Hartmann, Franz (1838-1912)

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Hartmann, Franz (1838-1912)

Noted Theosophist and writer on occultism. Hartmann was born November 22, 1838, in Bavaria, Germany, though he claimed descent on his mother's side from the old Irish kings of Ulster. He became a physician and immigrated to the United States in 1865, traveling as a doctor to various cities and also visiting Indian tribes and studying their religious beliefs. He became interested in Spiritualism and later corresponded with leading Theosophists after the founding of the Theosophical Society in 1875.

Hartmann was invited to the society's headquarters at Adyar, India, where he lived during the furor over Helena Petrovna Blavatsky 's alleged miracle working. He published his own Report of Observations During a Nine Months' Stay at the Headquarters of the Theosophical Society at Adyar (Madras), India (1884).

When Richard Hodgson of the Society for Psychical Research, London, published his devastating exposure of claimed trickery and fraudulent phenomena by Blavatsky in 1885, Hartmann accompanied her to Europe and then returned to his hometown in Bavaria. There he claimed to have encountered a sect of secret Rosicrucians from whom he acquired many mystical insights. He was president of the Theosophical Society in Germany for a brief period, but eventually resigned to found independent societies. During his later years he spent much time in the Untersberg Mountains near Salzburg, Austria, where he believed he encountered gnomes, water nymphs, and other nature spirits and also wrote his more memorable books. He died at Kempten, Bavaria, August 7, 1912.


Hartmann, Franz. An Adventure Among the Rosicrucians. Boston: Occult Publishing, 1887.

. In the Pronaos of the Temple of Wisdom. London: Theosophical Society, 1890. Reprint, Chicago: Aries Press, 1941.

. Life and Doctrines of Paracelsus. N.p., 1891.

. Magic, Black and White. 1885. Reprint, New Hyde Park, N.Y.: University Books, 1970.

. Occult Science in Medicine. N.p., 1893.

. The Principles of Astrological Geomancy. Boston: Occult Publishing, 1889. Reprint, Mokulumne Hill, Calif.: Health Research, 1965.

. Report of Observations During a Nine Months' Stay at the Headquarters of the Theosophical Society at Adyar (Madras), India. Madras, India: Scottish Press, 1884.

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