There are few more intriguing, or polarising, figures in modern American spiritual history than Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. The cofounder of the Theosophical Society, Blavatsky remains a figure of fascination more than a century after her death. In ISIS IN AMERICA - one of the most unique documents of recent American spiritual history - we get a closer look at Blavatsky, through the eyes of Theosophical Society cofounder, writer, lawyer, investigator and Blavatsky confidante, Henry Steel Olcott. Olcott spent years by Blavatsky's side, witnessing acts of aura projection and spontaneously produced objects - and undergoing his own spiritual awakening - as they laid the foundations for a new era in esoteric spirituality.
Colonel Henry Steel Olcott (2 August 1832 - 17 February 1907) was an American military officer, journalist, lawyer and the co-founder and first President of the Theosophical Society. Olcott was the first well-known American of European ancestry to make a formal conversion to Buddhism. His subsequent actions as president of the Theosophical Society helped create a renaissance in the study of Buddhism. Olcott is considered a Buddhist modernist for his efforts in interpreting Buddhism through a Westernised lens.