The Meet

On the surface she  was a fiery intellectual, orator and a forceful writer. But underneath her restless soul, unknown except to a few, groped for the sublime truth.  Sir Mortimer R. Margesson, a cousin of Lord Ripon, who had been the viceroy of India during 1880-84, invited her to an informal lecture of Vivekananda at his house at West End, London. This was when on the wintry afternoon of 10 November 1895 Vivekananda spoke before a few selected guests among whom sat an young Irish lady named Margaret Elizabeth Noble. The world would later remember her as Sister Nivedita. The first encounter was hardly an overwhelming experience for her, but she failed to keep herself away from the Swami or what he taught. A year later in London she addressed him as - My Master. 

Swami Vivekananda

Those Who Led Her To Vivekananda

Lady Ripon

Ronald McNeill

Lady Margesson

Nivedita's interactions with the neo-intellectuals of London began at the Salon of Lady Ripon (Lady Constance Gladys). Her husband (Frederick Oliver Robinson, 2nd Marquess of Ripon) had been a viceroy in India during 1880-1884. Lady Ripon was known for her love and patronage for art. Among her distinguished friends had been Oscar Wilde, who even dedicated his A Woman of No Importance to her. Lady Ripon had been among the founders of the Sesame Club.

Ronald McNeill had been a real support to Nivedita. Contrary political views didn't stand in the way of their friendship or later forming the Sesame Club together. Ronald became the editor of The St James's Gazette in 1900, and subsequently the assistant editor of the Encyclop√¶dia Britannica in 1906. He later  became Lord Cushendum and served in various illustrious political offices in England.

Lady Isabel Margesson was an intellectual and well versed in the social and political affairs of her day. She had been among the founder members of the Sesame Club. She had attended a lecture of Vivekananda on 22 October 1895 at the Princess Hall, London. The impact led her to invite him for an informal talk at her residence at West End, London on 10 November 1895. On this occasion Nivedita first met Swami Vivekananda.

An Early Patron

He first recognized the brilliance of Nivedita and took her to the Salon of Lady Ripon; this was how the doors of intellectual London first opened before Nivedita. He was an English drawing teacher with earnest interest in propagating the theory and practice of art education. As an art teacher he was attached to numerous institutions and served on the Council of the Society for the Development of the Science of Education, and on the Committee of the Third International Congress for the Development of Drawing and Art Teaching. An English edition of Pestalozzi's 'How Gertrude Teaches Her Children' was edited with an introduction and notes by Cooke in 1894. It was their reformatory ideas on education that first brought Nivedita and Cooke together, which soon became a lifelong friendship.

Ebenezer Cooke (1837-1913)

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