Helene P. Blavatsky was born H elene Petrovna von Hahn on August 12, 1831 (new style calendar), in Ekaterinoslav, now Dnepropetrovsk, Russia. Her father, Peter von Hahn, a captain in the horse artillery of the Russian army, was a direct descendent of Count von Rottenstern-Hahn of Mecklenburg, Germany, who had emigrated to Russia in the previous century.
Her mother, Helena Andreyevna von Hahn, was a highly regarded novelist. She wrote under the pen name of Zenaide R. or Zeneide R-Va and was called the George Sand of Russia by Belinsky and other literary critics who regarded her as one of the principal founders of the women's liberation movement.
In 1842 Helena Andreyevna died when she was only twenty-seven years old, but with her literary reputation already well established. She realized early how rebellious, how courageous and brilliant her eleven-year old daughter was. On her deathbed she stated that perhaps it was just as well that she was dying for she would be spared seeing what befell little Helene. "Of one thing I am certain," she was quoted as saying. …
- Helene Blavatsky
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