Some remarkable items in the latest catalogues from Weiser Antiquarian…
Weiser Antiquarian Books is Pleased to Announce the Availability of Two New Catalogs:
Catalog Fifty-Six: Aleister Crowley: 93 Secondhand, Out-of-Print and New Books.
Catalog Fifty-Seven: Aleister Crowley: Rare Books and Documents.
Weiser Antiquarian Books is Pleased to Announce the Availability of
Two New Catalogs:
Catalog Fifty-Six: Aleister Crowley.
93 Secondhand, Out-of-Print and New Books.
Catalog Fifty-Seven: Aleister Crowley.
Rare Books and Documents.
The fifty-sixth of our on-line catalogs comprises a selection of 93 secondhand, out-of-print and new books from stock, both hard and soft-cover. Many of the books are standard Crowley texts such as: The Book of Lies, The Book of Thoth, Liber Aleph, Eight Lectures on Yoga, Little Essays Toward Truth, etc. etc., however they are also some unusual titles and interesting editions. The latter includes the handsome three volume set of T. R. Smith’s Poetica Erotica. A Collection of Rare and Curious Amatory Verse (1921), which contains three Crowley poems, and American Aphrodite. Volume 4, No. 13. (1954), a “racy men’s journal” – nicely produced in hardcover form – by habitual literary pirate and pornographer Samuel Roth, which includes a passionate – but by no means pornographic – Crowley poem. An even more blatant piracy is L. W. De Laurence’s edition of The Book of the Goetia (1916?) – De Laurence not only stole the text, but republished it under his own name, as if it were his own work, although it is taken unaltered from Crowley’s edition. A number of “pocket book” or “pulp paperbacks” by or about Crowley that were published from the 1950s through seventies, and which have wonderful period cover art rate as personal favourites. These include the first soft-cover edition of John Symonds’ The Great Beast. The Life of Aleister Crowley (1956), a truly grotesque reprint of the same work (1963), C. R. Cammell’s Aleister Crowley: The Black Magician (1969), The Complete Astrological Writings (1976), and wonderful “drug-culture” vintage editions of The Diary of a Drug Fiend (1972), and Moonchild (1972) as well as a variety of other books from the same period with similar artwork. With 93 books there are simply to many too summarize, but we commend the reader to take his or her time and browse the listings – there are some quite unusual pieces, as well as a lot of solid, reasonably-priced texts.
The fifty-seventh of our catalogs is in two sections, rare books and rare documents. The books section begins with signed copies of two Qabalistic works by Crowley’s student Frater Achad: the “autograph edition” of Q. B. L. or the Bride’s Reception (1925) and The Anatomy of the Body of God (also 1925) and then lists a number of significant First Editions of works by Crowley: The Argonauts (1904), The Book of Lies (1913), The City of God (1943), The Equinox of the Gods (Second Issue 1937), The Fun of the Fair (1942), Rodin in Rime (1907), and Magick In Theory and Practice ( In 4 parts, with color plate: 1929). Other exceptional items include a signed copy of the magnificent First Edition of The Book of Thoth (1944), a First Edition of Eight Lectures on Yoga (1939) in the rare dustjacket, and a First Issue of the First Edition of Konx Om Pax (1907), signed by Crowley under the portrait. A set of The Equinox Vol. I, Numbers I – X (1909 – 1913), is the finest that we have ever seen, and also has an interesting association, in that the first volume has the Austin Osman Spare designed bookplate of Pickford Waller, Spare’s main patron of the time. (Spare was of course an associate of Crowley’s, and later contributor to ‘The Equinox.’). Another seldom seen set is the first five issues (all published) of Eugen Grosche’s German-language journal Saturn Gnosis (1928 – 1930), the sumptuously produced “house journal” of the occult order the Fraternitas Saturni, which included the first publication of several essays by Crowley.
Many of the documents in the second part of the catalog were formerly in the possession of Gerald Yorke (1901-1983) a friend and former disciple of Crowley’s. Some of them date from Crowley’s lifetime, including a magnificent Cefalu-period typescript reflection on Gaugin and Crowley’s attitude to art with a handwritten note by Crowley on it, an important manuscript copy of a section of “De Natura Deorum,” the “secret instruction of the VIIth degree” in the handwriting of Frieda Harris, and a typescript of Liber Trigrammaton, that was almost certainly prepared for use by an initiate of the A.’. A.’., with a brief manuscript note in the hand of Gerald Yorke. Other unique items include a superb (and mysterious) typed letter, signed, from Aleister Crowley to W. R. Inge, promoting “The Equinox of the Gods,” that is still in it’s envelope, with accompanying original prospectus, and a magnificently penned holograph contract for an abortive issue of “The Book of the Law,” dated 1935 and signed “Baphomet.” More recent curiosities are copies of two letters – one of which has on it a brief manuscript note signed by Kenneth Grant – relating to Arkana Press’s controversial decision to cease publishing “Magick.” There is also an important selection of typescripts made or commissioned by Yorke in the years following Crowley’s death. At the time, Yorke, Karl Germer, and a few others realized that many of Crowley’s important works existed only in a single manuscript or typescript, and that if they did not move quickly to track down and copy those, they could be lost forever. It is no overstatement that these typescripts played an important part in preserving Crowley’s legacy, and indeed some of the originals from which they were taken are now lost, with Yorke’s copies representing their earliest known state.