WOODROFFE, John George (ps. Arthur Avalon). Calcutta 13.2./15.12. 1865 — Beausoleil, France 16/18.1.1936. Sir. British Lawyer and Indologist in India. Son of of James Tisdall Woodroffe, Advocate-General of Bengal, and Florence Hume. Educated at Woburn Peak, studies at University College, Oxford (B.C.L., M.A.). In 1889 admitted at Inner Temple and from 1890 barrister at Calcutta High Court. In 1904-22 Puisne Judge at Calcutta High Court. Also Fellow and Tagore Law Professor, University of Calcutta. In 1923-30 Reader of Indian Law at Oxford. Married 1902, his wife wrote as Ellen Avalon.
A pioneer of the study of Hindu Tantras, who defended them against the poor and condescent opinion of many Indologists. His works were written in close collaboration with Atal Behari Ghose, a practising Śākta.
Publications: The Law Relating to Receivers in British India. 18+335 p. Calcutta 1903.
– AA with Ellen A.: Hymns to the Goddess. 1913.
– AA: ed. The Serpent Power, Being the Ṣaṭcakranirūpaṇa and the Pādukāpañchaka. Tantric Texts 2. 1913, 2nd ed. Madras 1924; Kulacūḍāmaṇi Tantra. T.T. 4. 191?; Kulārṇava Tantra. T.T. 5. 191?; Mahānirvāṇatantra. T.T. 13. 1929.
– AA: translated: Mahānirvāṇa Tantra: the Great Liberation. 1913, 2nd ed. 454 p. 1927; Introduction to Tantraśāstra.1913.
– AA: Principles of Tantra. The Tantratattva of Śrīyukta Śiva Candra Vidyārṇava Bhaṭṭācārya. 1-2. L. 1914-16.
– JW: Shakti and Shākta. Essays and Addresses on the Shākta Tantrashāstra. 1918, 2nd ed. Madras & L. 1920, 3rd ed. M. & L. 1929; Tantrarāja Tantra and Kāmakalāvilāsa. 19??.
– Garland of letters (varṇamālā). Studies in the Mantra-śāstra. 1922, 6th ed. 16+318 p. Madras 1974.
Sources: *K. Taylor, Sir J.W., Tantra and Bengal. An Indian Soul in a European Body? 319 p. 2001; Who Was Who 1929–1940; Wikipedia. Photo in the Indian ed. of his Grland.
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