Books: Free Spirit

MADAME BLAVATSKY, THE WOMAN BEHIND THE MYTH by Marion Meade Putnam; 528 pages; $19.95

She claimed, falsely, to have been wounded while fighting in Garibaldi's army, to have crossed the Rocky Mountains in a covered wagon and to have learned ancient mysteries in a Tibetan lamasery. She knew how to charm snakes and people, roll cigarettes, and swear fluently in several languages. She learned horsemanship from Kalmuck tribesmen and was a superb rough-and-tumble rider. The granddaughter of a Russian princess, she cared nothing for Victorian morality, but insisted, after two marriages, several lovers...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!