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Annie Besant

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Henry Steel Olcott (1832-1907, links), Annie B...

Henry Steel Olcott (1832-1907, links), Annie Besant (1847-1933, mitte), Charles Webster Leadbeater (1847-1934, rechts) in Adyar (Chennai) im Dezember 1905 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Annie Besant (née Wood, 1847-1933) was born in London. In her early adult life she was a critic of Capitalism and a colleague of Charles Bradlaugh, advocating birth control.

At age 26 she married the Anglican evangelical Reverend Frank Besant. In 1873 they were separated, and she became Vice-President for the National Secular Society in 1874. After meeting Madame Blavatsky in 1889 Besant, became fascinated with and an expert on the teachings of Theosophy. Following Colonel Henry Steel Olcott, Besant became the head of the International Theosophy Movement.

Later, she supported Indian nationalism and a grass roots educational movement in the sub-continent. And from 1917-23 she sat as President of the Indian National Congress. She was also active in promoting women’s rights, birth control, a non-revolutionary type of socialism (Fabianism) and worker’s rights.

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