1883 Calcutta: The Original Pamphlet of Eliphas Levi's Paradoxes of the Highest Science

The “Unpublished Writings of Eliphas Levi”  first appeared in several fragments throughout the early issues of  The Theosophist; a monthly journal published by the international Theosophical Society based in Adyar, India beginning in 1879. The present edition was issued as a booklet and published independently with the subtitle "The Unpublished Writings of Eliphas Levi" by the Theosophical Society in Calcutta, as the second of the Theosophical Miscellaneous series.

This original pamphlet went out of print shortly after publication. With only an handful of institutional listing worldwide one can see why this rare pamphlet seldom appears on the market. This was the first of Levi’s work to have been separately published in English, as it was translated directly from the original French manuscript by a ‘Student of Occultism” as stated on the title page. 

The work contains footnotes through the text by an “Emminent Occultist” or “E.O” which R.A Gilbert has suggested was Madame Blavatsky herself. 

For the sake of comparison, and digital preservation, I have included photos of both the rare 1883 original pamphlet alongside the more commonly known 1922 Second Edition published by the Theosophical Society. The 1922 edition has been frequently reprinted. The rare Calcutta pamphlet was bound in contemporary cloth covered boards which have surely contributed to its preservation. The pamphlet was acquired a few months back via an associate bookseller based out of Gauting, Germany. All original receipts have been preserved. 

Bibliographic Information

Title: The Paradoxes of the Highest Science, Translated from the French Manuscript by a student of occultism (Theosophical Miscellanies No. 2)

Author: Eliphas Levi ( Alphonse Louis Constant)

Publication: 1883 by The Calcutta Central Press Company 1883; Calcutta

8vo. Collation (ii) 115 pp.