albert E.S. Smythe, Dec 2, 1892. This and other letters from Judge to Smythe are in the Archives, Theosophical Society (Pasadena). Unfortunately, as far as is known, Smythe’s letters at this time are no longer extant, and their contents are assumed from Judge’s replies to him.
3 The World Parliament of Religions took place September 11-26, 1893. The Theosophical Congress, which was part of the program, was scheduled on the 15th and 16th.
4 The Path 8: 8 (Nov 1893), 261.
5 CT 7: 7 (Sep 1926), 146.
6 “Mrs. Besant’s Lecture” Report in The Globe (Toronto), Sep 21, 1893.
7 The Toronto World, Sep 21, 1893.
8 The Toronto Mail, Sep 21, 1893.
9 The Globe (Toronto) Sep 21, 1893.
10 Arthur Nethercot, The First Five Lives of Annie Besant, 390.
11 The Toronto Mail, Sep 21, 22, 1893.
12 A.E.S.S[mythe], “Out of the Past” Toronto TheosophicalNewsI: 2 (Aug 1925), 5. See also Smythe, CT 25: 4 (June, 1944), 122.
14 “A Belated Exposure” The Canadian Theosophist 19: 1 (Mar 1938), 5-6.
15 Arthur Nethercot, op. cit. 391.
16 This major event in Theosophical History is the subject of an exhaustive study by Ernest E. Pelletier, The Judge Case: A Conspiracy Which Ruined the Theosophical Cause.
17 This upheaval will be described in more detail in my yet to be published article “Theosophy in Toronto 1891-1921.”
18 “The Stage and Platform” Saturday Night [Toronto] 10:40 (Aug 21, 1897), p. 6.
19 See The Lamp II: 56, 72 and 152. Also “Theosophy in Toronto 1891-1921”.
20 The Toronto World “Mrs. Annie Besant Lectures to Fifteen Hundred People at the Auditorium - The Study of Theosophy.” Monday Aug 23, 1897.
21 The Daily Mail and Empire (Toronto) Tuesday Aug 24, 1897.
22 “Mirror of the Movement” Theosophy XII: 7 (Oct 1897), 382.
23 N.W.J. Haydon, “Theosophy in Canada” The Vahan (London) 15:7 (Feb 1, 1906), 1. Haydon wrote a similar letter to the editor of The Occult Review, (June 1906), 330. Canada actually remained part of the American Section until 1919 when the TS in Canada was finally chartered. See “The Birth of the TS in Canada” CT 75:5 (Nov-Dec 1994), 97-104.
24 See “Birth of the TS in Canada.” CT 75: 5 (Nov-Dec 1994), 97 ff.
25 Albert E.S. Smythe, “Mrs. Besant in America” CT 7: 7 (Sep 1926), 146.
26 “Mrs. Besant’s Visit” CT 7: 8 (Oct 1926), 169.
27 [Smythe], “Mrs. Besant in Toronto” CT 7: 9 (Nov 1926), 182.
28 “Mr. Kartar Singh’s Impressions” CT 7: 9 (Nov 1926), 188.
29 [Smythe], “Mrs. Besant in Toronto” CT7: 9 (Nov 1926), 182.
30 Nethercot, op. cit., 383. Needless to say, this was very substantial remuneration in 1926.
31 It is interesting to note the price of admission to Mrs Besant’s lectures. In 1893 it was 50$ and 25$; in 1897 60$ and 25$; in 1926 the tickets ranged from $2 down to $50.
32 Kartar Singh, “Mr Kartar Singh’s Impressions” CT 7: 9 (Nov 1926), 188.
33 “Expresses Views on Many Subjects: Dr. Annie Besant Claims Europe Needs Divine Intervention.” The Globe (Toronto) Nov 2, 1926.
34 [Smythe] “Mrs. Besant in Toronto” CT 7: 9 (Nov 1926), 182.
35 There is a verbatim report of her talk to members in CT 7: 9 (Nov 1926), 185-187. The talk is also referred to in Smythe’s article “Mrs. A. Besant at 80” Toronto Daily Star Nov 3, 1926, rept in CT 7: 9 (Nov 1926), 184-85.
36 CT 7: 9 (Nov 1926), 194.
37 “Official Notes” CT 7:10 (Dec 1926), 218.
38 [Smythe], “Mrs. A. Besant at 80" Toronto Daily Star Nov 3, 1926.
39 “Mrs. Besant’s Message to Canadian Theosophists” CT 7: 9 (Nov 1926), 180. This 500-word letter, given to Albert Smythe for publication, was written in pencil “close on midnight.”
[From: Fohat, Fall, 2007]