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Theosophical Encyclopedia

Sotheran, Charles

(1847-1902). American bibliographer and scholar. Sotheran was among those present at the formation of the Theosophical Society (TS) in New York in 1875, and according to some accounts it was he who suggested the name “Theosophical” for the proposed society.

Sotheran was born at Newington, Surrey, England, on July 8, 1847, the son of Charles and Frances Elis (Hirst) Sotheran. He emigrated to the US in 1874 and joined the staff of the New York World. He was editor of the New York Recorder and also the Star. He was a member of the Rosicrucian Society and a high ranking Mason.

Sotheran took an active part in the founding of the TS and assisted Helena P. Blavatsky in the writing of her book Isis Unveiled; he also secured the publication of it. His somewhat fiery temperament caused problems at times and on one occasion he resigned from the TS after a clash with Blavatsky, but soon rejoined. He had great regard for Blavatsky and supported her in all her work until the founders departed for India.

P.S.H.

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