Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Curse of the Collected Letters

After the publication of his edition of The Secret Doctrine in 1979, Boris de Zirkoff looked forward to working on the letters of HPB for the Blavatsky Collected Writings series. Typed copies of all the letters he had collected were arranged chronologically. Unfortunately he developed cancer and died. The project was taken up under the sole editorship of John Cooper of Australia. After working on them, he died suddenly. The project was then taken over by John Algeo, assisted by his wife, Adele Algeo. After releasing his first volume, Mrs. Algeo developed a debilitating illness and passed away March 15. We hope Dr. Algeo lives long and prospers in his work. Whatever the criticisms about the make-up of the first volume, he was able to do what his predecessors could not: bring out a book.

Seven years have passed since the publication of the first volume of the Collected Letters; at this rate some of us may not live to see its completion. Hopefully, those who also played a part in the first volume, associate editors Dara Eklund, who copyrighted the use of the letters some years ago, Nicholas Weeks, and Daniel Caldwell, will still be around. We hear that certain people associated with the United Lodge of Theosophists who found this volume not to their liking and who responded by trashing the reputations and bona fides of Algeo/Eklund/Weeks/Caldwell have decided to bring out their own version of the letters. Don’t write us about its date of publication: we don’t know it.

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