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Annie Besant An Autobiography Paperback – January 17, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0766131958 ISBN-10: 0766131955

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 364 pages
  • Publisher: Kessinger Publishing, LLC (January 17, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0766131955
  • ISBN-13: 978-0766131958
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.8 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,115,432 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By An Avid Reader on September 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
Annie Besant has lead a life of multiple deconversions. First a preachers wife, then a socialist, and then a theosophist (with other steps in between), she tells her remarkable life story with candor and honesty. A must read book for all fans of Besant's teachings and writings.
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Annie Besant, a female disciple who puts Theosophical theory to work, a way to practice, after receiving teachings from "Master" H.P. Blavatsky, wrote about her life, and her life-changing events; from a girl overly protected by her mother, struggling through hardened life after loss of her child and divorce, somewhat ironically, from a clergy spouse, to the first-hand experience of the poor through atheist devotion to socialistic cause and continuous struggle in court trials, defending freedom of belief and speech, to final conviction in Theosophy, a system of philosophy that God is universal and one in Being. Theosophist is, thus, "one who claims to have a knowledge of God, or of the laws of nature by means of internal illumination." And Mrs. Besant further explains, "An Atheist certainly cannot be a Theosophist. A Deist might be a Theosophist. A Monist cannot be a Theosophist. Theosophy must at least involve Dualism."

There are not many touches on Theosophy per se in the book as one would have expected or look for internal explanations from Mrs. Besant, which would have required reflections of complicated contemplations anyway, other than the first meeting with HP Blavatsky in her residence in London in the very last chapter. Rather, the socialistic struggle along with her Atheist and political partner Charles Bradlaugh receives a lot of coverage in several chapters. This might be a let down and a bit boring to some readers but then perhaps Theosophy can't be told in passages at length enough in a book such as Mrs. Besant's own autobiography.

Mrs.
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Written so long ago and unfortunately so relevant now. We still have domestic violence, social injustice, political divisions between capitalism and labour and the underated ability and pay of women. Annie Besant might have been only 5 feet tall but there was more courage and commitment in every inch than you might think was even possible. Her contribution to the struggling ordinary people in Britain, Ireland, Europe, India and other colonies can't be over emphasised. It almost brought me to tears at times. Yes it is about having the courage of your convictions too, even as they changed in her remarkable personal spiritual journey towards theosophy.
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