Brother Curwen, Brother Crowley

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An extraordinarily exciting new book from Teitan Press. A lesser publisher might have gone with an alternative title: Aleister Crowley: The Sex Magick Letters. Having had the opportunity to see this already, I consider it an essential purchase for anyone genuinely interested in Crowley…

Brother Curwen, Brother Crowley

By Aleister Crowley and David Curwen
Edited and with an Introduction by Henrik Bogdan and a Foreword by Tony Matthews

In September 1944, a fifty-one year old Londoner named David Curwen wrote to Aleister Crowley, initiating a correspondence that would last several years. While Curwen approached Crowley with deference, the relationship that evolved between them was a complex one that defied the accepted parameters of the student-teacher nexus. For David Curwen was no newcomer to the study of the occult, and Crowley soon discovered that the flow of knowledge would not be simply one way. In particular Crowley was tantalized by the deep understanding of the principals of tantra that Curwen had acquired during the course of many years study under a mysterious guru.

At Crowley’s urging Curwen joined the O.T.O., but he remained skeptical of many of “the Beast’s” claims, and the two ultimately parted company on strained terms. However, Curwen retained his interest in the occult, and in later life he devoted himself to the study of alchemy, publishing the results of his researches pseudonymously in the book In Pursuit of Gold, a work that many believe to be the most significant study ever published of practical alchemy.

In addition to reproducing all of the surviving correspondence between the pair, Brother Curwen, Brother Crowley includes an important biographical Foreword by David Curwen’s grandson, Tony Matthews. The letters themselves have been edited and annotated by the scholar of Crowley and Western esotericism, Henrik Bogdan, who has also contributed an illuminating Introduction that gives context to the relationship between Crowley and Curwen, as well as exploring the history of their interest in sexual occultism and tantra, and the influence that they had in Kenneth Grant.

Praise for Brother Curwen, Brother Crowley:

“A subtle, demanding spiritual teacher and a skeptical, literal-minded student — what could possibly go wrong? A fascinating and often amusing correspondence, and a brilliant editorial debut by Henrik Bogdan.”
Hymenaeus Beta, Frater Superior O.T.O.

“Brother Curwen, Brother Crowley illuminates a hitherto shadowy figure in Aleister Crowley’s twilight years, David Curwen, a tantric and alchemist who was the last person to be initiated into the Ninth Degree of the O.T.O. by Crowley himself. Curwen emerges from this study Janus-faced, reflecting back on Crowley’s life in magick while simultaneously looking ahead to the inspiration he himself would provide to one of Crowley’s more prolific followers and interpreters, Kenneth Grant. Brother Curwen, Brother Crowley thus represents a fascinating nexus in the transmission and transmutation of esoteric traditions across the twentieth century.”
Dr. Richard Kacznyski Author of Perdurabo.

“An important series of previously unpublished Crowley correspondence on the OTO and its secrets, with contemporary commentary which clarifies these esoteric teachings and their history.”
Martin P. Starr Author of The Unknown God.

“A moving, funny and profound volume detailing the correspondence between an impecunious, querrulous and impatient Magus-Beast and a respectful, determined and stubborn Alchemist-Magus-in-waiting. Brother Curwen, Brother Crowley includes a Foreword as fascinating and revealing as its Introduction, and is beautifully presented and published—this is a perfect book!”
David Tibet / Current 93

The book is a hardcover, octavo sized (9 x 6 inches, approx 23.5 x 15.2cm), xlviii + 136pp. Sewn, printed on acid-free paper. Heavy dark green cloth binding, with gilt titling etc to the spine. Black and white frontispiece, and eight pages of black and white illustrations. Pictorial dustjacket. ISBN: 9780933429277. Edition limited to 777 numbered copies. Price: US $45.00

Special launch-week offer.

For one week only copies sold will come with a book-plate signed by Bogdan & Matthews and will be shipped free of charge (US) or at reduced rate (international).*

Shipping within the US for launch week:

Shipping overseas for one book:
Flat Rate Air – $7.50 for 1 – 2 copies. More than 2 copies, price varies according to quantity and destination.)

* Limit of 2 signed copies per customer. Offer ends Thursday, August 26, 2010. When ordering through our website it may appear as if you will be charged regular shipping. Please disregard this – it is an automatic function. Shipping will be free (or at reduced rate for international customers), for this title during the duration of this offer. Please note that we are a small business, and due to the volume of orders our response may not be as fast as we would like. All orders will be processed in the sequence in which they are received, and we will endeavor to get the books shipped as quickly as possible.

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Weiser Antiquarian Books are presently the sole distributors of Teitan Press titles.

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