Last Four Lives of Annie Besant

Last Four Lives of Annie Besant

Last Four Lives of Annie Besant

Last Four Lives of Annie Besant

Excerpt

In presenting this second volume of the life of Annie Besant, I should perhaps begin by apologising for its delayed appearance. Many of the reviewers of The First Five Lives of Annie Besant in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Great Britain, France, Germany, and India kindly ended their reviews by expressing their keen anticipation of the promised quick completion of the biography. The necessity, however, of reducing the voluminous material for what might well have become two more volumes into the present more manageable single volume has somewhat postponed the projected date of publication.

Next, I wish to repeat my thanks to the many people all over the world who have helped me, through the contribution of information, interviews, letters, and criticism, to arrive at as complete a portrayal of this extraordinary, many-sided woman as is possible for a non- Theosophist who did not know her personally or have the advantages of using such private documents as an intimate diary or a large number of confidential letters of a confessional nature, in which she might have revealed the mainsprings of her motives and actions. I wish therefore to repeat my acknowledgments to my many helpful and tolerant friends of the Theosophical Society, especially in the headquarters at Wheaton, Illinois, and Adyar, India, as well as to the several Indian government officials, such as B. Shiva Rao, M.P., Sri Prakasa, Governor of Bombay, C. P. Ramaswami Aiyar, former Dewan of Travancore, V. K. Krishna Menon, former Minister of Defence, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, President, and Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime Minister, who were once personally associated with Dr Besant and were generous enough of their time to answer my questions about her in personal interviews. Most of all, however, I wish to express my special thanks to Kanji Dwarkadas of Bombay for his unfailing interest in this biography and his valuable contributions of information to it, particularly in his recollections of . . .

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