Genesis and research of this site

 

TP's 1960 book, The Silent Road, was a revelation: spiritual experiences were available to real people living in real towns and cities in the West. You didn't even need to sit cross-legged or wear a long gown. I don't know when I first read the book but certainly it was at my bedside while I lay dying (though apparently not quite) in a Nairobi hospital during the summer of 1990.

Time passed, and though curious about TP, I did no research till I read an article on him in the February 1999 issue of the Chalice Well Messenger. The writer (and editor at the time), Martin Oliver, appeared intent on damning TP with faint praise. So it seemed time to set the record straight. For that matter, it seemed time to find out what the record was, so I cast about for areas of enquiry.

  • Patrick Benham, author of The Avalonians (recommended read), was most helpful then and thereafter, offering plenty of access to his private researches.
  • Chalice Well archives were very useful too, chiefly for matters later in TP's life, but also containing a handy collection of his shorter writings from earlier on.
  • The big breakthrough, however, came with access to the Sir David Russell archives at St Andrews University Library. Russell and TP wrote to each other from 1913 onwards, and by 1920 they were swapping letters at the rate of approximately one per day (each!).
  • Another huge breakthrough came with discovering the whereabouts of the Frederick Leveaux archives.Suddenly, the whole vast business of The Quest came into focus. 
  • The Rosamond Lehmann archives were located but proved hard to work on. They have since been transferred to Chalice Well.
  • TP's daughter, Lady Jean Carroll, was helpful with letters and photos till her death in 2003. Encouragement has also come from William Carroll (her son), Ed Tudor Pole (TP's grandson) and Kate Tudor Pole (TP's great granddaughter).
  • Thanks also go to Cecilia Croal of the Russell Trust; Meic Pierce Owen, friendly archivist at St Andrews; and Anna O'Connor, friend of TP's niece Monica, who despatched helpful materials from Ireland.

I worked all these, and other, researches into a biography. For a long time, however, the quest for publication proved no more successful than TP's quest in Constantinople (is there a law of nature at work here?) Then, in September 2010, I received an email from the U.S.A. Someone had seen this site and wanted to arrange publication. And that someone wasn't just any someone - it was David Spangler, a practical mystic not unlike TP himself.

He intoduced me, via email, to his friend Jeremy Berg who runs Lorian Press, and we were away. Jeremy soon had the cover and layout designed. Then it was up to me to upgrade the book to the best possible standard, arrange permissions for the substantial quotations, select the most telling images, sort out an index, and liaise on changes. We're nearly there. You can have a handsome volume in your hand very soon!

Big thanks go to the Chalice Well Trust for permissions to quote extensively from TP's works. It is so much better if the great man can tell his story for himself, and now, with the cooperation of the Chalice Well Trust, he can do just that. He had always hoped to be able to entertain us with personal anecdotes of the sort that people enjoy - leading us on from those to the deeper ideas he had to share.
 
For a while he had hoped Rosamond Lehmann might be able to help him in this via a biography, and, although she never exactly managed that, her volume of his letters, My Dear Alexias, proved highly valuable. Now, however, TP is finally getting his wish. His life contained plenty of fascinating items, which you can verify for yourself when The Two Worlds of Wellesley Tudor Pole comes out.