Koestler, Arthur

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Koestler, Arthur Gender: M
Artúr Kösztler
born on 5 September 1905 at 08:30 (= 08:30 AM )
Place Budapest, Hungary, 47n30, 19e05
Timezone MET h1e (is standard time)
Data source
Quoted BC/BR
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Rodden
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_vircol.18.gif 12°03' s_mo.18.gif s_sagcol.18.gif 00°51 Asc.s_libcol.18.gif 18°42'

Portrait of Arthur Koestler 
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Arthur Koestler
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Hungarian novelist, journalist, critic and essayist whose books dramatize political themes. Koestler wrote his novel "Darkness at Noon" in 1940 to express his disillusionment with the Communist Party. His book was made into a Broadway play by Sidney Kingsley in 1951. Koestler hated the play and sued the playwright in litigation which dragged on for years. A believer in psychic experiences, he established the Koestler Foundation to promote research in parapsychology and other fields and he founded a Chair of Parapsychology at the Edinburgh University. In his work, "Roots of Coincidence" in 1972, he made an attempt to describe extrasensory perception with a basis in quantum physics.

Koestler was the son of Hungarian industrialist and inventor Henrik Koestler and Adele (Jeiteles) Koestler. As a child, he grew up without any religious instruction from his Jewish parents. In 1922, he went to the University of Vienna and became interested in the Zionist movement. Before finishing his degree, he left to Palestine where he worked as a farm laborer. From there, he worked as a Jerusalem-based reporter for a German newspaper. In 1929, he left to Paris and then to Berlin where he became the science editor of "Vossische Zeitung." In 1931, he joined the communist party and would later write about his experiences in "Arrow in the Blue." He was with the German Communist Party for seven years but broke with the movement during the Moscow trials. While participating in the Spanish Civil War, he captured by Franco forces and sentenced to death. Rescued from a Seville jail by the British Foreign Office, he claimed to have a mystical liberation while imprisoned and wrote his account in "Spanish Testament," 1937. In 1940, he was arrested by the Vichy government. Released from prison, he moved to England and wrote his first book in English, his autobiography, "The Scum of the Earth," 1941.

Koestler garnered international success with his "Darkness at Noon," 1940. During this period, he served in the British Pioneer Corps and was later employed by the Ministry of Information and the BBC. In 1945, he became a British subject. He wrote "Arrival and Departure" in 1943 and "Age of Longing" in 1951. In the late 1950s, he traveled to India and Japan to seek spiritual guidance but returned disappointed and wrote "The Lotus and the Robot" in 1960.

Koestler was married three times. He married Dorothy Asher in 1935 and it ended in 1950. While married to his second wife, Mamaine Paget in 1950, his secretary, Cynthia Jefferies played the role of nursemaid to his frail, beautiful wife. She died in 1952 and Koestler entertained many women in the following 13 years before he married his devoted, passive, and obsessive secretary, Cynthia, in 1965. Jefferies spent her life in the service of Arthur Koestler.

At 77, the mercurial and irascible Koestler suffered from leukemia and Parkinson's disease. He was the vice-president of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society. He committed suicide by taking a drug overdose and his wife Cynthia accompanied him in death in their London townhouse, 3/03/1983.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • associate relationship with Camus, Albert (born 7 November 1913). Notes: Writing collaborators


  • Social : Begin a program of study 1922 at 12:00 midnight in Vienna, Austria (Began attending University of Vienna)
  • Family : Change residence 1929 (Moved to Paris, Berlin)
  • Social : Joined group 1931 (Communist Party)
  • Relationship : Marriage 1935 (First marriage, Dorothy Asher)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1937 (Book, "Spanish Testament")
  • Social : Left group 1938 (Communist Party)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1940 (Book, "Darkness at Noon")
  • Crime : Arrest 1940 (Arrested by Vichy Government)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1941 (Autobiography, "The Scum of the Earth")
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1943 (Book, "Arrival and Departure")
  • Social : Joined group 1945 (Became British subject)
  • Relationship : Marriage 1950 (Second marriage, Mamaine Paget)
  • Relationship : Divorce dates 1950 (Dorothy Asher)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1951 (Book turned play, "Darkness at Noon")
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1951 (Book, "Age of Longing")
  • Death of Mate 1952 (Mamaine Paget)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1960 (Book, "The Lotus and the Robot")
  • Relationship : Marriage 1965 (Third marriage, Cynthia Jefferies)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1972 (Book, "Roots of coincidence")

Source Notes

Astrology QuarterlyR 6/1953 quotes his autobiography "Arrow in the Blue," "approximately half-past three in the afternoon."

On the Astro.com Forum, Isaac Starkman writes: The birth data for Arthur Koestler is given in David Cesarani biography, page 8: "Arthur Koestler was born at 8.30 am on 5 September 1905. In Arrow in the Blue Koestler changed this to 3.30 pm, to produce a coincidence between the hour of his birth and the signing of a diplomatic treaty. His birth certificate is in The Koestler Archive, Edinburgh University Library."

According to amazon.com's book description, Cesarani, a renowned British historian "makes use of unprecedented and unrestricted access to Koestler's private papers ". This makes his statement about the birth time more reliable than Koestler's autobiographical information. It is accepted as 'quoted birth certificate'.


  • Diagnoses : Major Diseases : Cancer (Luekemia, cancer of the blood)
  • Diagnoses : Major Diseases : Parkinson's
  • Family : Relationship : Marriage more than 15 Yrs (First and third marriages)
  • Family : Relationship : Marriage less than 3 Yrs (Second marriage, two years)
  • Family : Relationship : Number of Divorces (One)
  • Family : Relationship : Number of Marriages (Three)
  • Family : Relationship : Widowed (By second wife)
  • Lifestyle : Social Life : Travel (For spiritual guidance)
  • Lifestyle : Home : Expatriate (Hungary to Britain)
  • Lifestyle : Home : Many moves
  • Passions : Criminal Perpetrator : Civil/ Political (Arrested for political crimes)
  • Passions : Criminal Perpetrator : Lawsuit instigated (Sued playwright who adapted his novel)
  • Passions : Criminal Perpetrator : Prison sentence (For political crimes, death sentence)
  • Personal : Religion/Spirituality : Psychic (Believed in psychic experiences)
  • Personal : Death : Suicide (With his wife)
  • Vocation : Occult Fields : Parapsychology
  • Vocation : Politics : Activist/ political (Participated in Spanish Civil War)
  • Vocation : Politics : Government employee (British Pioneer Corps, Ministry of Information)
  • Vocation : Politics : Party Affiliation (Communist Party)
  • Vocation : Writers : Autobiographer
  • Vocation : Writers : Columnist/ journalist (Newspaper reporter)
  • Vocation : Writers : Critic
  • Vocation : Writers : Fiction
  • Vocation : Writers : Metaphysics/ Parapsychology
  • Notable : Famous : Founder/ originator (Koestler Foundation, Chair at Edinburgh)
  • Notable : Book Collection : Culture Collection