Biography:Vera Stanley Alder

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Vera Stanley Alder
Vera Stanley Alder portrait 1928.jpg
BornEglingham, Northumberland, England
Died26 May 1984(1984-05-26) (aged 85)
Bournemouth, Dorset, England
Occupationportrait painter, Writer, Mystic
Alma materRoedean School, Sussex
SpouseRoland Thomas Hunt (1943-1956)
Aage Henry Wirenfreldt Larsen (1963-1984)
RelativesSir James Marjoribanks
Niels Bohr


Vera Dorothea Stanley Alder (29 October 1898 – 26 May 1984) was an English portrait painter and mystic. She wrote several books and pamphlets on self-help and spirituality. She founded the World Guardian Fellowship.

Background and family life

Vera Dorothea Stanley Alder was born 29 October 1898 at Eglingham, near Alnwick, Northumberland.[1] Her father David Julius Alder (born 3 April 1871) was Danish and her mother Sylvia Marie Stanley (born 12 December 1880) was English. Her first sister Karen, who later became a leading actress was born on 11 August 1901.[2] Her second sister Sonya Patricia who married Sir James Marjoribanks was born on 20 May 1910.[3] Vera was a fourth cousin of Niels Bohr, the Nobel Prize winner and atomic physicist. Vera was educated at Roedean School in Sussex until 1914 and went to the Slade School of Art in London in 1917 to study portrait painting. She also studied painting in Paris.

Vera first married Roland Hunt, a naval architect, on 12 June 1943[4] with whom she shared a common enthusiasm for esoteric subjects. They divorced on 23 May 1956.[4] Roland later emigrated to California where he died.

On 16 February 1963[5] Vera married Aage Larsen, her Danish publisher; the marriage lasted until her death on 26 May 1984, in Bournemouth, where Vera was cremated on Wednesday 6 June[6] the local paper noting that she had a 'wide ranging and exuberant interest in spiritual life'. In the early 1970s, she resided for a time at Acacia House, London, and likely presented lectures there.

Career and works

Elizabeth Countess of Toering-Jettenbach, pastel painting by Vera Stanley-Alder

Vera had a successful career as a portrait painter using both oil paints and pastels.[7] In 1923, for example, she exhibited portraits of Lady Douglas, Lady Poynter, and Princess Tatiana Viazensky (granddaughter of Harry Gordon Selfridge) at the Lyceum club in Paris where she had a studio.[8] In 1926 she exhibited portraits of Lady Beaverbrook and others in London,[9] and in 1927 she exhibited at the Cercle Nautique in Cannes[10] portraits of Princess Elizabeth of Greece and Denmark,[11] Baron de Saint-Marc and the actor and cricketer Aubrey Smith. She became a vegetarian and wrote seven books, one of which (From the Mundane to the Magnificent) she described as a "spiritual autobiography." Her books have been translated into several languages.[12][13][14] Her devotees include such widely divergent people as Elvis Presley,[15] progressive rock musicians[16] and hippies.[17] One commentator described her as "A painter and mystic who was particularly successful in finding a way to join both technological and social progress with a mystic spirituality."[18] Vera founded the World Union Fellowship, which later became the World Guardian Fellowship that published the Journal of World Guardians and which continued, after her death.[19]


  • Stanley Alder, Vera (1938). The Finding of the Third Eye Rider (imprint) and Company, London, UK ISBN:0-09-027343-5
  • Stanley Alder, Vera (1939). The Initiation of the World Rider (imprint) and Company, London, UK ISBN:0-09-089700-5
  • Stanley Alder, Vera (1940). The Fifth Dimension Rider (imprint) and Company, London, UK ISBN:0-09-027292-7
  • Stanley Alder, Vera (1942). Wisdom in Practice Rider (imprint) and Company, London, UK ISBN:0-09-103810-3
  • Stanley Alder, Vera (1950). Humanity Comes of Age Andrew Dakers Ltd. (Later republished as When Humanity Comes of Age Rider (imprint) and Company, London, UK ISBN:0-09-111801-8)
  • Stanley Alder, Vera (1958). The Secret of the Atomic Age Rider (imprint) and Company, London, UK ISBN:0-09-111811-5
  • Stanley Alder, Vera (1979). From the Mundane to the Magnificent Rider (imprint) and Company, London, UK ISBN:0-09-138071-5

[All the above were reissued in paperback from 1968 on by Samuel Weiser, 734 Broadway, New York 10003, USA]

  • Stanley Alder, Vera, The Story of World Union Fellowship (Pamphlet) The World Union Fellowship Publishing Company and Photospeed Lithographic Company, London, UK
  • Stanley Alder, Vera (1976). The Time is Now! A Guide to World Regeneration (Pamphlet) World Guardian Publishing Co. and Comet Press Ltd., Bedford, UK
  • Stanley Alder, Vera, The New World Civilization (Pamphlet) C.W. Daniel & Co, Ashingdon. UK
  • Stanley Alder, Vera, Self Training in the Art of Living 12 talks on cassettes The Speakers International Agency, 29 Old Bond Street, London W1X 4LJ, UK, with titles:


  1. Date of birth, place of birth, father's name and mother's name taken from Vera Stanley Alder's birth certificate
  2. Date of birth taken from Karen Stanley Alder's birth certificate
  3. Date of birth taken from Sonia Patricia Stanley Alder's birth certificate
  4. 4.0 4.1 From "Certificate of making Decree Nisi Absolute." In the High Court of Justice, Probate, Divorce and Admiralty Division (Divorce), London. Between Vera Dorothea Stanley Hunt and Roland Thomas Hunt. No 4074/8786/55
  5. Vielsesattest (Marriage Certificate) between Aage Henry Wirenfreldt Larsen and Vera Stanley Alder in Copenhagen. Document B. V. 366/1963 certified by Majistrate O. Weikop
  6. Bournemouth Echo 5 June 1984
  7. Bergery, Jessie, "Introducing Vera Stanley Alder" Nice-Matin 14 May 1953
  8. "Art and Artists", New York Herald, 4 November 1923
  9. (21 July 1926) "London- Portraits in Pastel", The Yorkshire Evening Post, Page 4
  10. "At a Cannes Portrait Exhibition", The Daily Mail, 19 February 1927
  11. A full page copy of this portrait was also shown on Page 116 of the Tatler, No. 1203, 16 July 1924
  12. Stanley Alder, Vera (2006). Crear La Mente del Mundo, Grupal Logistica Y Distribucion, Argentina, ISBN:84-95593-12-2
  13. Stanley Alder, Vera and Jans, Monica (1976). Het vinden van het derde oog, De Nederlandsche Boekhandel Antwerpen, Amsterdam ISBN:90-289-0153-1
  14. Stanley Alder, Vera and Allgayer Costa, Mário (1974). A Descoberta do Terceira Olho, Editora Pensamento SP, Brazil, ISBN:85-315-0159-8
  15. Guralnick, Peter (2000) Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley Pp. 175 & 183 Abacus, London ISBN:978-0-349-11168-1
  16. Literary references in Progressive Rock Item No. 24, Retrieved on 1 April 2008
  17. Hart, S.F. Recommended Hippie Reading List Item no. 1, Retrieved on 2008-04-01
  18. Hoolie, Tristan (2002) Visions of a New Jerusalem: Predictive Fiction in the Second World War Thesis for Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Exeter Page 220, Retrieved on 1 April 2008
  19. Parrish-Harra, Reverend Carol E. Ph. D The Way We Were—A Love Story of Student and Spiritual Teacher Retrieved on 1 April 2008