Vsevolod Sergeyevich Solovyov (1849-1903) was a Russian novelist. Son of the famous historian Sergéi Solovyov and brother of the philosopher Vladímir Solovyov.
Solovyov met Blavatsky in 1884 when she was in Paris, and about that event Blavatsky's sister, Vera Zhelikhovsky, tells us that:
« I passed six weeks, in the spring of 1884, at Paris with my sister. She was all that time surrounded by crowds of people; not only those who had come from America, from England and from Germany, expressly to see her and to talk with her business connected with Theosophy, but also with numbers of Parisians interested in the teachings and particularly in the phenomena, who constantly assailed her.
Amongst those, however, who were constant visitors at our house, 46, Rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs, were several of eminence. I remember seeing there many savants, doctors of medicine, and of other sciences, magnetizers and clairvoyants, and a number of women more or less acquainted with literature and the abstract sciences, among these many of our compatriots of both sexes.
Among those whose names I remember, were C. Flammarion, Leymarie, de Baissac, Richet, Evette the magnetiser, the pupil and friend of Baron Dupotet, and M. Vsevolod Solovioff, the Russian author, one of the most constant visitors and ever full of protestations of his devotion to the cause and person of Madame Blavatsky. »
(Blavatsky’s life narrated by her sister Mrs. Zhelikhovsky)
Vsevolod Solovyov maintained an epistolary correspondence with Vera Zhelikhovsky, and indeed, at that time he showed a great appreciation and admiration towards Blavatsky.
For example, in a letter dated July 7, 1884, he wrote:
« I have read the second part of his work Isis Unveiled, and now I am entirely convinced that it is a true prodigy. »
And in another letter dated November 21, 1885, he wrote:
« When Blavatsky’s life ends, a life which, I am convinced, is only kept going by some magic power, I shall mourn all my life for this unhappy and remarkable woman. »
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In August 1884, Solovyov went to visit Blavatsky, who was at that time in the German city of Elberfeld, and there he had an encounter with Master Morya.
(And the narration he gave about that meeting, you can read here.)
And the next year he went back to visit Blavatsky, but this time at Würzburg, and on that occasion he received a Master Kuthumi’s letter which was materialized.
(And the narration he gave about that other event, you can read here.)
And it is very probable that the Masters Kuthumi and Morya have approached to Vsevolod Solovyov because they saw great potential in him, but unfortunately Solovyov also had a dark side, and this dark side was the fact that he worked as a spy for the secret service of Imperial Russia (the Okhrana).
And so Solovyov proposed to Blavatsky to use his psychic powers to spy for Russia, but Blavatsky refused, that’s causing the Solovyov's fury as she herself mentioned it to Mr. Sinnett in a letter she wrote to him:
« Solovyov is crazy, or he acts like that because he has committed himself to the offer of espionage that he made to me, and now he is afraid that I will speak and compromise him in St. Petersburg. ... Solovyov will not forgive me for having rejected his proposal. »
(British Museum, Additional MSS 45287, LXXX, Letters, p.193)
And in another letter that Blavatsky wrote to his sister Vera, she tells her:
« It is clear that Solovyov is very angry against me because he did not get what he expected from me. »
(Pravda o Helene Petrovna Blavatsky, by Vera Zhelihovsky)
And indeed, Solovyov did not forgive her and from 1886 he left Blavatsky and the Theosophical Movement.
Why was Solovyov so afraid of Blavatsky talking and engaging him in Saint Petersburg?
I see two very good reasons:
1) In the XIX century, the espionage did not have the glamour that it has now, but on the contrary, it was very badly seen and particularly by the Russian aristocracy, which considered espionage as an activity of repulsive people. And while Solovyov was not an aristocrat, he was closely related to the Russian aristocracy.
2) And it was also suspected that Solovyov had a lover in Paris, but what people do not know was that she was her wife's younger sister...
And this information was given later by Nadya de Fadyev (Blavatsky's aunt) and mentioned by Joseph Howard Tyson in his book "Madame Blavatsky Revisited."
So we can consider that when Blavatsky died in 1891, Solovyov fearful that among the documents that she left, something of his rugged past in Paris arose, he decided to protect herself.
And to do that, in 1892 Solovyov wrote a series of articles for the magazine "Russky Vyestnik," which the following year was published as a book entitled "A Modern Priestess of Isis," where Solovyov defames Blavatsky by posing her as an unscrupulous woman, a charlatan and a Russian spy. So that in this way any accusation that could come out against him by Blavatsky would be discredited.
Annoyed that Blavatsky could not defend herself, her sister Vera Zhelihovsky wrote the book entitled "A Modern Priestess of Truth" (1893) where she argued with probes against Solovyov's slanders.
And at the request of the Society of Psychical Research in London, Walter Leaf made an English translation of Solovyov's book in 1895. But instead the Vera's book, this Psychical Society was not interested in translating it...
Later, several investigators have unmasked the slanders that Solovyov invented, being the most important work, the series of articles that Beatrice Hastings wrote, and which were printed in the Canadian Theosophist magazine at the beginning of the 20th century. And these were subsequently collected and reprinted in a book entitled: "Solovyov's fraud" (1943) published by the Theosophical Society of Edmonton. (You can download this book here)
And another work that must also be highlighted is that carried out by Sylvia Cranston, who in the biography she wrote about Blavatsky titled: "The Extraordinary Life and Influence of Helena Blavatsky" (1993), she wrote a whole chapter to denouncing the long list of contradictions in which Solovyov falls with the historical facts (and this is the chapter 2 of section 6, entitled "The Yago of Theosophy").
And there is also the William Judge’s article he wrote and published in his magazine "The Path" of July 1895.
And there is also the analysis carried out by the Blavatsky Foundation and published in its magazine "News of the Lodge" from October- December 2004.
Well, even the translator himself was not satisfied with Solovyov's book, because Walter Leaf in the preface of his translation, he wrote:
« The letters of Blavatsky that Solovyov transcribed are not complete and it is clear that the published parts were selected by a hostile person for the purpose of harming her author [Madame Blavatsky]. . . . And as far as I can see, there is a real inconsistency in Mr. Solovyov's narrative, which implies that he does not have the correct mental attitude that he was in after the Würzburg talks and I confess that I am not satisfied with the explanations he gives. »
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But despite all this evidence, several of Blavatsky's detractors (such as René Guénon and Peter Washington) have considered Solovyov's book a reliable source of information and have relied on him to support his attacks against Blavatsky, demonstrating with it, the little seriousness in their investigations.