When I went to see Madame Blavatsky she was somewhere in the Ladbroke Grove direction, and she had a double room downstairs in which she received her visitors; in the front part two or three men and a female secretary were seated round an ordinary dining-table, heavily laden with her books and other Theosophic literature, while the High Priestess sat on a sofa in the inner room, the air heavy with tobacco smoke and coffee, both of which she appeared to consume at an alarming rate. Madame Blavatsky was short and stout and swarthy, and appeared ungirt about the middle, and she was clad in a black silk garment apparently folded across her under her mighty chin and belted in round where her waist should have been. One day - I only went twice, I really could not buy the book which was almost as dear as Mrs. Eddy's celebrated work, and quite as useless - Madame de Novikoff was there, smoking hard, but as she and Madame Blavatsky were talking in Russian, and the secretaries seemed rather more hungry than usual, I did not stay long, and I never made another call.
Mrs. J.E. Panton, Leaves from a Life, 1908