It gives me enormous pleasure to be in a position to announce the publication of the latest catalogue from Weiser Antiquarian. There are items in this edition that you simply will not believe!
I’ve included much of the text of the catalogue as part of this News item as a resource to help Crowley scholars and bibliographers. There are also links to the Weiser Antiquarian site itself. The catalogue contains a wealth of biographical information that I know will be of great interest to many – probably most – visitors to this site… By the way, I strongly recommend that you all click on the link to the Catalogue: it takes a while to load because of the number of images, but those images are absolutely stunning and well worth the wait!
Weiser Antiquarian Books is pleased to announce the issue of our Catalog Thirteen, ‘Aleister Crowley – Books from Two Important Collections.’ The catalog contains some truly historic and significant items. Unusually these are drawn from two collections, each of which was assembled by a contemporary of Crowley’s, but on opposite sides of the Atlantic.
The majority of the catalog is made up of books and ephemera from the library of a little known, but significant figure in the history of Thelema, Edward Noel FitzGerald (1908-1958). FitzGerald, or to give him the name he took as a IXth degree member of the O.T.O., Frater Agape, was a long term friend of Crowley’s and avid collector of his books, who went on to become Karl Germer’s representative in Britain. A short biographical sketch of FitzGerald precedes the listings.
Perhaps the most outstanding of the items offered is Aleister Crowley’s own copy of Eliphas Levi’s The History of Magic, with copious annotations by Crowley himself. The copy is of course particularly significant, because Crowley considered Levi to have been an earlier incarnation of himself, so it is effectively the Beast annotating and commenting upon his own work – with plenty of brickbats for the translator, his old bête noire A. E. Waite. Also of great importance are the original Galley Proofs of the third volume of Crowley’s Confessions. The closure of the Mandrake Press prevented this volume from being published at the time, and the text of the volume has still never been published in its entirety. Until their recent rediscovery, this set of Galleys was thought to have been permanently lost.
Also in FitzGerald’s collection were a few brand-new copies of the wrappered edition of the first separate British publication of the Book of the Law (1938), and sets of the camel-hair wrappered edition of Crowley’s Collected Works (1905-1907). As there are a few copies of each, we are in the unusual position of being able to offer them at a price that is well below that which they would usually fetch.
Documents and ephemera from FitzGerald’s collection include a sheaf of letters by Crowley – a number of which are to his collaborator on the Thoth tarot deck, Lady Harris, an original typescript (circa 1913) of The Mystical Lecture of the IV° (Lodge of Perfection), and a German-language proposal to found a Thelemic publishing company from the 1920s. There are also letters to FitzGerald himself from a number of former Crowley associates, including J. F. C. Fuller, Ethel Archer, and Hermann Metzger. On a lighter note there are several oddities, including – rather inexplicably – a scrap of paper with a recipe for sloe gin, written in Crowley’s handwriting and initialed by him, and a number of menu cards, also handwritten by the Beast, in which he wrote out the components of some fine meals he served to friends.
The smaller, but by no means less significant group of items is from the collection of Helen Parsons Smith (1910-2003), and includes material that once belonged to a number of her former brethren in Agape Lodge of the O.T.O. in California. Most reading this catalog will probably be aware that Helen was a IXth degree member of the O.T.O, the former wife of Jack Parsons and W. T. Smith, founder of Thelema Publications, and for over fifty years a quiet but constant presence in the development of Thelema in the United States.
Amongst the papers from her collection is a group of typescript chapters entitled “Aleister Explains Everything,” an early version of the text that was published by Karl Germer in 1954 as Magick Without Tears. There is also a good selection of Crowley’s ‘Word of the Equinox’ pronouncements, some typed and initialed or signed, and some handwritten with Crowley’s signature in a bold flourish, as well as an unusual internal document from Agape Lodge, circa 1946.
If you wish to view this catalog simply click on:
Weiser Antiquarian Books Catalog # 13: Aleister Crowley – Books from Two Important Collections
Edward Noel FitzGerald – A Biographical Note
Edward Noel FitzGerald was twenty-seven years old when a chance reading of Crowley’s The Winged Beetle caused him to seek out the Beast. Within a few months – that is by late in 1936 – FitzGerald had become a stalwart in Crowley’s circle, and he played an important rôle in the publication and distribution of the Equinox of the Gods, and later in the first separate British publication of The Book of the Law. For several years he saw Crowley with great regularity, and was initiated by him into the A .’. A .’. where he adopted the magical name Capricornus, and the O.T.O., where Crowley appointed him as a IX° member, and he assumed the magical name Frater Agape.
Shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War Crowley moved out of central London and in the following years had a number of different residences before eventually settling in Hastings. FitzGerald, too, moved out of London, going north to undertake war work, and thus although the two remained in regular contact by post and sometimes telephone, they only met in person again a couple of times before Crowley’s death.
Despite the usual provocations and bad behaviour by the Beast, FitzGerald was one of the few that ‘kept the faith.’ He was not only a follower, but a personal friend of Crowley’s, and felt his loss greatly. In the years following Crowley’s death, he became an active participant in that small informal group of Crowley’s British friends and followers, that included Gerald Yorke, Lady Harris, Charles Cammell, Louis Wilkinson, Kenneth & Steffi Grant, etc. who sought to preserve the memory and work of the Beast. FitzGerald also sought out Crowley associates from an earlier generation such as J. F. C. Fuller and Ethel Archer both to see if they had any treasures to part with, and to get their memories of his mentor.
Hampered by a lifetime of ill-health, FitzGerald found solace in collecting Crowley’s works. He had begun compiling a bibliography of the Beast’s writings while Crowley was still alive, and this was eventually published as an appendix to Cammell’s Aleister Crowley, The Man, The Mage, The Poet. FitzGerald was also a friend of Karl Germer’s – the man who succeeded Crowley as head of the O.T.O. The two had met several times in Crowley’s company when Germer visited London in the 1930s, and maintained a regular post-War correspondence. In the mid 1950s he became Germer’s representative in Britain, and, with Germer’s encouragement, set about organising an O.T.O. group in London. Ironically he was just about ready to launch this new project, when his health failed, and after a prolonged period in hospital, he died at age 49.
During his relatively short life FitzGerald had amassed an astonishing collection of Crowleyana. His widow, Norah, kept it intact as long as she could, however, by the late 1960s poverty began to bite, and she sold off many of the obviously valuable books. However she still retained much of the collection, including most of her husband’s papers, which she passed to family friends before her death. It is this part of the collection that we will be offering for sale in this and future catalogs.
Due to the special nature of FitzGerald’s collection we have commissioned a commemorative bookplate to permanently record the provenance of each of the items that came from it. The bookplates are printed on archival quality paper, and incorporate the design of FitzGerald’s magical seal (an oval with his magical name in Enochian letters around a pyramid containing an ankh), his personal details, and those of the sale of his library. A bookplate will be tipped into each book from his collection, and supplied loose with each of the documents or letters.
Books from the FitzGerald Collection:
a) Two ‘as new’ Crowley First Editions.
FitzGerald assisted Crowley with the first British publication of the Book of the Law (1938), and being a good Thelemite kept a small pile of copies (of the paper covered-edition), as well as sets of the camel-hair wrappered edition of The Collected Works (1905-1907) which he could pass on to interested parties. These books were brand new at the time FitzGerald acquired them, and have been stored undisturbed for the nearly fifty years that have passed since his death. They are therefore as close to ‘fine’ as it would be possible to find, and because there are a few copies of each, we are offering them at a price well below that which they would usually command. Needless to say supplies are limited, and this is probably a unique opportunity to pick up brand new copies of Crowley titles that are respectively 70 and 100 years old!
Aleister Crowley, The Book Of The Law (Liber AL vel Legis, sub figura CCXX as delivered by XCIII = 418 to DCLXVI). London: Privately issued by the O.T.O., 1938. First Edition thus. Softcover. Small 8vo ( 6 1/2 x 4 7/8 inches) 50pp. (+ 6pp adverts at rear). White printed wrappers, with title printed in black on upper board. The softcover edition of the First separately-printed UK edition of The Book of the Law. Small bump on top of fore-edge, hint of discoloration to the wrappers, but essentially Fine. (32153) $450.00
Aleister Crowley, The [Collected] Works of Aleister Crowley (in 3 Volumes). Foyers: Society For The Propagation Of Religious Truth, 1905, 1906, 1907. First Editions. Softcovers. 3 vols, 8vo, Black “Camel hair” wrappers with white lettering. Text printed on “India paper.” Vol. I: x, 270pp (includes errata facing p. 264); Vol. II: viii, (2), 282pp, Vol. III: viii, 248pp. This, the “Essay Competition” edition (the words “Essay Competition Copy” are printed on the page facing the title page), arguably represents the true first issue of The Collected Works, being simply and cheaply bound so that it could be distributed soon after printing to anyone planning on entering the competition for the best essay on his own works, which Crowley was then running. The “camel hair wrappers” are notoriously fragile, but in this case they are fine, the books having technically never been issued. The pages of some show a little foxing or browning, but generally they are as close to fine as it would be possible to find in a hundred year old book. (32180) $650.00
b) Books and Typescripts from the FitzGerald Collection.
[Aleister Crowley – association item] Éliphas Lévi. Translated etc by Arthur Edward Waite. The History Of Magic ….. London: William Rider & Son, Limited, 1913. First Edition. Aleister Crowley’s Own Copy, With Extensive Annotations. Hardcover, 8vo, xxxvi + 536 pp, Royal blue cloth, gilt title, etc. to spine and front cover, 20 tipped in half-tone plates, gilt on top edge, fore and bottom edges uncut. An extraordinary multiple association copy. Eliphas Levi (1810-1875) was of course one of the most important figures of the nineteenth century occult revival, and was claimed by Aleister Crowley, who later owned the book, as an earlier incarnation. Prior to Crowley’s ownership of the book it belonged to the renowned composer Philip Heseltine (1894-1930), and has his ownership signature and “1916 – Autumn” on the front pastedown. Heseltine, also known as Peter Warlock, had a strong interest in the occult, and was at least acquainted with Crowley. He died in 1930, apparently having taken his own life. At some stage the book passed into Crowley’s hands, and it has clearly been read and re-read by him, having been extensively annotated by him, at different times, in pencil and in ink. A number of the annotations are initialed with either ‘A.C.’ or ‘666’, and at one [of the many] notes where he is querying Waite’s translation, he has signed in full, writing ‘I invite comparison of Waite’s ‘rendering’and mine. [Signed] Aleister Crowley.’ In an important note at the end of the book Crowley writes ‘I, Eliphas Levi Zahed, 7° = 4□ A.’. A.’. failed to transcend that grade. I could see things only from the standpoint of “Authority” and was totally blind to the method by which human progress is ordered by the Third Order of the A.’. A.’. Hence for me all heterodoxy was “bad”. This explains much of the prejudice shown in this book. 666. 9° = 2□ A.’. A.’. ” Nearly a third of the pages have some underlining or annotation by Crowley, mostly in pencil but sometimes in ink (about a dozen pages also have some neat pencil annotations in an unknown hand.) Crowley annotations are significant – they range from the historical: (p. xvii) “The G.D. The report is in part correct. Waite was expelled from the G.D. by me in 1900,” through magical and Kabbalistic. An alarming number criticize Waite! At some stage the copy passed from Crowley’s possession, and went through several hands before being acquired by FitzGerald in 1954.
The book does show signs of its many owners and readings: the inside hinges are cracked, but holding, and it is a little shaken. There are a number of small and reasonably unobtrusive scratches to the cloth on the front cover, the spine has some creases and is and is a little darkened, some rubbing to the edges, particularly at the points. Still a VG copy of a work that is – on account of its extraordinary provenance and annotations – exceptional and unique. (32137) $6,500.00
Aleister Crowley, Original Galley Proofs of Volume III [Only] of The Confessions of Aleister Crowley, including much previously unpublished material. London: . 86 (of 87) galley sheets, each about 28″ x 7″, now preserved in a beautiful modern custom-made ‘binding’, comprising an archival paper folder, inside maroon book-style cloth boards with author and title in gilt lettering down spine. The original galley proofs of the Third Volume of Crowley’s autobiography. Only the first two Volumes of The Confessions were issued during Crowley’s lifetime, the third volume reached proof stage but the publisher, the Mandrake Press, went out of business and the text remained unpublished. These galleys, along with a set of corrected page proofs, were kept by the publisher and Director of the Mandrake Press, P. R. Stephensen. At some stage the galleys were passed by Stephensen to the Melbourne bookseller Norman Robb, who must in turn have passed them to FitzGerald. The corrected page proofs were retained by Stephensen, and are now with rest of his papers at the State Library of New South Wales (Australia). Included with the set of galleys is an undated holograph note by Stephensen which reads “Galley 20 is missing in my set of the proofs. P. R. Stephensen.” Galley 20 is – needless to say – missing from the set. The galleys contain much material that is not included in the Symonds and Grant edited edition of The Confessions. They correspond to pages 391 – 504 of the text in that publication (Revised Edition, 1979) although they do not have the text of the final two pages of their ‘Part Three.’ They do however contain a significant amount of material that is not present in the published edition. To fully collate them against the published work would be a huge labor – but a quick comparison of the first 4 leaves (of 86) of the galleys with the corresponding published text reveals that Galley 1 contains one unpublished paragraph, Galley 2 contains 1 short unpublished sentence, Galley 3 contains 2 unpublished paragraphs and an unpublished sentence, Galley 4 contains 3 unpublished sentences, and 1 unpublished paragraph. Assuming that this is typical of the state of the text, it suggests that a minimum of 10% of the text of the Galleys is unpublished – the equivalent of about 20 pages of text in the published edition. Given that Volume Three is the volume in which Crowley discussed the reception of The Book of the Law and there is unpublished material relating to that, this is truly a significant piece. The cheap paper on which the proofs are printed is rather creased and browned, with some chips and tears, but condition is overall V.G. The cloth case is Fine. (32240) $3,850.00
Aleister Crowley, A typescript of Volume III [Only] of The Confessions of Aleister Crowley. Unbound. A carbon typescript, on thin 8 x 10 inch paper, of Volume III of Crowley’s Confessions. 99 [of 100] pp., secured in two groups, with staples down left margin. Now preserved in a beautiful modern custom-made ‘binding’, comprising an archival paper folder, inside maroon book-style cloth boards with title in gilt lettering down spine. Also included is a one-page typescript copy of a note by P. R. Stephensen, former published and director of the Mandrake Press Ltd. In the note, dated Melbourne (Australia), Feb. 1956, Stephensen, explains how he kept a set of the galley-proofs of the then-unpublished Volume III, which he had just rediscovered and given to bookseller and Crowley enthusiast Norman Robb so that he could have typescript copies made. This is presumably one of those copies, which circulated in the small group of Crowley friends and followers active in the 1950s that included Gerald Yorke, Edward Noel Fitzgerald, Charles Richard Cammell, Karl Germer etc. Not surprisingly the text appears to be identical to that of the set of galley proofs also offered for sale by us. As such it contains much material that is not included in the Symonds and Grant-edited edition of The Confessions. It corresponds to Chapters 49 – 57 of the text in the S&G publication (Revised Edition, 1979) although it does not have the text of the final two pages as these were not in the galleys from which it was taken. The typescript contains a significant amount of unpublished material. To fully collate it would be a major task, but appears that about 10% of the material in the typescript was omitted from the published work. Given that Volume Three is the volume in which Crowley discussed the reception of The Book of the Law, this is truly a significant piece. The typescript does not include the text of galley sheet twenty, which was missing from the original from which it was made, and also lacks page 74 (although the text of this page is supplied by a photocopy taken from the galleys). Otherwise it is complete and in VG condition. (32081) $1,100.00
Aleister Crowley, A typescript of Volume IV [Only] of The Confessions of Aleister Crowley. ND. Circa 1950. Unbound sheets secured by clip in a contemporary brown Accopress office binder. A carbon typescript, on 8 1/2 x 11 inch typing paper, of Volume IV of Crowley’s Confessions. 198 single sided typed pages (numbered 127 -325). A typescript prepared in the mid-1950s of the then-unpublished fourth volume of Crowley’s autobiography, and circulated within the small group of Crowley friends and followers still active included Gerald Yorke, Edward Noel Fitzgerald, Charles Richard Cammell, Karl Germer etc. This particular copy was made by Helen Parsons Smith and is from her collection – not the FitzGerald collection (it is just placed here for neatness!) The text here corresponds with that published as Chapters 59 through 64 of the Symonds and Grant edition of The Confessions, (Revised Edition 1979) – although their ‘fourth book / volume’ starts with Chapter 58, which is not included in the text of this typescript. The typescript does, however, appear to contain a significant amount of material omitted from the published version. Whilst we have not attempted a full comparison, an analysis of Chapter 59 shows that the typescript contains 3 paragraphs of text (approx. 200 words) not in the published version. It would not seem unreasonable to expect that this pattern might be repeated through the remaining chapters. A bump and tear in the back board of the binder, otherwise VG condition. (32082) $950.00
Aleister Crowley. Leah Sublime [Typescript]. Unbound. A single leaf, folded, to give four 4″ x 10″ pages. A typescript copy of Crowley’s spectacularly obscene paen to his Scarlet Woman, Leah Hirsig. The poem remained unpublished until about 1975: prior to that typescript copies such as this circulated amongst his followers. This copy almost certainly dates from the late 1940s or early 1950s, and was most likely made by either Karl Germer or Gerald Yorke, and clandestinely circulated to a few close friends. One crease down the middle, a little age-darkened, otherwise VG. (32165) $150.00
Aleister Crowley, 777 Revised …. A Reprint of 777 with Much Additional Matter by the Late Aleister Crowley. Original Galley Proofs. London: The Neptune Press, [1955 ]. Unbound. The original Galley proofs of this revised reprint of Crowley’s Qabalistic masterwork with much additional material, published by Crowley’s American student and occult heir Karl Germer in collaboration with Gerald Yorke a few years after the death of ‘the Beast.’ 32 sheets, each about 25″ x 6 1/2″ Sheets preserved in a simple modern buff color folding case, of thin archival-quality cardboard. These Galley proofs appear to represent a very early state of the book. Although almost certainly complete as such, being numbered consecutively from ‘1’, they omit the preliminaries and Gerald Yorke’s ‘Editorial Preface,’ and start straight at the beginning of Crowley’s own Preface. Only a few of the Tables of correspondences which make up the first quarter of the published book are included, and the Galley’s end at the finish of Appendix B, omitting the 18 pages of ‘Notes to Table of Correspondences’ etc. which appear in the published edition. FitzGerald knew Yorke and Germer, and if not directly involved was certainly on the periphery of the group responsible for the book’s publication. Leaves secured together with a staple through the top left corner. First leaf detached, and has been torn across mid-section, but repaired at the back with archival tape. Cheap paper browned and rather brittle, and with some chips and tears, particularly to the first sheet. Still near-V.G. for such a fragile, ephemeral, and unique item (usually there were only one set of galleys printed.) (32155) $400.00
Aleister Crowley, Typescript of The Three Wishes: A Play in Three Acts and a Prologue. ND (Circa 1950). Typed on the recto only of 60 loose sheets of 8 1/2 x 10 1/4 inch typing paper. These preserved in a beautiful modern custom-made ‘binding’, comprising an archival paper folder, inside grey book-style cloth boards with author and title in gilt lettering down spine. The play is commonly referred to as ‘unpublished,’ although Magick Theater of California brought out a softcover printing of it with very small circulation in 1986. We have not had access to a copy of this and although it probably reproduced the text in this typescript we are not sure of that as Crowley left several quite different drafts of the work. In his Remembering Aleister Crowley (Skoob, 1991) Kenneth Grant reproduces some comments about The Three Wishes that Crowley had intended to include in Chapter LXXVIII of Magick Without Tears. Crowley wrote thus: “In my play The Three Wishes one of the characters is a rich selfish woman who has exhausted every source of vicious pleasure. In her abject despair here last resource is addiction to morphine. I gave the play to an actor, a man of the highest intelligence and the broadest views on life; he said that I could not hope to get a play licensed if it dealt with drugs, unless as a warning against their abuse – which is exactly what the play imports. The mere mention of morphine had so disturbed his judgement that he failed to realize that fact. He interpreted her abject wail, the cynical cry of a damned soul, as a defiant assertion of compensation for her disappointments in all else. The mere mention! There is not a line in the whole play to support any advocacy or excuse for her suicidal habit.” Crowley wrote the play whilst in New York during the First World War. This typescipt was almost certainly made by Gerald Yorke, who probably had it copied from an original in his own collection. Although undated, it was prepared in the early 1950s. Very Good condition, ‘binding’ Fine. (32175) $950.00
[Aleister Crowley – related works]. O.T.O. IVo (Lodge of Perfection) The Mystical Lecture. Original typescript, London, circa 1913. Unbound duplicated typescript, comprising seven 10 x 8 ¼ inch leaves, printed in blue ink on one side only on paper watermarked ‘Excelsior Superfine.’ An original duplicated typescript, as given to aspirants to the IVth degree of the O.T.O. in the Order’s pre-First World War British heyday. The text appears to be the same as that published in Francis King’s The Secret Rituals of the O.T.O., except that it has a stick figure drawn next to the ‘Sign of Admiration’ that is not included in the published version. With the ownership signature and address of Mrs. E. Wieland [AKA Ethel Archer] in pencil in the right top corner of the first page. Ethel and her husband Eugene Wieland were drawn into Crowley’s circle at the height of The Equinox period (1909-1913). The couple were deeply involved in both the A.’. A.’. & the O.T.O., with Eugene taking care of much of the administrative work for the two Orders. With Crowley’s encouragement he set up the publishing concern Wieland & Co., under which imprint a number of Crowley’s works appeared, including: Book Four Parts I & II, The Book of Lies, Mortadello, various volumes of The Equinox etc. In the 1950s Ethel Archer was contacted by, FitzGerald, who acquired a number of items from her, including this typescript. A little darkened at the edges, some creases, and a couple of short tears in the margins of the last leaf. Still a VG copy of a scarce piece of ritual-related O.T.O. ephemera, with a fascinating provenance. (32046) $1,000.00
[Aleister Crowley – related works]. Gesellschaftsvertrag. Name und Zweck der “Thelema – Verlagsgesellchaft, Leipzig. The original proposal and contract to found a publishing company: “Thelema Verlags Gesellschaft”, Leipzig, to translate, publish and sell works by Aleister Crowley in the German language. NP, 1927. Original duplicated typescript, printed in blue on the recto only of four leaves of quarto typing paper (11 1/4 x 8 3/4 inches). German language. The contract has places for the signatures of “Sir Aleister Crowley, Paris, Herr Gebhardi, Leipzig, Herr Germer, Boston / Amerika, Herr Hopfer, Weissendorf, Frl. Küntzel, Leipzig, and Herr B. Sporn, Zelenroda. This copy was evidently forwarded to Crowley for his approval and signature, but for reasons unknown it was neither signed or returned by him. It also lacks Karl Germer’s signature, although it has been signed by the other’s whose names are mentioned: Otto Gebhardi, Oskar Hopfer, Martha Küntzel, and Bernhard Sporn. An interesting memento of the German interest in Crowley in the 1920s, and an (apparently) abortive attempt to carry on the work started by Tränker’s Pansophie-Verlag. Pages browned and somewhat brittle, chipped at the edges. (32010) $350.00
Charles Richard Cammell, The Occult Studies of Bulwer Lytton – Typescript. NP, ND (circa 1955). Unbound. The carbon copy of an original typescript, on twenty five leaves of quarto typing paper (10 x 8 inches). According to a footnote on the last leaf of the typescript an earlier “incomplete” form of this essay appeared under the title ‘The Magical Studies of Bulwer Lytton,’ in ‘The Atlantis Quarterly,’ Vol. I, No. 3, Dec. 1932. It had since been revised and augmented, clearly for publication, although we have been unable to determine whether or not this new version was ever published. Cammell was a long term friend of Crowley’s, and author of the biography Aleister Crowley, The Man, The Mage, The Poet, to which FitzGerald contributed the bibliography. Obviously Cammell presented this typescript to FitzGerald, although it is not marked as such. Pages somewhat yellowed and creased, otherwise VG. (32169) $150.00
Capt. J. F. C. Fuller, [& Aleister Crowley]. With a Critical Introduction Addressed to Friends of Freedom by Guy A. Aldred. The Star In the West. A Critical Essay Upon The Works of Aleister Crowley. London: The Bakunin Press, 1908. First Popular Edition. Softcover. 8vo., (x) + 328pp. (+ 4 page publisher’s catalogue of ‘Mr. Crowley’s Books….’ bound in at rear.) Original black lettered red wrappers. The first ‘popular’ (cheap) edition, and the first, and probably only edition to include the Introduction by Guy A. Aldred. Just what Aldred, a well-known English anarchist author was doing writing an introduction to the well-right-of-center Fuller’s book about the decidedly High Tory Crowley is a mystery, as are the circumstances in which it came to be published by the obviously left-wing Bakunin Press. It must be an interesting tale though. A newspaper clipping of a portrait of Fuller, with his name and the year 1940 in FitzGerald’s handwriting, loosely inserted at the front of the book, has left a brown shadow on the first blank. Some foxing, particularly to the preliminaries. Spine lightly faded, wrappers a little chipped around the edges, still a, clean, tight, Very Good copy of a scarce edition. (32133) $350.00
Capt. J. F. C. Fuller, &, Aleister Crowley, The Star In the West. A Critical Essay Upon The Works of Aleister Crowley. London: Walter Scott Publishing Co. Ltd., 1907/1952. Fourth edition. Hardcover. 8vo. (vi) + 328pp. Original blue boards with white parchment spine, with gilt stamped blue title-label inset. Fuller, who went on to become one of Crowley’s leading disciples, originally wrote this essay as an entry in a competition Crowley held for the best essay on his own literary work. With Crowley’s assistance Fuller rewrote the essay, and Crowley published it. It seems that Crowley – who had not yet gone through his family fortune at that stage – issued a number of different ‘editions’ virtually simultaneously, with the intention of giving the impression that the book was a good seller! Some mystery surrounds this particular edition. A note in an early copy of Gerald Yorke’s bibliography suggests 100 brand new sets of sheets turned up in the 1950s, and were bound up and sold by Michael Houghton of the Atlantis Bookshop. If this is so, it is quite likely they came from Fuller himself, who was in touch with Yorke, Houghton, and FitzGerald at the time. Whatever the case it is a scarce issue, and seldom seen. This copy is quite pristine: the vellum spine, label and cloth boards are bright unmarked, and the internals practically as clean and fresh as the day they were printed. The book is still in its original protective plain paper dustjacket. (32267) $375.00
F. Leigh Gardner, With an Introduction by Dr. William Wynn Westcott. Bibliotheca Rosicruciana Vol. 1. A Catalogue Raisonné of Works on the Occult Sciences. Rosicrucian Books. London, England: Privately Printed, 1903. Limited ed, signed. Hardcover, 8vo, xvi + 82pp. Original blue cloth with gilt title on front cover. Edition limited to 300 numbered copies, signed by F. Leigh Gardner. A bibliographical list of 599 works. Although titled ‘Rosicruciana’ the volume could perhaps better have been called ‘Hermetica,’ given the breadth of the subjects it covers: Alchemy, Kabbalah, Magic, Freemasonry, Theosophy etc. – and of course Rosicrucianism. The author, F. Leigh Gardner, was a good friend of W. Wynn Westcott, and both were members of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the Order in which Crowley cut his magical teeth. The book is still a useful reference, and gives a valuable insight into the sort of works that were read by the original membership of the G .’. D .’. Cloth darkened and a little rubbed at head and tail of spine, a couple of small snags in the cloth on the front edge. Pages browned, particularly at the edges, still a tight, clean, copy. (32149) $150.00
Lady Harris [Frieda Harris], Winchelsea. A Legend. With Illustrations by the Author. London: Selyn & Blount, 1926. First edition. Hardcover, Small Oblong Quarto, 7 1/2 x 9 1/2 inches. Decorated paper wrappers with color cloth insert over cloth boards. Inscribed by the author, “Edward Noel FitzGerald from Lady Harris.” A short mythic fantasy with four full page colour illustrations. An early work by Frieda Lady Harris (1877 – 1962) who would later act as ‘artistic executant’ of Aleister Crowley’s Thoth tarot cards. FitzGerald and Harris met via Crowley, and were part of the small circle in Britain in the 1950s who continued to take an interest in his work. Corners bumped, quarter inch chip from cloth at base of spine, paper covering of boards somewhat bumped, still a VG copy. (32138) $275.00
Éliphas Lévi, (Trans. etc. by A. E. Waite). The History of Magic, London: William Rider & Son, Limited, 1913. First Edition. Hardcover, 8vo, xxxvi + 536 pp, White cloth, gilt title, etc. to spine and front cover. Illustrations, gilt on top edge, fore and bottom edges uncut. 20 tipped in half-tone plates. Described by Waite as ‘the most arresting, entertaining and brilliant of all studies on the subject with which I am acquainted.’ This is the unusual white cloth issue of the book which is much scarcer than the Royal Blue issue which is usually seen. Unfortunately being white the cloth shows the years: the spine is a little darkened, and there is some light yellowing around the edges. There is a large (unrelated) owner’s inscription on the front free endpaper. Pages a little yellowed, otherwise a tight, internally clean VG+ copy. (32151) $650.00
C. E. M. Joad, Guide to Philosophy. London: Victor Gollancz, 1936. Second Impression. Hardcover, Small 8vo. 592pp. Original cloth. With the ownership signature of Aleister Crowley on the front free end paper, and a couple of marginal notations ( ‘!’ and ‘??’) where he evidently took exception to Joad’s comments. Crowley refers to this very book in his Eight Lectures on Yoga, and was personally acquainted with Joad, who he met occasionally during the 1930s and 1940s, and who also gave several lectures at Netherwood, the Guest House in which Crowley spent the final years of his life. A few pages creased, back hinge cracked but holding. Obviously well-read, but still a solid copy, lacks dustjacket. (32142) $1,200.00
George Raffalovich, The Deuce and All. London: The Equinox, 1909. First Edition. Hardcover, small 8vo. xvi + 298 pp [+ x pp of adverts for Equinox publications] Green cloth, gilt title, etc. to spine and front boards. Raffalovich was one of Crowley’s closest friends and disciples until the inevitable falling out. A collection of short stories. Aleister Crowley thought highly of Raffalovich’s literary work, which he praised in his Confessions and published regularly in the Equinox series, as well as separately under his Equinox imprint. A little light shelf wear to the edges, but otherwise a solid, VG + copy (no dustjacket – none issued) (32136) $250.00
George Raffalovich, On the Loose. Planetary Jouneys and Earthly Sketches. London : The Equinox, . First Edition thus. Softcover, small 8vo. viii + 164 pp [+ 2 pp of adverts], Original red wrappers with black titling, etc to spine and front wrapper. The year 1910 and the ownership signature of Ethel Wieland [AKA Ethel Archer] on the first blank. Raffalovich was one of Crowley’s closest friends and disciples until the inevitable falling out. Crowley thought very highly of Raffalovich’s literary work, which he praised in his Confessions and published in the Equinox series, as well as separately under his Equinox imprint . In 1910 he reprinted this collection of Raffalovich’s stories, which had originally been published by Arnold Fairbairns two years earlier. Ethel and her husband Eugene Wieland were drawn into Crowley’s circle at the height of The Equinox period (1909-1913). The couple were deeply involved in both the A.’. A.’. & the O.T.O., with Eugene taking care of much of the administrative work for the two Orders. With Crowley’s encouragement he set up the publishing concern Wieland & Co., under which imprint a number of Crowley’s works appeared, including: Book Four Parts I & II, The Book of Lies, Mortadello, various volumes of The Equinox etc. In the 1950s Ethel Archer was contacted by, FitzGerald, who acquired a number of items from her, including this book. The paper of the spine is chipped and cracked, and appears to have been reglued. Front wrapper splitting down spine, corners of wrappers and early leaves chipped and rounded. A solid, Good only copy of a scarce work with unusual provenance. (32134) $190.00
Hermann Rauschning, Hitler Speaks A Series of Political Conversations with Adolf Hitler on His Real Aims. London: Thornton Butterworth, 1939. Second Impression. Hardcover. 8vo. 288pp. Original yellow cloth. During the 1950s FitzGerald carefully transcribed the annotations that appeared in Aleister Crowley’s own copy – loaned to him by Gerald Yorke – into this copy. The annotations fill both front and rear blanks, as well as being on dozens of pages within the text. They give fascinating insight into Crowley’s often-misrepresented views about Hitler and Nazism, as well as on Martha Kuntzel and German Thelemites of the pre-war period. Spine a little creased and darkened, boards rather grubby. Obviously much-read, but still a solid copy, lacks dustjacket. (32148) $250.00
John Symonds, The Magic of Aleister Crowley. London: Frederick Muller Ltd., 1958. First edition. Inscribed. Hardcover, 8vo., 210 pp, Black cloth, gilt title, etc. to spine, illustrations. This copy inscribed by John Symonds at the time of publication “To Edward FitzGerald with best wishes from the author, John Symonds, 1 March 1958.” The companion volume to John Symond’s biography of Crowley, The Great Beast. Ostensibly this volume concentrated more on Crowley’s magical philosophy, but in practice it was just an extension of the biography. FitzGerald was well acquainted with Symonds, having helped him with Crowley material for both his books. Page edges darkened, minor browning to pages, two of which are slightly creased, otherwise tight, clean VG copy in rather shabby dustjacket (a few creases and tears and missing a thumb-nail sized chip from bottom edge of front panel). (32135) $250.00
John Symonds, The Magic of Aleister Crowley. London, England: Frederick Muller Ltd., . Galley Proofs. Inscribed. Unbound. The original Gally proofs of this companion volume to John Symond’s biography of Crowley, The Great Beast. Approx. 62 sheets, each about 25″ x 6 1/2″ Sheets preserved in a simple modern buff color folding case, of thin archival-quality cardboard. The top sheet is inscribed by John Symonds “To Edward FitzGerald with best wishes, John Symonds, Oct 2nd, 1957.” (That is about four months before publication). With numerous manuscript corrections and alterations by Symonds. FitzGerald was well acquainted with Symonds, having helped him with Crowley material for both his books. Some browning, chips and tears and significantly darkened patches, particularly to the first sheet. Still V.G. for such a fragile, ephemeral, and unique item (usually there were only one set of galleys printed.) (32154) $450.00
Arthur Edward Waite, The Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross Being Records of the House of the Holy Spirit in its Inward and Outward History. London: William Rider & Son, 1924. First edition. Hardcover, large 8vo, xxiv + 650 pp + ii pp advertis. Original red buckram with gilt title, etc. to spine, top edge gilt, b&w illustrations. This is the true First Issue of the book – with a mistake in the Latin text of a footnote that was corrected in a Second Issue in the same year as the first. According to Golden Dawn and Waite scholar R. A. Gilbert: ‘Waite’s study is, even now, the only significant historical work in English on the Rosicrucian movement of the 17th century and its successors.’ Spine and boards slightly faded, corners, hint of rubbing to the points, endpapers toned, otherwise a tight, bright copy of a magnificently produced and important book (no dustjacket). (32150) $400.00
Gerald Yorke, 666 Sex and the O.T.O. [Typescript] NP, ND (circa 1955). Seven leaves of quarto typing paper (10 x 8 inches), each leaf typed on the recto only, secured together with a paperclip in the top left margin. Signed by Yorke with his manuscript corrections. Gerald Yorke, (1901-1983) was a friend and former disciple of Crowley’s, and one of the small group who maintained an interest in Crowley and his work in the years immediately following the Beast’s death. This essay: the title of which is relatively self-explanatory – remained unpublished until it appeared as the Introduction to the Level Press edition of Crowley’s De Arte Magica (1974). It has also recently been republished as a separate booklet. This is an original typescript, signed by Gerald Yorke next to the title, and with a number of manuscript alterations in his hand. The text is basically that which appears in the published editions, though there are a few minor variances. The typescript was given by Yorke to FitzGerald, from whose collection it has come. The pages are yellowed and with a few tea spots. There is a fingernail-sized burn in the margin of the right hand edge, causing the loss of a few letters of type on each leaf. It woudn’t be surprising if this was Yorke’s own doing: he smoked a pipe which was notoriously difficult to keep alight, but which nonetheless managed to regularly set fire to things around it, including on several occasions the pocket in which Yorke kept it. Overall near VG condition. (32009) $450.00
c) Aleister Crowley: Letters from the FitzGerald Collection.
Letters to W. Dawson Sadler. Sadler was a conventional Freemason, with esoteric leanings, with whom Crowley was in regular contact from 1944 though 1946. Although not certain, it seems likely that Crowley initiated him into the O.T.O.
Aleister Crowley, A single leaf autograph note, Signed, from Aleister Crowley to W. Dawson Sadler. Dated, Buckinghamshire, 24-7-1944 ev. Written on both sides of a single sheet of 7″ x 5 1/4″ note paper, the recto of which is headed with Crowley’s ‘Mark of the Beast’ sigil printed in red. The address “Bell Inn, Ashton Clinton, Bucks” is written at the top of the first side in Crowley’s hand, as is the date “24-7-44 e.v.” About 100 words. Addressed to “Mr. Sadler” (W. Dawson Sadler.) This letter dates from relatively early in their acquaintance: Sadler had purchased a copy of the just-published Book of Thoth from him, and Crowley writes that he hopes “you will find the book up to your expectations.” He writes further that “Sales are surprising, over 50 before publication at that price”, and that a further 50 copies had been sent to the binder. He also comments that the tarot pack “will be as you suppose”, but adds that he doesn’t know when it will be printed, due to the cost. The letter begins and ends with the Thelemic greetings, and is signed “Yours sincerely, Aleister Crowley.” Very Good condition, with some light discoloration and the usual light creases from having been folded to fit into an envelope. (32037) $850.00
Aleister Crowley, A single leaf autograph letter, Signed, from Aleister Crowley to “Dear and Illustrious Brother” [in this case W. Dawson Sadler]. Dated, Buckinghamshire, Sept. 10 . On a single sheet of 7″ x 5 1/4″ note paper, the recto of each of which is headed with Crowley’s ‘Mark of the Beast’ sigil printed in red. The address “Bell Inn, Ashton Clinton, Bucks” is written at the top of the page in Crowley’s handwriting, as is the date “Sept. 10” (from the context almost certainly 1944). About 100 words. Crowley apologises for mislaying an earlier letter and his reply, complains of illness, and looks forward to a forthcoming visit. The letter begins and ends with the Thelemic greetings, and is signed “Yours Fraternally, Aleister Crowley.” Very Good condition, with just the usual light creases from having been folded to fit into an envelope. (32038) $850.00
Aleister Crowley, A two leaf typed letter, signed, with a manuscript note, and an additional pencil diagram on a third leaf. From Aleister Crowley to “Dear and Illustrious Brother” [in this case W. Dawson Sadler]. Dated, Buckinghamshire, Sept. 23 1944. The letter is on two leaves of 7″ x 5 1/4″ note paper, the recto of each of which is headed with Crowley’s ‘Mark of the Beast’ sigil printed in red. It has the typed heading, “Bell Inn, Ashton Clinton,” and comprises three typed pages and a manuscript note in ink on the fourth. A third leaf of unheaded 8″ x 5 1/4″ paper – obviously torn from a notebook. – has a diagram in pencil on one side, and an additional manuscript note in pencil on the other. An interesting and important letter. There had been previous discussion between the two about the Thoth tarot designs, and in this letter Crowley discourses at length on the ‘cross of the Hierophant’ design that he favours. After a paragraph on forms of the cross in general, Crowley devotes two paragraphs to the meaning and symbolism of the petals of the ‘rose’ at the center of the design. The rose is also the subject of the diagram. In the pencil note on the verso of the diagram, Crowley apologises for “the extreme crudity of these sketches”, explaining that “over the week-end I was critically ill, I am still rather shaken.” The letter begins and ends with the Thelemic greetings, and is signed “Yours Fraternally, Aleister Crowley.” Both the notes are signed by him with his intials. Very Good condition, with just the usual light creases from having been folded to fit into an envelope. (32040) $1,500.00
Aleister Crowley, (Signed). A Typed Letter, Signed, from Aleister Crowley to W. Dawson Sadler. Dated, Buckinghamshire, November 9, 1944. London: 1944. Three leaves typed on standard 8″ x 10″ typing paper. The letter is headed with the (typed) address of ‘The Bell Inn’ , Buckinghamshire, and the date Nov. 9, 1944. In this letter Crowley replies to a number of questions obviously posed by Sadler in an earlier letter. There is considerable discussion of books: Sadler had loaned Crowley a copy of his own Book 4, Part II, which Crowley had evidently not seen for many years, and he refers to Stirling’s The Canon, saying ‘I have always thought it was the most valuable book published, from the historical point of view.’ Crowley also discusses three astrological manuscripts he had composed, which had evidently come into Sadler’s possession, and reprises an interesting theory of the astrological influences on murderers and their victims. He refers to malign transits in his then horoscope, observing that the Ministry of Supply (which oversaw wartime rationing) objected to him sending out prospectuses for the Book of Thoth, and he feared that he “might go to the jug” in consequence! Numerous small manuscript corrections and additions in Crowley’s hand, including one long sentence. The letter ends with the Thelemic greetings and ‘Yours Sincerely’ and is signed in full; “Aleister Crowley.” Very Good condition, with just the usual light creases across the center from having been folded twice to fit into an envelope. (32012) $950.00
Aleister Crowley, A Typed Letter, Signed, from Aleister Crowley to W. Dawson Sadler. Dated, Buckinghamshire, November 19, 1944. London: 1944. Six leaves typed on good quality off-white notepaper (7″ x 5 1/4″) EACH page of which is headed with Crowley’s ‘Mark of the Beast’ sigil printed in red. To the right of the sigil is typed Crowley’s ‘Bell Inn’ address, and the date, Nov. 19, 1944. The letter begins and ends with the full Thelemic greetings. Interestingly Crowley makes mention of having just found “comfortable winter quarters” in “a place in the neighbourhood of Hastings” (presumably Netherwood). The rest of the letter is clearly written in response to a number of inquiries made by Sadler in a previous letter. Crowley mentions his own works on astrology, as well as the use of astrology in detective stories, in particular referring to a book by Grant Allen. He also tells at some length of the tortoise-shell sticks that he uses for Yi-King divination, and reiterates the reasons that he felt lay behind the tragic accident that occurred during his second Himalayan expedition (1905). Several small manuscript corrections in Crowley’s hand. The letter ends with ‘Yours Sincerely’ and is signed in full; “Aleister Crowley.” Very Good condition, with just the usual light crease across the center from having once been folded into an envelope. (32011) $1100.00
Letters from Crowley to Lady Harris (Frieda Harris).
Aleister Crowley, An autograph postcard, signed, from Aleister Crowley to Lady Harris (Frieda Harris). Jan. 12, 1941. A plain buff-colored postcard. The address side is blank save for Harris’s address etc. written in Crowley’s hand, and a stamp postmarked 12 Jan, 1941. The other side has the printed banner of the ‘Grand Hotel, Torquay’, and a handwritten note by him that reads simply “93 Bronchitis again is not very bad, but am staying in bed till quite restored. Will write fully when that happens, I hope Monday or Tuesday. 93 93/93 Fraternally 666.” A small discolored patch on the address-side, where damp has slightly blurred the ink of about half of the address and lightly discolored the surrounding blank area. Otherwise VG. (32044) $600.00
Aleister Crowley, An autograph letter, Signed, from Aleister Crowley to Lady Harris (Frieda Harris). March 5, [1941?] with the impression in sealing wax of Crowley’s ring. A long letter, written on all four sides of two sheets of 5 x 8 inch notepaper. The letter is simply headed ‘The Gardens,’ ‘March 5’ in Crowley’s handwriting at the top of the page. This most likely referred to his lodgings at 14 Lassell Gardens, Maidenhead, and – from the context – the year 1941. As usual in his letters to Harris, Crowley ranges over a number of topics – in the midst of a discourse on lawyers and unpaid rent he says: “There are three types of relation between decent people: 1. Perfect-love, trust, and frankness, 2. Good manners, 3., Tooth and Claw.” He then berates her for her “foul habit of doing things behind people’s backs.” After discoursing on the subject for a while he writes firmly “Trust your friends, or break off so false a friendship! I have spoken,”beneath which he has placed a blob of wax imprinted with his ankh-f-n-khonsu seal for extra emphasis (the wax seal is about an inch-and-a-half in diameter). There is a passing reference which appears to be to Augustus John “Poor dear old John! His sketches of me were damned good. I always loved him, always shall,” as well as various short observations about the tarot, war etc. The letter begins and ends with the Thelemic greetings, and is signed simply “Fraternally Aleister.” A chip the size of a small fingernail is missing from the wax seal (the actual impression of Crowley’s ring is 95% complete, the chip is largely from the wax overlap) and it has taken a corresponding piece of paper from the page with it – thus a couple of words are missing from the other side. There are two small pin-holes, where the pages were once pinned together, otherwise they are in Very Good condition, with just the usual light creases from having been folded to fit into an envelope. (32034) $1200.00
Aleister Crowley, An autograph letter, Signed, from Aleister Crowley to Lady Harris (Frieda Harris). May 28, . A lengthy autograph letter, written on both sides of a single sheet of 8 x 10 inch hotel letterhead, with the printed address of the Noel Arms Hotel, Chipping Campden, Glos., struck through and replaced with “Barton Brow, for the last time,” in Crowley’s handwriting. Although not mentioned in this letter, Crowley apparently visited Barton Brow, near Torquay, Devon, early in 1941, with the intention of finding a site for a new ‘Abbey of Thelema.’ Much of this letter is devoted to a discourse on Crowley’s financial situation, and how it affects his work …. “I have never had any use for money since I took the Oath of the Abramelin Operation, save only to further the Great Work. At present A. C. does need it for his personal use, because he can no longer work in a tent on a glacier. He does need space, access to works of reference, reasonable comfort …. ” He also says how, had he the money, he would make copies of his works available to free libraries across the world, and that “Publicity is wanted, that the seeker may know where to look. He writes scathingly of the success of A.M.O.R.C. and like groups, suggest that “it is as if the Patent Medicine Vendors had succeeded in putting the B[ritish] M[edical] A[ssociation] out of business …” An interesting, meandering letter. It begins and ends with the Thelemic greetings, and is signed simply “Yours Aleister.” From the collection of former Crowley associate, Edward Noel FitzGerald, (1908-1958), Frater Agape, a IX degree member of the O.T.O. Paper a little browned and creased at the edges, otherwise Very Good condition, with just the usual light creases from having been folded to fit into an envelope. (32027) $850.00
Aleister Crowley, A single leaf autograph letter, Signed, from Aleister Crowley to Lady Harris (Frieda Harris). ND . Written on both sides of a single sheet of plain 4 1/2 x 6 1/2 notepaper, the top side of which is headed ’10 Hanover Square, W 1′ in Crowley’s handwriting at the top of the page. Crowley writes, rather disparagingly, about Gerald Yorke, suggesting that even though Yorke had promised “to see the Tarot published ‘In Memoriam’ in case of my death” he is not to be trusted to keep his word. He mentions concerns about his own health, and being lonely but perks up at the thought of a Marx Bros. film: “Have you seen the final Marx film? Which film the critics pan. Blast them all!” The letter begins and ends with the Thelemic greetings, and is signed simply “Aleister.” Paper a little discolored, but otherwise Very Good condition, with just the usual light creases from having been folded to fit into an envelope. (32042) $750.00
Aleister Crowley, An autograph letter, Signed, from Aleister Crowley to Lady Harris (Frieda Harris). Jun 10, . Written on both sides of a single sheet of 5 1/4 x 7 inch pale blue-grey note paper, with the letterhead of the Thames Hotel, Maidenhead, Berks. Crowley acknowledges the receipt of a “charming letter” from Lady Harris, but spends much of this letter chastising her – in humorous yet firm fashion, for failing to tell him directly of the cancellation of the exhibition of the Thoth tarot originals which was supposed to have opened a few days earlier at the Nicholas and Venn gallery in Oxford. Although this was supposedly “Cancelled because of war” it later transpired that the gallery management was scared of the adverse publicity association with Crowley might bring. This was not known to Crowley then, and indeed he berates Harris for not telling him of the cancellation of the exhibition herself, rather than leaving him to get the news indirectly. The letter begins and ends with the Thelemic greetings, and is signed “Fraternally yours, Aleister”, alongside “666 9 = 2 A.’. A.’.” Paper a little toned, otherwise Very Good condition, with just the usual light crease from having been folded to fit into an envelope. (32023) $800.00
Aleister Crowley, An autograph letter, Signed, from Aleister Crowley to Lady Harris (Frieda Harris). Sept. 9, . Addressed simply to “My poor dear Child”, but without doubt to Frieda Lady Harris. Written on both sides of a single sheet of 6 3/4 x 9 inch hotel notepaper, with the printed address of the Park Lane Hotel, Piccadilly, struck through and replaced with Crowley’s 10 Hanover Square address. A humorous note in which Crowley suggests that Harris actually pays attention to what he says: “You give me worship as a Magus, but your belief is not practical. You don’t take me seriously when I warn you that your attitude is wrong or your activities unwise. ” Crowley also encourages Harris to “try to get a definite vision of the Juggler as I described him” and offers his commiserations over a hand injury that is clearly delaying her work on the tarot images. The letter begins and ends with the Thelemic greetings, and is signed simply “Aleister.” Paper a little browned, otherwise Very Good condition, with just the usual light creases from having been folded to fit into an envelope. (32025) $800.00
Aleister Crowley, A lengthy autograph letter, Signed, from Aleister Crowley to Lady Harris (Frieda Harris). Dec. 14 . Written on all all eight sides of two pairs of conjoined sheets of quality 5 1/2 x 7 inch yellow notepaper. The letter is simply headed ‘The Gardens,’ ‘Dec. 14’ in Crowley’s handwriting at the top of the page. This most likely referred to his lodgings at 14 Lassell Gardens, Maidenhead, and – from the context – the year 1941. The first page of each of the two pairs of sheets has the OTO pyramid, dove and chalice lamen printed in red in the top right corner. An important letter, nearly 800 words long. Crowley speaks at length on the tarot cards, describing various attributions etc (particularly to the various Princes, on which Harris was obviously working at the time) as well as commenting on Harris’s personal magical progress, and quoting and elucidating a passage from the Book of the Law. He then rages against Michael Juste (Michael Houghton – of the Neptune Press, Atlantis Bookshop etc.) who he says “wrote me most discouragingly about my MS.” apparently, Crowley states, as preparation for haggling over price. Interestingly Crowley has clipped Juste’s signature from a letter and pasted it next to his tirade – no explanation is given but presumably the action was with some magickal intent. Much of the last two pages are devoted to a seven paragraph discussion of the Yi King and the forces that empower it: “It is at least no impossible that there should be intelligences greater and subtler than our minds (these should control blind forces as our minds do our muscles) … The best prospect of human progress is to discover, and communicate with, these intelligences…ït is the particular task of the magician to accomplish this.” The letter begins and ends with the Thelemic greetings, and is signed simply “F.:ly [Fraternally] 666.” A few small pin holes at the top of the pages, otherwise Very Good condition, with just the usual light creases from having been folded to fit into an envelope. (32041) $1,200.00
Aleister Crowley, An autograph letter, Signed, from Aleister Crowley to Lady Harris (Frieda Harris). January 25, . A single sheet of 8″ x 10″ paper, folded once to give four ‘pages.’ The letter is simply headed ‘The Gardens,’ Jan. 21′ which most likely referred to his lodgings at 14 Lassell Gardens, Maidenhead, and – from the context – the year 1942. About a third of the handwritten letter is devoted to a discussion of a cheque that has gone missing, and a tirade against bankers and the banking system, with the remaining two-thirds on various matters including Crowley’s health, letters received, etc., and their joint work on the Tarot, which would become the ‘Book of Thoth.’ In one passage Crowley observes “I do hope you are getting on with those Princes. This Tarot begins to prey on my mind; I feel I shall not be well until the baby is born.” The letter begins and ends with the Thelemic greetings. Rather charmingly Crowley has added small boxes with the words not Law, not Love, not Will, beneath the closing greeting, presumably to emphasise to Harris that these words should not be capitalised. The letter is signed simply “Aleister.” One small pin puncture – where the letter was evidently attached to something (or vice versa), page lightly browned, otherwise Very Good condition, with just the usual light creases from having been folded to fit into an envelope. (32017) $850.00
Aleister Crowley, A single leaf manuscript note, headed ‘Memorandum’, Signed, from Aleister Crowley to Lady Harris (Frieda Harris). ND. Circa [1942?]. A handwritten note on two sides a single sheet of poor quality 4 3/4 x 8 inch buff notepaper. Although the addressee is not named, it was almost certainly Lady Harris. Crowley outlines his thoughts on trying to pitch their forthcoming work on the tarot to R. H. Naylor, a popular astrologer for the Sunday Express, who he evidently believed could be their road to riches. On the reverse Crowley has written – or really painted – in inch high letters “NO PROOFS” and in half-inch letters “NO LETTER” The note is simply signed ‘666.’ A little discolored and creased, particularly at the edges, and with the usual fold across the center from having been placed in an envelope. (32036) $650.00
Aleister Crowley, An autograph letter, Signed, from Aleister Crowley to Lady Harris (Frieda Harris). July 2, . Two conjoined leaves of pale blue-grey note paper, giving four 5 1/4 x 7 inch pages. The letter is headed ‘July 2,’ 14 Lassell Gardens, Maidenhead, and is over three ‘pages.’ From the context it was most likely written in the year 1942. Lady Harris was evidently undertaking a ‘Great Magical Retirement’ at the time, and much of the letter is devoted to Crowley’s comments on related magickal issues: “When you formulate an aspiration to the G[reat] W[ork] you are placed under observation; and, if chosen as a likely candidate, come automatically under discipline. Rule No 1 is that any person, thing, or idea that you allow to come before the G.: W.: is removed without anaesthetics …… Now the whole conception of “sacrifice” is foreign to the system of Thelema. …” The letter begins and ends with the Thelemic greetings. The letter is signed “Fraternally, Aleister.” Paper a little toned, otherwise Very Good condition, with just the usual light creases from having been folded to fit into an envelope. (32020) $800.00
Aleister Crowley, An autograph letter, Signed, from Aleister Crowley to Lady Harris (Frieda Harris). die Martis [Tuesday], Kal. Apr. [March/April] . A lengthy autograph letter, written on all six sides of 3 sheets of 5 x 8 inch notepaper, with “Barton Brow, Great Hill Road, Torquay,” in Crowley’s handwriting at the head of the page. A broad ranging letter – Crowley recounts – rather pointedly it is later revealed – that “The late Frater .: O.P.V. [Norman Mudd] had on the stocks a book calling attention to the frequency (both in history and in literature) of tragedy caused by lack of frankness ..” From there he discusses the failure of governments, and in a passage perhaps even more relevant now than it was then, he writes that “The way to prevent war is to expose the intrigues that led toward it.” Much of the rest of letter is devoted to more mundane matters: a squabble over supposedly unpaid rent, his delight at being sent a wireless set (and speculation on whether it would be better to purchase it outright rather than rent it), plans to move, and complaints about a leaky roof. Still, he evidently liked his new digs, which he described thus “I have a very nice room 15′ x 12′ with a bit window to the East, and a Window-double-door in the South leading to a private balcony. The bed is very comfortable, and I have a quite useful Quasi-Raven [desk] for writing. Bookshelves too. There is a portable electric fire and a fireplace. Really I could hardly ask for anything better …” As always he offers a little magickal advice … “May I remind you that all Eastern sages, and, in the West, Abramelin the Mage, make it Condition No. 1 that the Aspirant gets rid of his family somehow?” The letter begins and ends with the Thelemic greetings, and is signed simply “Yours Aleister.” Paper a little browned, otherwise Very Good condition, with just the usual light creases from having been folded to fit into an envelope. (32030) $950.00
Aleister Crowley – Letter / Note. Recipient Unknown.
Aleister Crowley, (Signed). A short handwritten note to an unknown recipient on the ingredients for making gin, by Crowley, signed with initials ‘A.C.’ and dated 1929. The Beast as bootlegger? The note is written on the verso of a 4″x 5″ rectangle of paper, neatly torn from a piece of letterhead of the “Grand Hotel, Torquay.” The verso has the hotel’s details, with an inset picture of the building, and the year 1929, and the words “Sugar Candy” written in large letters in Crowley’s hand. One the reverse is a note – evidently referring to the “Sugar Candy” – saying, “Made by British Drug Houses Ltd. London. Order from your chemist. Would have sent you some, but don’t know how much sloe gin you want to make, & couldn’t find out how much is needed per gallon.” Signed simply ‘A.C.’ with his phallic ‘A’. Shows an interesting side of AC – who delighted in inventing drinks, menus, recipes etc. Although the UK did not have prohibition as such, they did have strict liquor licensing laws at the time which may also explain the interest in the subject. A little yellowed and with a largish cup ring (looks more like tea than gin!) otherwise VG condition. (32039) $450.00
d) Aleister Crowley. Original Handwritten Menu Cards. 1938 – 1940.
Not content with being a magician, mountaineer, painter and poet, Crowley was also no mean chef, who throughout his life enjoyed inventing, cooking and serving a wide variety of meals. He was arguably a pioneer of what is now known as ‘fusion cuisine’, and was so enthusiastic about his culinary abilities that he tried several times to open his own restaurant: one plan ‘The Black Magic Café’ a precursor of today’s theme restaurant, and the other, ‘Le Petit Potage’, a more ‘upscale’ establishment.
At some stage in 1938 Crowley acquired a set of blank menu cards, on which he recorded the menus of the meals that he had served guests (and sometimes just himself). Obviously taken with the idea he later had some personalised cards printed with his ‘Mark of the Beast’ seal in gilt at the top.
Aleister Crowley, An Original Handwritten Menu Card for a meal he served on Monday, Dec. 26 . On a plain white card, 4″ x 3 ½” with the word ‘Menu’ gilt stamped in relief at the top. Written on the card, in Crowley’s hand, is “Lunch Dec 26 / Balachow cheese biscuits / Agneau Noel Bhindi / Boar’s Head / Stilton / Coffee Liquers.” We know from Crowley’s diaries that his guests that day were his friend (and later biographer) Charles Richard Cammell, and his wife. Crowley recorded that they enjoyed “A good lunch and talk.” A little dusty, overall VG+ condition. (32243) $300.00
Aleister Crowley, An Original Handwritten Menu Card for a meal he served on Monday, Jan. 2 . On a plain white card, 4″ x 3 ½” with the word ‘Menu’ gilt stamped in relief at the top. Written on the card, in Crowley’s hand, is “Jan 2 Lunch / Potage Bêche-de-mer / Boar’s Head / Avocado Pear Salad / Richebourg ’29 / Creole aux Fraises Crême / Stilton Cheese au Porto /Coffee – Armagnac ’88.” We know from Crowley’s diaries that he shared this fabulous repast with Lady Harris. A little dusty, overall VG+ condition. (32243) $300.00
Aleister Crowley, An Original Handwritten Menu Card for a meal he served on Thurs, Jan. 5 . On a plain white card, 4″ x 3 ½” with the word ‘Menu’ gilt stamped in relief at the top. Written on the card, in Crowley’s hand, is “Dinner Jan 5 / Zambar of Sole with Ram’s Horns / Oeufs brouillés aux crevettes et anchois / Cerises Reichstag / Café ” According to Crowley’s diaries he seems to have spent the day recovering from a ‘liver chill’ and a late night bout of sex magick, and presumably dined alone. A little dusty, overall VG+ condition. (32243) $300.00
Aleister Crowley, An Original Handwritten Menu Card for a meal he served on Sunday, July 9th (?) . On a plain white 5 1/4 x 3 1/2″ card especially printed with Crowley’s ‘Mark of the Beast’ seal in gilt at the top. Written on the card, in Crowley’s hand, is: