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Burton, Richard Francis

(865 words)

Author(s): Godwin, Joscelyn
Burton, Sir Richard Francis K.C.M.G., * 19 Mar 1821 (Elstree), † 20 Jan 1890 (Trieste) Traveler and translator. Son of Lt.-Col. Joseph Netterville Burton and Martha Baker. Childhood in France and Italy, educated by private tutors. Learned several languages before attending Trinity College, Oxford (1840-1842; no degree). Burton was attracted to the occult while at Oxford, when the artist John Varley (1778-1842) drew his horoscope and introduced him to the kabbalah [→ Jewish Influences]. As an officer in the Arm…

Jennings, Hargrave

(1,253 words)

Author(s): Godwin, Joscelyn
Jennings, Hargrave, * 1817 (London)?, † 11 Mar 1890 (London) Writer on Buddhism, Rosicrucians, Phallicism. Jennings is the sole source of biographical information on himself. He states that his family circumstances were ‘not poor, though not overwhelmingly rich’. He grew up in the West End of London, and in 1854 was living in Harewood Square, Regent's Park. He may have worked as secretary to an opera company manager. He had a brother who lived at Ambassador's Court, St. James's Palace; Jennings himself used this address in later life, and died there. At the age of fifteen, Jennings co…

Rudolf II of Habsburg

(1,141 words)

Author(s): Godwin, Joscelyn
Rudolf II of Habsburg, * 18 Jul 1552 (Vienna), † 20 Jan 1612 (Prague) Holy Roman Emperor, King of Bohemia and Hungary. Son of Emperor Maximilian II (1527-1576) and his first cousin Maria, daughter of Emperor Charles V. From 1564-1571 Rudolf was sent to Spain to be educated under the supervision of Philip II. He was crowned King of Bohemia in 1575, and elected Holy Roman Emperor the following year. In 1583 he moved the imperial capital from Vienna to Prague. Rudolf never married, though he spent much energy on…

Ashmole, Elias

(1,057 words)

Author(s): Godwin, Joscelyn
Ashmole, Elias, * 23 May 1617 (Lichfield), † 18/19 May 1692 (Lambeth) Antiquary. Son of Simon Ashmole, a saddler and soldier, and Anne Bowyer. Educated at Lichfield Grammar School, then privately in London, where he qualified as an attorney (1640). After the sudden death of his first wife, Eleanor Manwaring (1603-1641) and the growing threats of civil war, he left London for Cheshire, the home of his in-laws. In 1644 Ashmole was appointed an army officer and Commissioner of Excise (taxes and customs collect…

Bulwer-Lytton, Edward George

(2,963 words)

Author(s): Godwin, Joscelyn
Bulwer-Lytton, Edward George (Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer), * 25 May 1803 (London), † 18 Jan 1873 (Torquay) Novelist and statesman. Youngest son of General William Earle Bulwer and Elizabeth Barbara Lytton. He first went by the name of Edward Bulwer. In 1838 he was created a baronet, and became Sir Edward Lytton Bulwer, Bt. In 1843, under the terms of his mother's will, he changed his surname to Bulwer-Lytton. In 1866 he was created 1st Baron Lytton of Knebworth, and was thereafter known as Lord Lytton. Bulwer-Lytton's father died when he was four years old, leaving him to b…

Mead, George Robert Stowe

(1,354 words)

Author(s): Godwin, Joscelyn
Mead, George Robert Stowe, * 22 Mar 1863 (Nuneaton), † 29 Sep 1933 (London) Theosophist and writer on → Gnosticism, → Hermetism, and Christian origins. Son of Robert Mead (Colonel in the Ordnance) and his wife Mary. Educated at Rochester Cathedral School and St. John's College, Cambridge (B.A., 1884; M.A., 1926), reading first Mathematics, then Classics. Upon graduating, Mead joined the → Theosophical Society. He studied Oriental philosophy in Oxford (but not as a University member) and visited the University…

Hall, Manly Palmer

(942 words)

Author(s): Godwin, Joscelyn
Hall, Manly Palmer, * 18 Mar 1901 (Peterborough), Ontario, † 29 Aug 1990 (Los Angeles) Writer, Collector, Lecturer. Hall was raised by his maternal grandmother, Mrs. Arthur Whitney Palmer, and spent a wandering childhood in San Diego, Washington, New York, Sioux Falls, and other cities of the United States. Apart from a short spell at a military school, he was without formal education. In California he came under the influence of the → Theosophical Society. He began his public career in 1920 in Santa Monica, g…


(2,180 words)

Author(s): Godwin, Joscelyn
In the current acceptance of the term (based on Said 1979), Orientalism is an attitude towards “the Orient” on the part of a self-defined “Occident” which may or may not correspond with realities in the regions in question. This attitude has prevailed in the religious field, where the distinction between Christian and non-Christian has long carried an emotional charge, and, in the minds of missionaries, a responsibility. It also continues to define the academic discipline. However, when viewed f…


(8,288 words)

Author(s): De Jong, Albert | Teeuwen, Mariken | Gouk, Penelope | Godwin, Joscelyn
Music I: Antiquity Music was a highly developed art in the ancient world. From very early texts and a number of musical scores, from representations in visual art and actual instruments that have been found in excavations, a whole spectrum of musical practice and theory has been recovered for virtually every ancient culture. Given the aural nature of music, it is almost impossible to reconstruct the sounds of antiquity, but much progress has been made in reconstructing both the technical aspects of…