Thanks to Weiser Antiquarian Books for permitting me to include their latest catalogue here. There are some remarkable items: the leather notebook, especially, would make a delightful gift for the owner and editor of a prominent Thelemic website…
Aleister Crowley: Holy Books & Holy Days
Perhaps appropriately – given the forthcoming Thelemic Holidays (The ‘Feast for the Three Days of the Writing of The Book of the Law’ that is observed on April 8, 9 and 10) – the catalog is again devoted to works by and about Aleister Crowley. Once more we count ourselves lucky to be able to offer some truly rare and unusual items, from a number of different private collections…
An illustrated version of this catalog can be viewed on-line at www.weiserantiquarian.com/catalog – a text only version follows below.
Five items in the the catalog stand out stand out as truly special. Three of these are books, one being a First Edition of the first volume of Crowley’s THELEMA (also known as The Holy Books), the second an inscribed copy of Crowley’s Little Essays Toward Truth that was formerly in the collection of the well known film-maker Kenneth Anger and carries his bookplate, and the third Crowley’s own heavily annotated copy of his friend J. W. N. Sullivan’s book, The Bases of Modern Science, a work which Crowley held in such high regard that he quoted it extensively in his Eight Lectures on Yoga. The other two items are manuscripts, one being an original pocket notebook, carried by Crowley in the late 1930s, and the other the original two-page manuscript of the Chorus to the Gnostic Catholic Mass. Each of these pieces is an amazing artifact with its own unique history, further details of which are given in their respective listings. The five are grouped together in the first section of the catalog.
The second section of the catalog lists three works by Crowley, with original lithographs after sketches by Auguste Rodin. All three books are limited editions, but are in fact far scarcer than their limitations suggest. In at least one case – that of Rodin in Rime – many copies were lost or damaged in a warehouse flood, although it seems likely that many others fell victim to ‘breakers’ who destroyed them to remove and sell separately the Rodin lithographs. The third section of the catalog presents a number of rare Crowley manuscript items, including several manuscript poems and hand-drawn astrological charts, with Crowley’s annotations.
The fourth section is devoted to books by Crowley, and includes some rare and early editions such as a clean set of the First Edition of Crowley’s Confessions, and copies of The Heart Of The Master, An Open Letter to Lord Beaverbrook, Carmen Saeculare. and. Wege Zum Sanktuarium, the latter a rare German-language collection of Crowley’s works published in 1925 by Heinrich Tränker and Karl Germer. The fifth and final section of the catalog is made up of books about Aleister Crowley. Included are several volumes from the collection of Victor Neuburg’s biographer, Jean Overton Fuller, with her bookplate, some unusual works by Crowley associate W. B. Crow, and a scarce, contemporary (1916) Rosicrucian work by R. Swinburne Clymer, with a scathing attack on Crowley.
Further details about this catalog, and how to purchase books from it, can be found at the end of the listings in the on-line version.
[Aleister Crowley,] THELEMA [Also known as The Holy Books, Vol. I] Liber LXI vel Causae and Liber Cordis Cincti Serpente Vel LXV, [London]: Privately Printed, , ND [1909 / 1910]. First edition. Hardcover, small 8vo, 5 1/2 x 3 3/4 inches, 64pp. Original full vellum binding with elaborate gilt stamping to front cover. Printed on Japanese vellum. Text printed within border of gold rules. A First Edition of the first volume of Thelema – commonly known as The Holy Books – a series of ‘inspired writings’ by Crowley which made their first appearance in print in 1909 as three slender volumes, each of which bore the single-word title THELEMA (in Greek) within a decorative border embossed on the front panel of the binding. Each volume was assigned to one of the initiatory levels in the Outer College of the A.’. A.’. as the lower grades of the Order were known. Thus Probationers were required to purchase and study the first volume, which contained Liber LXI, The Preliminary Lection, and Liber LXV, vel Cordis Cincti Serpente. If and when the Probationer passed successfully to the grade of Neophyte – he or she then bought and studied the second volume, and so on. The print run of the volumes is unknown, but it was certainly extremely small and the volumes are genuinely rare. This copy was originally issued to “Meredith Starr” (birth name Herbert Close), and has his A.’. A.’. motto – ‘Superna sequor’ – in the space on the final page of the volume which was left blank for the aspirant who purchased the volume to complete as a sort of pledge. Starr was a disciple of Crowley’s for a short time, having joined the A.’. A.’. on 6 June 1910 as a Probationer under J. F. C. Fuller, with whom he was a lifelong friend. Crowley has written on his Probationer Oath “Went out of his mind and never came back.” Close left Crowley to be a chela to Meher Baba and years later after his return from India he served as a guru to Ithell Colquhoun, as detailed in her biography of S. L. McGregor Mathers, The Sword of Wisdom. At some stage the book made its way into the collection of Jean Michaud, possibly having first been returned to Crowley by Starr, and passed from Crowley to Michaud. Michaud was well known in British esoteric circles at the time, ran his own occult group, and was the author of a number of occult books published by the UMA Press, London, in the late 1940s. Crowley first met him in July 1937, and the two saw one another from time to time over the following years. Weiser Antiquarian Books listed Michaud’s inscribed copy of The Book of the Law in the first of the new series of catalogues. Vellum binding a little splayed as usual, a few light signs of use, still a VG+ copy of a truly rare book. (32498) $3,000.00
Aleister Crowley, Little Essays Toward Truth. London: The O.T.O., 1938. First edition. Hardcover, small 8vo, 96 + viii pp adverts. Original blue cloth, gold stamped title and sigil on front board. Fold out Tree of Life design at rear. THIS COPY INSCRIBED BY CROWLEY. The inscription, which is on the front free endpaper reads: “á mon cheri | | Son ami affectieux | Aleister [very phallic ‘A’] | Nouvelle aimie | bonne fortune!” Unfortunately the original dedicatee is not known, although the copy was later in the collection of avant-garde film-maker Kenneth Anger, and has his Zaehnsdorf-made leather bookplate with a winged beetle design and ANGER on the front pastedown. Anger, (b. 1927) is well known as an underground film maker, and for his long-term interest in the occult in general, and Aleister Crowley in particular. In 1955 he visited the ruins of Crowley’s Abbey of Thelema at Cefalù, and filmed their, and quite recently accepted an initiation into the O.T.O. As the title implies Little Essays Toward Truth is a collection of essays: Kabbalistic, Magical and Philosophical, written by Crowley at his mature best. The First English edition. There are two binding variants known – this is the one where the bottom of the sloping ‘leg’ of the letter R in ‘Toward’ and ‘Truth’ on the front board is extends below the bottom edge of the other letters in the words. There is a hint of bubbling to the cloth on the front cover – presumably the legacy of a slight exposure to damp once. Discrete previous owner’s name (a different one!) at the top of front pastedown, endpapers a trifle darkened, otherwise a Vg+ copy, with just a hint of rubbing to the edges (Please note the photos do not do the book justice). Lacks the seldom-encountered dustjacket. (32450) $2,650.00
Aleister Crowley, A small black leather notebook, with Crowley’s manuscript notes on appointments, lectures, a work in progress (Magick Without Tears) etc. Circa 1930s. A small (3 1/2 x 6 inch) black textured leather notebook, approx 100 pages, all edges gilt. Obviously a pocket notebook, in which Crowley jotted down random ideas, appointments, etc. as they came to him. He has started writing in the book from each end, working towards the middle. The notes which start at what might be called the “true front” begin with a page of thoughts on education, followed by seven pages of notes which begin “Every man and every woman is a star, A star is an accident of space, All in one substance; the differences are due to the stage of experience and to position etc.” These notes would appear to be an outline either for a lecture, an essay or possibly a book. They are followed by about 30 pages of random addresses and phone numbers (including that of Patricia Doherty, and numerous publishers), and various appointments and diary fragments. The text that begins at the rear end of the book starts with a short list of books which Crowley presumably intended to read: two at least are fictional works that have thinly-veiled references to him. This list is followed by a dozen pages, which are a synopsis and outline of Magick Without Tears – particularly interesting as they represent Crowley’s early thoughts on the book. The following pages are blank, until they meet up again with those written in from the other direction. In all about half of the book has Crowley’s writing in it – varying from a few words hastily jotted on a page to the closely written synopsis of Magick Without Tears. Some pages have been torn out – presumably used by Crowley as scrap paper – and a few of the previously conjunct leaves are now detached, otherwise overall Very Good condition. An interesting, unusual and very personal item – presumably carried by Crowley in his vest-pocket as he went about his daily business in the mid-late nineteen thirties. (32427) $4,750.00
Aleister Crowley, An important original manuscript item. The two-leaf holograph manuscript of the Chorus to the Gnostic Catholic Mass (& ‘The Ship.’) circa 1913. Thirty-one lines, headed ‘Chorus,’ handwritten in ink on the rectos only of two sheets of off-white paper ( 10 x 8 inches) In Crowley’s handwriting, with his manuscript corrections and alterations. Crowley apparently penned these lines whilst traveling in Russia in 1913. On his return to England he published them as the final Chorus to his mystery-play, ‘The Ship’ which was published in The Equinox, Vol. I, No. 10 ( 1913). A note to this effect “Insert at end of The Ship after last speech, ‘as it is lawful, to thy child,'” is written in Crowley’s hand in the top margin of the first leaf of the manuscript. Crowley was evidently so impressed with the quality of the lyrics that he subsequently re-used them as the chorus for his Gnostic Catholic Mass. The Gnostic Mass, Liber XV, is of course the central rite of Ordo Templi Orientis and it’s ecclesiastical adjunct, the Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica. A unique and important Crowley manuscript item. A little darkened at the edges, and a couple of small pinholes in the top left margin, still over all VG+. (32480) $2,000.00
J. W. N. Sullivan, The Bases of Modern Science. New York: Doubleday, Doran & Company, 1929. First Edition. ALEISTER CROWLEY’S OWN COPY, WITH EXTENSIVE ANNOTATIONS. Hardcover, 8vo, x + 274 pp, Dark red cloth with black title, etc. to spine and front cover. , 20 tipped in half-tone plates, gilt on top edge, fore and bottom edges uncut. An extraordinary association copy. Written on the front free endpaper, in what is clearly Crowley’s handwriting, is: “Presented to | Aleister Crowley | by the author | June ’29 e.v.”. Numerous annotations: at least 30 pages have one or more annotations in Crowley’s handwriting, varying from four or five words to a paragraph. At least double that number have marginal lines and other markers, single word comments, corrections etc. John William Navin Sullivan (1886-1937), was a literary journalist and science writer: one of the first to write a popular account of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. He was well known in London literary circles in the interwar years, with friends including John Middleton Murry, T. S. Eliot, and Aldous Huxley. Sullivan first met Crowley in Paris in the twenties, and the two became close friends and chess partners. They had a complex relationship – for a time Crowley was Sullivan’s wife’s lover, apparently at her husbands suggestion – but their friendship survived, and it was Sullivan who introduced Aldous Huxley to Crowley in Berlin in 1930. Crowley was clearly very fond of Sullivan, whose name he put at the head of the list of three people to whom he dedicated his Confessions. He was also clearly very taken with this particular book, referring to it glowingly in his Eight Lectures on Yoga – “We will get down to modern science. ?. For general reading there is no better introduction than The Bases of Modern Science, by my old and valued friend the late J. W. N. Sullivan. I do not want to detain you too long with quotations from this admirable book. I would much rather you got it and read it yourself; you could hardly make better use of your time?” as well as quoting Sullivan in Magick Without Tears. The book shows some evidence of Crowley’s use apart from the many annotations. The front hinge is cracked between the front free endpaper and the half-title, but holding. There are a number of small and reasonably unobtrusive marks to the cloth, the spine has some light creases and is a little darkened, some rubbing to the edges. Still a VG copy. (32451) $3,750.00
Three Works by Crowley with Original Lithographs after Rodin.
Crowley met Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) in Paris in 1903, at time in which the usually-renowned French artist and sculptor was attracting some public criticism for his sculpture of Balzac. Crowley entered the debate, and wrote a series of poems in Rodin’s defense, which greatly pleased the poet. To quote Crowley’s Confessions: “The upshot was that Rodin invited me to come and stay with him at Meudon. The idea was that I should give a poetic interpretation of all his masterpieces. I produced a number of poems, many of which I published at the time in the Weekly Critical Review, an attempt to establish an artistic entente cordiale. The entire series constitutes my Rodin in Rime. This book is illustrated by seven of ten lithographs of sketches which Rodin gave me for the purpose.” Crowley used lithographs of the remaining three sketches of female nudes, as the frontispieces for three love poems to his wife, Rose Kelly, which he published as Rosa Mundi (1905), Rosa Coeli (1907), and Rosa Inferni (1907). In a typically Crowleyan twist, he ‘borrowed’ the surname of Rodin’s wife Katie Carr, and adapted it into the pseudonym “H. D. Carr” under which he published the series.
Aleister Crowley, [Rodin in Rime] Seven Lithographs by Clot from the Water-Colours of Auguste Rodin, with a Chaplet of Verse by Aleister Crowley. London: Printed for the Author at the Chiswick Press, 1907. First Edition. Hardcover. Folio. x + 68 pp. Original gilt-stamped white buckram. Color lithograph of reclining female nude executed by Clot after a pencil and wash design by Auguste Rodin as frontis. Edition limited to 488 copies on handmade paper (there were also 10 copies on China paper and 2 on vellum). Crowley’s poetic interpretation of a number of Rodin’s artworks, alongside lithographic reproductions of seven sketches with water-colours of female nudes which Rodin presented to him during a visit in 1903. The book is actually far scarcer than it’s limitation implies: apparently much of the stock was stored in a warehouse that flooded, and were destroyed or damaged, although Crowley salvaged what he could. Surviving copies ˆ as this ˆ often show a light damp discoloration to the margins of the plates. As this is not evident in the rest of the volume, it suggests that the books were still unbound at the time of the flood, and that it was the pile of plates that suffered worst. The volume has been professionally rebacked, with the original back strip laid down. This is somewhat yellowed, and has a few closed snags in the cloth, and some chipping at the head and foot. The boards are relatively clean, with a few light bumps to the corners. Very light shadowing onto title page from the frontispiece, and to the other pages facing plates as always. Later previous owner’s inscription on second blank, otherwise internals unusually bright and clean. Otherwise a VG copy of a genuinely scarce work. (32497) $2,500.00
[Aleister Crowley,] writing as H.D. Carr. Rosa Inferni. A Poem. With an Original Composition by Auguste Rodin. London: Printed at the Chiswick Press, 1907. First Edition. Limited. Softcover. Folio. (viii)+ 8 + (iv) pp. Original brick-red wrappers bound in. Color lithograph of reclining female nude executed by Clot after a pencil and wash design by Auguste Rodin. Edition limited to 488 copies on handmade paper (there were also 10 copies on China paper and 2 on vellum). One of a suite of poems written by Crowley for his then-wife, Rose in 1904. Wrappers chipped around the edges but have been professionally restored and reinforced with a Japanese paper backing (leaving an opaque overlap where the chips are missing). Very light shadowing onto title page from the frontispiece, as always. Internals unusually bright and clean, aside from the chipping a VG+ copy of an unusual and fragile work. (32435) $1,000.00
[Aleister Crowley,] writing as H.D. Carr. Rosa Mundi. A Poem. With an Original Composition by Auguste Rodin. Paris: Ph. Renouard, 1905. First Edition. Limited. Softcover. Folio. (viii)+ 16 + (iv) pp. Original rose-colored wrappers. Color lithograph of reclining female nude executed by Clot after a pencil and wash design by Auguste Rodin. Edition limited to 488 copies on handmade paper (there were also 10 copies on China paper and 2 on vellum). One of a suite of poems written by Crowley for his then-wife, Rose in 1904. Spine of wrappers and a couple of short tears to the blanks have been professionally – and almost invisibly – restored. To wrapper quite badly faded – almost to a dark buff rather than its original rose color – and has one vertical crease near the spine. Very light shadowing onto title page from the frontispiece, as always. Internals unusually bright and clean, and overall a VG+ copy of an unusual and fragile work. (32436) $1,000.00
Crowley Manuscript Items.
Aleister Crowley, Original single-leaf holograph manuscript of the poem “Dumb” by Aleister Crowley. [circa 1910] . A sixteen line poem written in ink on one side of a sheet of faintly-ruled 10 x 7 1/2 inch graph paper. A complete original draft, in Crowley’s handwriting, of his poem ‘Dumb!’, which was published in The Equinox, Vol. I, No. 9 (1913). Judging by the lack of corrections – there are only two – this was probably a ‘clean copy’, rewritten by Crowley for the typesetter or typist, or perhaps itself for submission to a publisher: he notes in The Equinox that the poem had been “rejected by The English Review.” A short tear in the upper margin, left margin uneven – the page has obviously been torn from a graph paper notebook. A couple of small marks, still over all VG+. (32475) $650.00
Aleister Crowley, Original single-leaf holograph manuscript of a previously-unpublished poem “Bright’s Disease” by Aleister Crowley [circa 1920s] . London: NP, ND. The manuscript of an unpublished ten-line poem, handwritten in ink on the recto of a sheet of 7 3/4 x 6 1/4 headed notepaper from the Savoy Hotel, London. Strange as it may seem, this is a humorous poem on the subject of ‘Bright’s Disease’ (a now obsolete term that covered a number of kidney related disorders), an illness which claimed amongst other H. P. Blavatsky and H. P. Lovecraft. A single penned line in Crowley’s hand on the verso has been crossed out. One crease from having been folded, and a few light finger marks to the page edges, otherwise near-Fine. (32474) $850.00
Aleister Crowley, The original holograph manuscript of the poem “Boo to Buddha!” by Aleister Crowley. (Circa 1910) . A sixty-six line love poem written in ink on the rectos only of five (10 x 8 inch) sheets of plain off white writing paper. The complete original manuscript, in Crowley’s handwriting, of his poem ‘Boo to Buddha!’, which was published in The Equinox, Vol. I, No. 10 (1913). Judging by the number of revisions and corrections (at least thirty) it seems likely that this is the original first draft of the poem. Despite the title the poem is a love song, apparently to his first love. There is a small old rust mark from staples in the upper left corner of the pages and the edges are a little darkened, otherwise Near Fine. (32477) $900.00
Aleister Crowley, A Handwritten And Drawn Astrological Natal Chart Prepared By Aleister Crowley For Alan Rae [Allen Burnett-Rae]. ND – circa 1940s. Drawn on the reverse of a single sheet of 7 x 5 1/2 inch notepaper with the letterhead of the Langham Hotel, Portland Place, London on the recto. The chart itself is in pencil, with the attendant astrological symbols in ink. Crowley has written Alan Rae’s name in pencil at the head of the page – oddly he has written ‘A’ or ‘Alan’ in the phallic style he usually reserved for signing his own name. No interpretation is given. Allan Burnett-Rae was, for a time, Crowley’s landlord, and became a friendly acquaintance. He later set down his reminiscences of the Beast, which were published as Aleister Crowley: A Memoir of 666, Victim Press, London, 1971. There is a dusty strip down one margin of the chart, and a light ring where someone – perhaps the Beast himself – has rested their mug on it, causing the ink on a couple of symbols to run slightly. Over all, VG condition. (32481) $500.00
Aleister Crowley, A Handwritten And Drawn Astrological Natal Chart Prepared By Aleister Crowley For Colin Brooks. ND – circa 1942. The chart is drawn on one side of a single sheet of 8 1/2 x 5 1/4 inch thick cream notepaper. The chart, its attendant symbols, and a couple of lines of astrological symbols are in ink. There are also two lines of pencilled notes on the subject, one of which suggests that a combination of alignments makes ‘makes him untrustworthy,’ and the other that his ascendant ‘adds opportunism, instability’. The person for whom Crowley prepared the chart, [William] Collin Brooks (1893 – 1959), was a journalist, broadcaster and prolific author. Brooks met Crowley through their mutual friend Louis Wilkinson in 1942. At the time Brooks was Chairman and Editor of the magazine Truth, and perhaps he and Crowley each scented that the other might be of some use to himself. The two saw one another quite regularly, and seem to have genuinely enjoyed each other’s company – there are numerous references to Brooks in Crowley’s diaries. For his part, Brooks ultimately decided that Crowley was a ‘charlatan’, but admired his literary skills.One crease across the middle, otherwise near fine condition. (32486) $650.00
Rare and Out-of-Print Works by Aleister Crowley.
Aleister Crowley, Illustrations by Susan E. Jameson. The Book of the Law – The Illuminated Edition. London: Neptune Press, 2004. First edition thus. Hardcover, Quarto, Unpaginated: approx. 142pp. (iv + 16 + 52 + iv + 66pp). Green cloth, with gilt titles, red end papers. This edition limited to 500 numbered copies. A special ‘illuminated edition’ of The Book of the Law, issued to celebrate the centenary of its ‘reception’ by Aleister Crowley and his wife, Rose, in Cairo in April 1904. Its comprises a sixteen page Introduction compiled from various lesser-known writings of Crowley’s on the subject by Hymenaeus Beta, the illustrated section: 26 leaves, printed on one side only, with the text of the Book of the Law set in a black type, within a border, around which are the intricate color illustrations by Susan Jameson. The artist/designer of the Via Tarot, Jameson is a professional artist, well known in British Thelemic circles. The illustrated section is followed by a reproduction of the original holograph manuscript of The Book of the Law, printed in red, at 93% of the original size. The edition is limited to 500 numbered copies. This total included a special sub-limitation of 31 copies containing an original mezzotint by Jameson which sold out immediately on publication. New book. Now out-of-print. Fine condition (no dustjacket issued) (14108) $150.00
[Aleister Crowley,] Writing as St E. A. of M. and S. Carmen Saeculare. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., 1901 . First Trade Edition. Softcover, Quarto. Green paper wrappers with title etc. and shamrock device printed in black on upper wrapper. (ii) + 30pp. According to Crowley’s first bibliographer, Duncombe-Jewell this edition was limited to 450 copies (there were also 6 copies printed on Roman vellum and 50 copies on handmade paper). A book of Crowley’s early poetry, comprising a Prologue. (The Exile), Carmen Saeculare, In the Hour Before Revolt and an Epilogue (To the American People on the Anniversary of their Independence.) In his Confessions Crowley observed ” Carmen Saeculare was actually the result of a more or less prophetic vision. Some of its forecasts have turned out wonderfully well, though the century is yet young; others await fulfilment — but I do not propose to linger on merely to obtain so morbid a satisfaction!” Wrappers are a little chipped around the edges and chipped and split at the spine (this would be a reasonably straightforward repair for a binder to undertake). Old piece of half-inch wide transparent tape along top edge – about one inch on front wrapper, around spine, and one inch on back wrapper. A few finger smudges on second blank, otherwise internally clean and fresh. A surprisingly uncommon work – a combination of its fragile binding and pseudonymous authorship have doubtless resulted in the destruction of many copies in the past, and Carmen Saeculare is now much scarcer than its print-run might suggest. (32437) $975.00
Aleister Crowley, Francis King (Editor & Introduction). Crowley on Christ. London: C. W. Daniel Ltd. , 1974. First Edition Thus. Hardcover. 8vo. 232 pp. Red cloth with gilt title, etc. to spine. A fascinating study of Christianity by Crowley. The text was originally published in mimeographed form by Karl Germer in 1953 under the title The Gospel According to St. Bernard Shaw, in an edition that was almost certainly less than 200 copies. This edition includes a new Introduction by Francis King, and is itself increasingly difficult to find. Cloth very slightly darkened at outmost edges, very light rubbing and bumps to lower edge, otherwise a Near Fine copy, in Near Fine dust jacket. (Light rubbing, not price clipped). (32453) $200.00
Aleister Crowley, The Drug. Cambridge, UK: Privately Printed, 1996. First Edition Thus. Softcover. large 8vo. 6 pp. Stapled card covers with printed paper title label on upper cover, tipped in b&w frontis. Edition limited to 93 copies. The first separate publication of a short story by Crowley that first appeared in The Idler (magazine), in 1909. Upper spine lightly bumped otherwise Fine condition. Scarce. (32454) $45.00
Aleister Crowley, (Preface by Israel Regardie). Eight Lectures on Yoga. The Equinox Volume III, Number Four. Dallas, TX: Sangreal Foundation, Inc. , 1972. Second Printing of this Edition. Hardcover. 8vo. 80 pp. Original blue cloth with silver title etc. to upper board and spine. Frontis. Widely regarded as one of Crowley’s best works, and as one of the wittiest and most insightful studies of the subject ever written by a Westerner. A tight clean VG+ copy, in G+ dust jacket (Dust jacket a bit chafed with a few small chips and tears around the edges) (25628) $75.00
Aleister Crowley, The Equinox of the Gods (being The Equinox Vol. III, No. III) . London: The O.T.O. / Samuel Weiser, 1937 / 1956 . (Second Printing, Second Issue). Hardcover. Quarto, vi + 138pp, Red cloth. Colour plates, diagrams. This is a 1950s reissue of the Second (1937) edition of Crowley’s Equinox of the Gods. Crowley first released the book in 1936, bound in white buckram, and with a specially-made pocket at the rear of the volume which held an envelope containing a facsimile of the original manuscript of The Book of the Law. In 1937 Crowley had the book reprinted, though the printers retained the 1936 publication date on the title page etc. A small number of the copies were printed on machine-made paper and were used for a ‘Subscriber’s Edition’ bound in cloth-backed boards. A larger number were printed on ‘Japanese paper’ and were again bound in white buckram. A significant number of the sheets of this latter issue remained unbound, and after Crowley’s death were sent to Karl Germer, who in 1955 passed approx. 500 sets of sheets to Samuel Weiser, bookseller and publisher in New York. Weiser had the generous margins cropped, and the sheets bound in maroon cloth, creating this hybrid issue. Although this issue did not have a pocket for the loose sheets of Liber AL – some copies, like this, were sold with the envelope containing them placed in a larger printed buff folder that was included as a separate item. Not surprisingly many of the sets lost the envelopes and loose pages over the years, so a complete set light this is genuinely scarce. The paper covers of the envelopes are somewhat darkened and grubby. The spine and an inch wide adjacent strip on the front board of the book are sun-faded, otherwise a tight, clean, VG copy+ (no dustjacket – none issued) (32491) $750.00
[Aleister Crowley,] Khaled Khan. The Heart Of The Master. London: Privately issued by the O.T.O., 1938 . First edition. Hardcover, Small 8vo. 40pp. ( + viii pp. adverts at rear) Original yellow buckram, purple stamped title and sigil on front board. Crowley wrote the bulk of The Heart of the Master in 1924, although the book was not published until 1938 when it appeared in this edition, in a print run which some have said was as small as a 100 copies (whatever it was, there is no doubt that it was small as this is a genuinely scarce book). A few tiny marks on the buckram and a short split in the paper at the top of the rear inside gutter. Still a near-fine copy, the nicest we have ever seen. (No dustwrapper – as far as is known none was issued). (32459) $1,250.00
[Aleister Crowley,] The Master Therion. Prolegomenon by Hymenaeus Beta. Liber Aleph Vel XCI The Book Of Wisdom Or Folly In The Form Of An Epistle Of 666 The Great Wild Beast To His Son 777 Being The Equinox Volume III, No. VI, New York: 93 Publishing, 1991. First Edition Thus. Hardcover. 8vo. xxxiv+221pp. Decorated beige cloth. Colour frontis, index. The best edition of one of Crowley’s most significant magical works. It was first published by Karl Germer, Crowley’s chief disciple and successor as head of the O.T.O. In his ‘Introduction’ Germer declared the book to be “.. one of the masterworks of the late Aleister Crowley … one of … [his] greatest and deepest books, into which he put his very blood.” He then quotes Crowley as writing that Liber Aleph, the Book of Wisdom or Folly,” was intended to express the heart of my doctrine in the most deep and delicate dimensions. It is the most tense and intense book I have ever composed.” Fine condition. (31549) $185.00
Aleister Crowley, Edited, with Annotations by John Symonds & Kenneth Grant, The Magical Record of the Beast 666. The Diaries of Aleister Crowley 1914-1920. Montreal, Canada: Next Step Publications, 1972. First North-American Edition. Hardcover sm.4to, xvi + 326 pp, red cloth, gilt title, etc. to spine. Bookplate of the late John Thomas Head, well known book collector and friend of Israel Regardie, on front pastedown. Spine ends lightly bumped, light shelf dust, otherwise Near Fine condition in VG+ dustjacket. (Just a hint of wear at lower spine, not clipped) (15929) $220.00
Aleister Crowley, Moonchild A Prologue. London: Mandrake, 1929. First edition. Hardcover. 8vo. 336pp. Original dark green cloth with gilt titles to spine. The first edition of Crowley’s famous novel. General light shelfwear to cloth, edges and points lightly rubbed, spine very slightly sunned, endpapers toned, page edges browned. Still overall a tight and unmarked VG + copy. Includes the striking Beresford Egan dust jacket which has three matchbox sized chips – at head of spine (affecting title), upper rear fore-edge and lower spine, otherwise just lighlty chafed and slightly discolored, VG. (32457) $850.00
Aleister Crowley, (New introduction by John Symonds). Olla. An Anthology of Sixty Years of Song. Thame: First Impressions , 1992. First Edition thus. Hardcover. 4to. (vi) 128 pp. Black quarter leather w/ cloth boards, gilt title etc to spine, marbled end papers, all edges gilt, satin page marker, frontis. Edition limited to 50 numbered copies. A facsimile edition Vol. no. 2 of the First Impression series. Fine condition. (32484) $135.00
[Aleister Crowley] Norman Mudd, An Open Letter to Lord Beaverbrook. Paris, NP, [Privately Printed], ND . First edition. Small octavo, 16pp., stapled booklet. Issued without wrappers. Ostensibly written by Crowley’s chief disciple of the time, Norman Mudd, there is no doubt that Crowley collaborated – and most likely co-wrote – the text. It is an appeal to British newspaper publisher Lord Beaverbrook for fair play in his papers’ treatment of Crowley – against whom they were then running an intense “smear campaign.” Amongst the scarcer of the Crowley booklets. Yorke. 105. From the library of Helen Parsons Smith (1910 – 2003), ex-wife of Jack Parsons, long time member of Agape Lodge of the OTO, and founder of Thelema Publications. Tiny chip (smaller than a match head) in fore-edge margin of first leaf, otherwise an exceptionally clean, near-Fine copy. The booklet is loosely enclosed in a specially-made set of modern blue cloth boards, with gilt titling to the front cover and spine, which Parsons Smith had made as a protective outer cover. (32431) $675.00
Aleister Crowley, The Spirit of Solitude. An Autobiography. Subsequently re-Antichristened The Confessions of Aleister Crowley. [2 Volumes]. London: The Mandrake Press, 1929. First edition. Hardcovers 2 Volumes. Each Quarto size. viii + 284pp. & viii + 308pp, Original white buckram, gilt titles and sigils on spines, stunning reproduction of a self-portrait sketch by Crowley and his “phallic ‘A’ signature” stamped in black on top board of each volume. Bevelled edges to boards. Teg. Printed on fine “Jap vellum.” Portrait frontispiece in each volume, plus numerous plates & diagrams, and a map. Errata slip at rear of second volume. The first edition of Crowley’s famous Confessions. Crowley had originally intended that the work would be published in six volumes, but only two of these had been published before the Great Depression and various internal disputes led to the demise of the publishers. The project languised uncompleted throughout Crowley’s lifetime, and it was not until 1969 that the Confessions were issued in a single volume edition, edited by John Symonds and Kenneth Grant. Whilst the single volume edition includes much of the text of the first two volumes (and of course that of the latter four) it is nonetheless an abridgement. These original volumes include a considerable amount of text, and many photographs – particularly pertaining to Crowley’s travels and mountaineering exploits – that were not reproduced in the later single volume. The spines are a little yellowed as always, otherwise this is an unusually nice set, bright, crisp clean, and virtually free of foxing. No dustjackets (none issued). (32434) $2,250.00
Aleister Crowley, The Star & the Garter, Boleskine, Foyers : Society for the Propagation of Religious Truth,, 1904. Popular Edition. Softcover. Quarto 11 x 8 inches, 80 pp., Dark green ‘camel hair’ wrappers with white lettering on upper wrapper. Crowley wrote that The Star & the Garter”contained some of my best lyrics” and was also “important in marking a new step in my poetic path ….. [for] …. I had mastered form better than I had ever done before …..” It was first published by Watts and Co. in 1903 in an edition of only 52 copies. Crowley published this “Popular Edition” the following year under his S.P.R.T. imprint “with the idea of reaching the people who might have been unable to buy my more expensive books.” Though much favoured by Crowley, the “camel hair” binding material was not at all durable, and this copy, like most, has suffered accordingly. It is missing most of the backstrip, and the wrappers are barely attached. There is a largish corner missing from the top spine edge of the back wrapper, and a cigarette size strip missing from the spine edge of the front wrapper. A few rubbed patches to each also, where they were once secured with tape. Internally a clean bright copy. It would be a good candidate for a sympathetic reback, or a rebinding with the largely intact wrappers bound in. (32433) $300.00
[Aleister Crowley,] edited etc. by Heinrich Tränker & Karl Germer. Pansophia. Wege Zum Sanktuarium Das magische Werk der “Grossen weissen Bruderschaft”. Nach authentischhen Quellen als Kommentare zur Botschaft der Meister. Leipzig: Collegium pansophicum, 1925. First Edition. Hardcover. large 8vo. 214 pp. Recent maroon cloth with original printed paper cover affixed to upper board, gilt titled spine label, b&w illustrations. Number 876 of an unspecified Limited Edition (presumably 1000 copies). Yorke 71. A significant collection of Crowley’s works in German translation, published by Karl Germer & Heinrich Tränker at the Collegium Pansophicum. The main works are: Liber II. Die Botschaft des Meisters Therion, Liber LXI Vel Causae, Die Einführungslektion mit der Geschichtslektion, Postkarten an Lehrlinge, Liber III Vel Jugorum, Liber HHH Sub Figura CCCXLI, AHA!, Der Meister Therion, Ein bigraphische Nachricht, Das Herz des Meisters, Ein Stern in Sicht, Kleine Mitteilungen. Old stamp erased from title page. Very light rubbing to boards, fresh endpapers, otherwise a sound and bright Near fine copy. (32467) $250.00
Aleister Crowley, introduction to Ethel Archer. The Whirlpool. London: Wieland & Co., 1911. First Edition. Hardcover. 8vo. 46pp (+4pp. adverts) Paper covered boards with striking illustration. Includes an Introduction & dedication by Crowley. Ethel Archer was a close associate of Crowley’s at the time, and one of the central figures in the group involved with the publication of The Equinox series. This work comprises a collection of poems addressed to Victor Neuburg and other Crowley intimates. Includes advertisements for The Equinox and other Crowley titles at rear. Boards and spine a little rubbed and darkened, spine starting to crack at fold with front board. Overall a VG+ copy of a work which due to its fragile nature is seldom seen (presumably most copies perished because of their rather delicate construction.) (32502) $550.00
Works Relating to Aleister Crowley.
Clifford Bax, Ideas and People. The Private Life of a Dramatist. London: Lovat Dickson Ltd., 1936. First Edition. Hardcover. large 8vo. 296 pp. Original red cloth with white titling to spine, b&w frontis, index. Although Bax was acquainted with Aleister Crowley, this book does not contain any obvious references to him – rather it has a Chapter ‘Sex in Art,’ which quotes conversations with Crowley’s former pupil Austin Osman Spare, and has an interesting photograph of Spare in a magical posture with chalice. Cloth unevenly faded/sunned, edges lightly chafed, page edges foxed, end papers lightly browned with some stray spotting. Otherwise a sound and internally bright copy. VG with Good dust jacket. (Dust jacket rubbed at all edges with some chipping to spine ends and upper front panel, not price clipped). (32463) $100.00
Hymenaeus Beta (Editor) with contributions by Martin P. Starr & Karl Nierendorf. An Old Master. The Art of Aleister Crowley. London: The O.T.O. in association with the October Gallery, 1998. First Edition. Quarto. 32pp (plus loosely inserted 4-page ‘Exhibition Guide.’ Pictorial Wrappers. The catalogue for the 1998 London exhibition, the only major show of Crowley’s art since the 1930s. It includes photographs of A.C. & reproductions of 40 works by Crowley (plus 2 by Frieda Harris & 1 forgery!), mostly in color. Fine condition but for a slight crease to lower corner of upper cover and light chafing. (31452) $95.00
R. Swinburne Clymer et al. The Rose Cross Order. A short sketch of the History of the Rose Cross Order in America, together with a sketch of the life of Dr. P. B. Randolph, the Founder of the Order. Also a short history of his persecutions and prosecutions, which resulted in giving him greater freedom than he had before, and which trial proved that the things of which he had been accused were absolutely false. …. Allentown, PA: Philosophical Publishing Company, 1916. First Edition. Hardcover. Small 8vo. 208 pp + 24 pp Publisher’s catalog at rear. Original blind stamped brown cloth with gilt title and author to spine and device to front upper board. An interesting if tendentious account of the history of Rosicrucianism in the USA. Clymer clearly felt threatened by Crowley – who at the time of writing had recently arrived in New York – and whom Clymer saw as a rival for the Rosicrucian mantle. His attack on Crowley – whom he dubs “one of the most evil, and probably the most degraded creature in the world [sic]” starts at the beginning of the book (page 2) and goes on for several pages. An interesting – if ill informed and badly-written – contemporary reaction to the Beast. Just a hint of rubbing to points and light browning to paper, otherwise a bright Near Fine copy of a surprisingly difficult to find work. (32472) $175.00
W. B. Crow, Mysteries of the Ancients. Issues no. 1 -18(Complete Set) London: Michael Houghton, 1942-1945. First Editions. Softcovers. Each limited to 500 copies. Small octavos. Approx. 38pp. each. Card covered booklets. A complete set of Crow’s Mysteries of the Ancients series, published by Michael Houghton of the Atlantis Bookshop between 1942-45. William Bernard Crow (b. 1895) had a life long interest in the occult. He was a friend of Aleister Crowley’s, although the extent of his relationship with the O.T.O. and the Gnostic Catholic Church is the matter of some conjecture. The eighteen booklets in the series delve into some obscure and quite unusual by-paths of occult speculation: they are 1) Planets, Gods and Anatomical Organs, 2) The Astrological Correspondences of Animals, Herbs & Jewels, 3) The Planetary Temples, 4) Human Anatomy in Temple Architecture, 5) Noah’s Ark, 6) Astrological Religion, 7) The Calendar, 8) Seven Wonders of the World 9) The Mysteries, 10) The Cosmic Mystery Drama, 11) The Historical Jesus – High Priest of the Mysteries, 12) The Law of Correspondences 13) The Symbolism of Chess And Cards, 14) Druids and the Mistletoe Sacrament, 15) The Symbolism of the Coronation, 16) Initiation, 17) The Nature Mysteries, 18) Appendices to the Series.. A little chipping around the edges of the wrappers, and some are a little darkened, but contents bright and unmarked. All are VG to VG+ condition. Sets are quite scarce. (31467) $450.00
W. B. Crow, The Science of Dreams. Adyar, Madras, India: Theosophical Publishing House, 1935. First Edition. Hardcover. large 8vo. [ vi ] + 42 pp. Original yellow cloth with black titling to upper board, tipped in color plate. An unusual work. by William Bernard Crow (1895 – ?) . Crow had a life long interest in the occult, and was a friend of Aleister Crowley’s, although the extent of his relationship with the O.T.O. and the Gnostic Catholic Church remains the matter of some conjecture. Cloth slightly faded with a few spots, boards lightly warped, corners bumped. Internally bright and unmarked. Overall VG. Scarce. (32460) $200.00
Jean Overton Fuller, The Magical Dilemma Of Victor Neuburg. London: W.H. Allen, 1965. First edition. Hardcover. 8 vo. xvi + 296 pp. Original black cloth with gilt title, etc. to spine, frontis, photographs. The First Edition of Jean Overton Fuller’s biography of Victor Neuburg, man of letters and one time disciple of Aleister Crowley. Includes extensive material on their magical work, including the Cairo workings. The first edition includes material excluded from the later Mandrake reissue. A few light marks to the boards, page edges dusty and lightly thumbed, end papers lightly browned. Otherwise a sound and bright VG + copy in VG – dust jacket. (Dust jacket slightly discolored, spine darkened, light chipping to spine ends and corners, price clipped). (32455) $50.00
“Henkelkreuzmann” – [Heinrich Tränker], Pansophia. Mystischer Feuerschein d.i. eine einfältige Lehre der hermetischen Brudershchaft im fixen Osten In drei Teilen. I. I. Teil: Die pansophische Erweckung. II. Teil: Die pansophische Schule. III. Teil: Die pansophische Akademie. Leipzig: Pansophie-Verlag, 1925. First Edition. Hardcover. large 8vo. 214 pp. Printed papered boards with cloth spine, b&w illustrations. The author of this work, Heinrich Tränker (1880) had been appointed X°-degree O.T.O. for Germany by Theodur Reuss. He was involved in the esoteric publishing venture Pansophia with Karl Germer in the early twenties, and was clearly impressed with Crowley’s teachings, a number of which were published in translation under the Pansophia imprint. He also invited Crowley to visit him at his house at Hohenleuben in Weida; which he did in 1925, though the two soon fell out under disputed circumstances. Although the present book is perhaps more Rosicrucian than Thelemic in overall outlook, it contains a number of explicitly Crowleyan references, including a rather interesting diagram with Wille / Thelema / Liebe [Will, Thelema, Love] at it’s center focus on p. 156. Boards rubbed and a bit darkened and somewhat worn at edges and corners, spine ends frayed, page edges rubbed, paper lightly browned. Still, a sound and internally clean VG copy. (32466) $200.00
Daniel P. Mannix, The Beast. New York: Ballantine, 1959. First Edition. Softcover. small 8vo. 140pp (+ 4pp. adverts). A Ballantine paperback original. A ‘trash paperback’ biography of Crowley, who, according to the cover: “Practiced Sex Magic and Worshiped Satan – Founded a Religion Based on Drugs and Debauchery – Branded his wives and drove them insane.” Pages browning from age, fragile as always (glue starting to give). Still about as good as they come. (31183) $20.00
P. R. Stephensen, (in collaboration with Aleister Crowley) The Legend of Aleister Crowley. London: Mandrake Press Limited, 1930. First Edition. Softcover. 8vo. 158 pp. Original blue-grey wrappers. With the bookplate of Jean Overton Fuller. Overton Fuller (b. 1915), was a close friend of Crowley’s former disciple the poet Victor Neuburg, and who wrote the sympathetic biography of him, The Magical Dilemma of Victor Neuburg, (1965). Stephensen’s fascinating study of the press attacks on Crowley in the 1920s. Crowley collaborated on the work, and his then-secretary, Israel Regardie, assembled the clippings from which Stephensen drew the text. Wrappers somewhat faded as usual, particularly at spine. A bit chipped at the lower spine. Page edges foxed, but internally clean other than 2 pages with short ink scoring). Still a near VG copy with an interesting association. (32452) $200.00
John Symonds, The Magic of Aleister Crowley. London: Frederick Muller Ltd., 1958. First edition. Hardcover. small 8vo. 210 pp. Black cloth with gilt title, etc. to spine, b&w illustrations. From the collection of Jean Overton Fuller with her bookplate on the paste down. Overton Fuller has also left a comment pencilled note on the front free endpaper that the book was “Purchased solely in order to see what reference was made in the text to Victor Neuburg”, and with her marginal notes to the text adjacent to Neuburg references. The book itself is 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. Just a hint of wear to boards, page edges darkened and paper lightly browned, a few pages are slightly creased, otherwise tight, clean VG + copy. (Lacks dustjacket). (32456) $150.00