1838); it contained a variety of books on esoteric subjects, encouraging her burgeoning interest in it.Dolgorukov had been initiated into Freemasonry in the late 1770s and had belonged to the Rite of Strict Observance; there were rumors that he had met both Alessandro Cagliostro and the Count of St. Aged 17, she agreed to marry Nikifor Vladimirovich Blavatsky, a man in his forties who worked as Vice Governor of Erivan Province.Her Theosophical doctrines influenced the spread of Hindu and Buddhist ideas in the West as well as the development of Western esoteric currents like Ariosophy, Anthroposophy, and the New Age Movement.At the time, Yekaterinoslav was undergoing a cholera epidemic, and her mother contracted the disease shortly after childbirth; despite the expectations of their doctor, both mother and child survived the epidemic.Blavatsky's mother liked the city, there establishing her own literary career, penning novels under the pseudonym of "Zenaida R-va" and translating the works of the English novelist Edward Bulwer-Lytton for Russian publication.She later claimed that in Saratov she discovered the personal library of her maternal great-grandfather, Prince Pavel Vasilevich Dolgorukov (d.Her reasons for doing so were unclear, although she later claimed that she was attracted by his belief in magic.
Here she published The Secret Doctrine, a commentary on what she claimed were ancient Tibetan manuscripts, as well as two further books, The Key to Theosophy and The Voice of the Silence. Blavatsky was a controversial figure during her lifetime, championed by supporters as an enlightened guru and derided as a fraudulent charlatan and plagiarist by critics.
By the early 1870s, Blavatsky was involved in the Spiritualist movement; although defending the genuine existence of Spiritualist phenomena, she argued against the mainstream Spiritualist idea that the entities contacted were the spirits of the dead.
Relocating to the United States in 1873, she befriended Henry Steel Olcott and rose to public attention as a spirit medium, attention that included public accusations of fraudulence.
The escorts accompanied her to Poti and then Kerch, intending to continue with her to Odessa.
Blavatsky claimed that, fleeing her escorts and bribing the captain of the ship that had taken her to Kerch, she reached Constantinople.