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Introduction Utopian Literature Dystopian Literature Utopian Communities


George Russell. A. L. S. to Agnes and John Varian. Dublin, May 2, 1895.

The Irish writer and painter who signed himself AE joined the Dublin Lodge of the Theosophical Society in the 1890s. In this letter, Russell writes to the Syracuse, New York, couple who later became founders of Halcyon. He tells of the support of the Irish contingent for William Q. Judge, a dedicated teacher of Theosophy, who was born in Dublin but settled in America. The movement was renegotiating its leadership after the death of Helen Blavatsky in 1891.

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A group of Theosophists from Syracuse, New York, moved to Oceana, California, in 1903 to form the Halcyon community. They rejected the teachings of Katherine Tingley, the head of the movement at the time, in favor of a return to the original work of Madame Blavatsky. They built a sanatorium for the treatment of liquor, morphine, and opium addiction. Socialism and communal property marked the group and drew the attention of reformers like novelist Upton Sinclair.