Abstract: This is the third of three papers dealing with people who both self identified and were recognised by others as Baha’is, whilst simultaneously being involved with esoteric orders and occult practices. The two earlier papers dealt with Robert Felkin and Wellesley Tudor Pole, this paper examines the life and work of Alice Mary Buckton (1867 – 1944).
Buckton was, truly a polymath, writer, poet, film maker, educationalist, feminist and above all a mystic. She was a central figure in the re-establishment of Glastonbury as the premier spiritual centre of England, as well as an important figure in the Baha’i Movement. She visited Abdul Baha in Egypt and received him at her home in Surrey; she addressed a number of public meetings on behalf of the Baha’is. She travelled to the United States and met with Baha’is there. Unlike either Felkin or Pole she and her partner Anett Schepel both appear on the list of voters for the earliest Baha’i elections, suggesting they made a conscious choice to be Baha’is at that time.
The purpose of this paper is to examine Buckton’s understanding of the Baha’i teachings in the context of her wider belief system which incorporated Christian mysticism, as well as ideas which would underpin the re emergence of Paganism. Indeed, as well as Baha’is, Buckton was well acquainted with important figures in a wide spectrum of movements which sought spiritual revival. Her neighbours in Glastonbury were Dion Fortune and Katherine Maltwood, her guests included Margaret Murray.