|Revue Theosophique | Le Lotus Bleu
From Pat Deveney's database:
Revue Theosophique / Lotus Bleu, Le.
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 Française, 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 austheos.org. 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:
|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