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Periodical: Revue Theosophique | Le Lotus Bleu

Sumary: From Pat Deveney's database:

Revue Theosophique / Lotus Bleu, Le.
Theosophie, Science Occulte, Monde Astral, Sociologie. Seul Organe en France de la Societe Theosophique.
Other titles: La Revue Theosophique Fran├žaise, le Lotus Bleu / La Revue Theosophique, le Lotus Bleu
1889 Monthly
Saint Amand/Paris, France.
Language: French.
Publisher: Societe Theosophique "Hermes," Librairie de l'Art independant; Societe Theosophique de France.
Editor: Jean Mattheus (Arthur Arnould), founder and director, H.P. Blavatsky, editor-in-chief; E.J. Coulomb ("Amaravella"), assistant; Theophile Paschal, 1895-1898); Dominique-Albert Courmes ("D.A.C.," 1898-1914); Gaston Revel.
Corporate author: Seul organe de la theosophie en France, Societe Theosophique 1/1, March 1889-current.
72-24 pp., 10 francs a year within and 12 outside of France.

The journal was the product of the internecine struggles within "Theosophy" in France in the late 1880s (see the note under Le Lotus). Briefly, Louis Dramard, a leading socialist and journalist, and a member of the H.B. of L., founded the journal when his Revue des Hautes-etudes failed, and installed F.-K. Gaboreau as editor, and brought to its pages the stable of authors who had written for the earlier journal: Papus (Gerard Encausse), F.-Ch. Barlet, Abbe Paul Roca, Rene Caillie, and others, most of whom were members of the Isis Branch of the Theosophical Society, for which Le Lotus became the organ. The ambivalent attitude of the journal toward H.P. Blavatsky's supposed opposition to or disregard of western occultism and Christianity, led her to decide to dissolve the Isis Branch, and after still further squabbles, two branches were established in France: Isis and the new Hermes Branch that hewed somewhat closer to the orthodox, Blavatskian teachings. This journal was founded in the midst of these struggles, coincidentally with the cessation of Le Lotus, and was originally the organ of the Hermes branch of the Theosophical Society in France. By the time the journal was begun, a little more than two years before Blavatsky's death, the occult world in France had largely defined itself in a way that made Theosophy irrelevant. Papus, who had been a thorn in the side of the T.S., withdrew from the Hermes Branch of the society in May 1890, and a new branch (Le Lotus) was begun in September as the sole recognized representative of the society in France. In its early years the journal, whose original subtitle proclaimed an interest in more than Theosophy, contained contributions by and reviews and criticisms of many of the Belle Epoque occultists, such as Louis Dramard, Franz Hartmann, Jules Lermina, Eugene Nus, et al., but it soon confined its work largely to detailing the Byzantine internal disputes of the Theosophical Society and to exegesis of the standard Theosophical works.

The director of the journal at its inception was "Jean Mattheus" the pseudonym of Arthur Arnould (1833-1895), a novelist and playwright, translator of Ibsen's poems, and political fugitive and exile after the Commune. He was a Theosophist and friend of H.P. Blavatsky although he was at the same time a S.I. in the Ordre Martiniste and a member of the H.B. of L. Blavatsky contributed part of the funding to start the journal and the Countess d'Adhemar, an American heiress, contributed the rest. After a year, in March 1890, the journal was renamed Le Lotus Bleu, a name chosen to distinguish itself from Le Lotus which was commonly called Le Lotus Rouge because of the color of its cover. With the new name the journal adopted a new volume numbering, restarting from volume 1, although the printer mistakenly called some issues volume 3 in continuation of Revue Theosophique. In September 1898 the name was changed to La Revue Theosophique Fran├žaise, le Lotus Bleu (1898-1923) and then to La Revue Theosophique, le Lotus Bleu, and then in 1947 returned to Le Lotus Bleu. This is a Theosophical journal and today is the official organ in France of the Blavatsky-Olcott-Besant (Adyar) branch of the Theosophical Society.

On the publisher, Librairie de l'Art Independant, the creation of Edmond Bailly, see the note under Le Coeur. On the details of the journal's history, see Daniel Caracostea, "1890-1990: Le Lotus Bleu A Cent Ans," Lotus Bleu (March 1990): 58-63. ATLA microfilm through 1955; BL. The Campbell Theosophical Research Library has compiled the table of contents to this journal and published it online at National Library of Australia. ZDB: Freiburg Inst Grenzgeb Psychol (1892 only); BNF.

The sequence of important journals involved in the fin-de-siecle French occult revival is:

L'Anti-Materialiste (1882)
L'Aurore (1886)
Revue des Hautes-Etudes (February 15, 1886)
Le Lotus (March 1887)
L'Initiation (October 1888)
L'etoile (March 1889)
La Revue Theosophique (March 1889)
Le Lotus Bleu (March 1889)
Le Voile d'Isis (November 1890)

Issues:Revue Theosophique V1-2 1889-1890
Lotus Bleu V1 N4 1890 Jun
Lotus Bleu V1 N11 1891 Jan
Lotus Bleu V5 1894-1895
Lotus Bleu V6 1895-1896
Lotus Bleu V7 1896-1897
Lotus Bleu V8 1897-1898
Revue Theosophique Francaise Lotus Bleu V9 1898-1899
Revue Theosophique Francaise Lotus Bleu V10 1899-1900
Revue Theosophique Lotus Bleu V12 1901-1902
Revue Theosophique Francaise V14 1903-1904
Revue Theosophique V41 Jan 1931
Revue Theosophique V53 N5 Jul-aug 1948

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