The name of Charles Johnston (1867-1931) may not be as well-known as that of other nineteenth century theosophists, yet to his contemporaries he was considered a main conduit for translations of Hindu religious scriptures, having become proficient in Sanskrit during his stay in India. The site Universal Theosophy has put up what must be the most comprehensive compilation of his writings: 265 items culled from turn of the century theosophical journals. The material is sorted by title, by type (book, pamphlet), and in chronological order, which allows a year by year indicator of his output, starting in 1886 and ending with his death in 1931.
Johnston, born in Ireland, was part of the Dublin theosophical scene of the 1880s that included George W. Russell (Æ) and W.B. Yeats among others. He married Blavatsky’s niece Vera Zhelihovsky in London in 1888, and in 1896 the couple moved to the U.S. where they would spend the rest of their lives. The Johnstons became actively involved in the cause of Russian refugees at the outbreak of World War I. Johnston is listed as “Teacher of English Language” at the New Jersey Seminary of the Russian Orthodox Church in 1918. Among his written pieces are a number of interesting pen-portraits of his visits with Mme. Blavatsky.
Seated: Mme. Blavatsky and her sister, Vera Zhelihovsky
Standing: Vera Zhelihovsky Johnston, Charles Johnston, and Col. Olcott