Weiser Antiquarian have just published their latest catalog: and it’s really rather wonderful! There are some extraordinary items available for purchase…
Weiser Antiquarian Books is pleased to announce the issue of our twenty-second on-line catalog, this time devoted to rare books and related material by Aleister Crowley. It is a relatively short catalog, but some of the items in it are of the greatest rarity. Those familiar with the Crowley canon will know that First Editions of any one of his erotic works are scarce: to have three at once, as we do in this catalog, is practically unheard of. These works, which are listed in the first section, are his White Stains, Bagh-i-Muattar, and The World’s Tragedy.
Although it is not widely known, Crowley also took a considerable interest in the cinema and was a regular film-goer. In the late 1920s and 1930s he tried his hand at writing for the movies, and prepared a number of film scenarios which he hoped to sell to the motion-picture studios. He sent some of these to his North American disciple, Wilfred T. Smith, in the hope that he would be able to interest Hollywood in them. Not surprisingly Smith was unsuccessful in this endeavor, but the film scenarios which Crowley sent to him have survived. Three of them are offered for sale here: they are genuinely interesting and amusing works, and of course have never been published or made into film.
Listed in the same section as the film scenarios are two important typescripts of plays. One is an early typescript of the long version of Crowley’s The Three Wishes, considered by many to have been Crowley’s best theatrical work. The other is a late (1930s or early 1940s) typescript copy of Crowley’s play The World’s Tragedy. What is so special about this copy is that it was given to Jack Parsons by Wilfred T. Smith, and bears his presentation inscription on the title page.
The third section reflects an altogether different side of Crowley: that is his interest in cookery, here represented by a group of hand-written menu cards on which he recorded some of the meals he prepared for himself and friends in late 1938 and early 1939.
The fourth, and final part of the catalog lists a selection of works by Crowley, including some scarce Thelema Publications editions, from the collection of its founder, Helen Parsons Smith, and a number of rarities, such as the First Edition of Crowley’s Chicago May and a complete set of the First Edition of the first ten numbers of The Equinox.
The bibliographical and biographical detail in the book descriptions combine with some extraordinary images to make an enormously useful Thelemic resource: