and novelist Eliza Lynn Linton (1822 -1898)
“A book that every Pagan as well as Christian Theosophist should read.” (H. P. Blavatsky) Sixth Edition, with a New Preface Published in London by Chatto and Windus, Piccadilly, 1874
A 2022 Editorial
Helena P. Blavatsky
considers the present novel a brilliant denunciation of collective and deliberate
forms of falsehood.
It is safe to say that, for Blavatsky wrote:
“Mrs. Eliza Lynn Linton has chastised this hypocrisy
as with a whip of scorpions in her magnificent satire, The True History of Joshua Davidson. That is a book that surely
every Pagan as well as Christian Theosophist should read. As unhappily many
have not, let us say that she makes her hero practically exemplify the
principles and imitate the human virtues of the Founder of the Christian
religion. The sketch is neither a caricature nor a malicious perversion of the
“A truly Christ-like man, whose heart overflows with a
tender passionate compassion, tries to raise the ignorant and sin-crushed
classes, and awaken their stifled spirituality. By degrees, through an agony of
suffering and persecution, he shows the hollow mockery of popular Christianity…”.
According to the main founder of the modern
theosophical movement, the book by Eliza Lynn Linton “is true to life”, and presents a moral and gradual development of
thrilling psychological evolution.
(Carlos Cardoso Aveline)
 In the article “The Fall of Ideals”, which can be
found in various places. See for instance “Collected Writings”, H. P.
Blavatsky, TPH, USA, volume XII, pp. 34 and 35.
The True History of Joshua Davidson
Eliza Lynn Linton
Preface to the Sixth Edition
It would be
affectation in me were I to pretend any longer to keep up the anonymity of the
authorship of JOSHUA DAVIDSON. The secret has become known, as such secrets
always do become known; and in one or two instances I myself was obliged to
reveal it for the sake of truth and honesty. Now I come forward in my own person,
prepared to take the full consequences of what I have written as Joshua’s
I would like to say a few words about the Communistic
part of the book. Believing as I do, and as I think could be proved from the
words of the Gospels as well as from the whole tenour of Christ’s life, that
pure Christianity, as taught by Him whom men call God and Saviour, leads us
inevitably to Communism, I carried my hero to the only modern scene where the
central ideas were the rights of humanity against scientific arrangements, the
raising of the low, the protection of the weak, the abasement of iniquity in
high places, and the glorious liberty of this new Gospel preached to the poor.
(I may as well state here that, while acknowledging
frankly its mistakes and misdeeds, I do not believe a tithe of the evil that
was said of the Commune; just as I do not believe that the Jews ever roasted Christian
babies for their Passover; or that the early Christians themselves celebrated the
Last Supper by human sacrifices, or made of their Agapae orgies of immorality.)
I did this because I wanted to bring the Christ of
olden days into modern circumstances, and then to ask the respectable, the
well-endowed, and the conservative Christians of to-day: How would they receive
Him? How would they approve His doctrine? As I have said before, it is unreasonable to accept the words and deeds of
Christ as of so arbitrary and final a character that they will not bear
translation or analogy. What He was in the days of Herod He would be
analogically in the reign of Victoria and under the rule of Napoleon. We have
no right to deny this. Whatever there is of downtrodden, of degraded, of
antagonistic to the existing order of things whereby the rich are made glad and
the poor left miserable, the modern Christ would uphold and stand by. And
perhaps not always with soft words.