Book Review

The Unlikely Occultist – Isobel Blackthorn

Join me today in taking a look at the fascinating life of Alice A Bailey, courtesy of Isobel Blackthorn. Many thanks to Isobel, and to Rachel’s Random Resources, for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour, and for providing me with my copy of the book.


A biographical novel of Alice A. Bailey

Librarian Heather Brown discovers the fascinating life of Alice Bailey – a long forgotten occultist.

Back in 1931, Alice is preparing to give a speech at a Swiss summer school. But how can she stave the tide of hatred and greed set to bring the world to its knees? 

Soon after, Alice is put on Hitler’s blacklist. What she doesn’t realize is the enormity of her influence to the world, and the real enemies who are much closer than she thinks.

A dynamic and complex figure, Alice Bailey’s reach was huge. She was influential among people and organizations of global power, especially the United Nations, and is widely regarded as the Mother of the New Age.

Yet today she is maligned by fundamentalist Christians, Theosophists, Jews, academics and above all, by conspiracy theorists. Are any of these groups justified in rejecting the unlikely occultist?

“Blackthorn’s exploration of Alice Bailey’s life and work provides a unique and intimate insight into Bailey’s life and the times in which she lived. For anyone seeking to explore the roots of Bailey’s influence on the New Age movement as well as her unsought role as the bête noire of the conspiracy scene, there’s no better place to begin.” – Aaron John Gulyas, associate professor and author of Conspiracy Theories

You can purchase your copy of The Unlikely Occultist here.

The-Unlikely-Occultist-Main-File copy


Prior to picking up this book, I had never heard of Alice A. Bailey and although that wasn’t an issue whilst reading about Alice’s life, there did seem to be the assumption that the reader would have some knowledge of Western Esotericism and Theosophy. Sadly I do not, and this made The Unlikely Occultist a challenging read for me. Although in the chapters told from Heather’s perspective there was a great deal of information, facts and figures about the movement to which Alice Bailey belonged, unfortunately this just baffled me. I suspect this is largely down to my own understanding, and for a more academic mind than mine, I am sure this would make fascinating reading.

Despite the fact that I struggled with the esoteric thinking behind Alice’s work, I found that I thoroughly enjoyed reading about her life, and the decisions and events that led her down the path that she eventually took. She is truly an inspiring lady who fought back against adversity time and again to remain true to her beliefs, and as I read I found myself, much like Heather, longing to know more about her and fill in the undocumented gaps in her life and what would seem to be her spectacular fall from grace. Reading about Alice’s work made me want to read up on her work more, and then perhaps return to this book with fresh eyes to gain a better understanding of her influence in the New Age movement.

Added to my new found interest in Alice, I have some researching of my own to do, having stumbled across a family name in the book – whether this person was an actual relation, or it just a big coincidence, remains to be seen, but finding out will certainly make for an interesting project for me.


Isobel Blackthorn Headshot 1 copyIsobel Blackthorn is a prolific novelist of unique and engaging fiction. She writes across a range of genres, including psychological thrillers, gripping mysteries, captivating travel fiction and hilarious dark satire.

Isobel holds a PhD in Western Esotericism for her ground-breaking study of the texts of Theosophist Alice A. Bailey. Her engagement with Alice Bailey’s life and works has culminated in the biographical novel, The Unlikely Occultist.







Don’t forget to have a look at the other blogs taking part in this tour for more information on this book.

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