Aleister Crowley 1928 Diary Auction

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Thanks to the_real_simon_iff…

Tons of fascinating AC material is coming to light these years, and here is another one: Aleister Crowley’s so far unheard of Royal Court Diary for 1928. It was for auction at Bloomsbury in new York yesterday, October 24, but it did not sell. If anyone missed it, maybe he wants to contact Bloomsbury? Or whatever you do in such a case…. still can’t believe it was not sold…

And as an extra news item: For many visitors here I know that it will be of much interest and joy to read the last two sentences of the article. 86. CROWLEY, Aleister (born Edward Alexander Crowley, 1875-1947

A ‘Frank Smythson’s “Royal Court” Diary 1928’ with extensive entries by Aleister Crowley, including a manuscript title ‘The Magical Diary of Ankh-af-na-khonsu the Priest of Princes … 666 … 93 … ‘Frailty, thy name is’ – Crowley”’ [France & Switzerland]: 1928. Square 12mo (5 x 4 1/4 inches; 127 x 106mm.). 422pp. with entries on 291 pages in ink or pencil, including notes of visitors names, travel, health, love making, and drawings of horoscopes, ‘i-ching’ diagrams and interpretations, symbolic drawings relating to ‘sexual magick’ and occasional sketches of sexual positions. Original red limp morocco, covers with double fillet ruled in blind, the flat spine divided into six unequal compartments by double fillets in blind, lettered ‘Diary’ in gilt in the second compartment and ‘1928’ in gilt in the fourth, marbled endpapers, red-stained edges. Provenance : Roland Knaster (d. 1969, bequeathed to); Peter & Iona Opie.

An important re-discovery: aleister crowley’s personal diary for 1928 . The diary covers a period when Crowley was in France and Switzerland. Up until May 24th he was in Paris and Fontainebleu. Then from the end of May to the end of July in the south of France (Lyons, Marseilles, Cassis). After a month in Grenoble and its environs, he returned to the Paris area for the rest of the year. A major concern for much of the year was his relationship with Kasimira Bass. The affair seems to have gone well for the first half of the year, with many notes of prolonged love-making, of initiating her into various mysteries of his ‘magick’, all culminating at the beginning of June: “Kasimira and I have been discussing the possibility of our marriage for two days. Ask the Yi [i.e. i-ching]: shall I marry Kasimira” (3rd June). By the end of July things were going badly wrong: “K. has been acting outrageously for some days. She is stupidly jealous of my talking to Yorke. She sulks & rages without sense. She complains of everything in the most idiotic way. She interferes with every act one does. It is intolerable, save for the magical necessity. I definitely appeal to the Gods to let this cross pass from me” (July 25th). On November 3rd Crowley writes “Kasimira bolted (I suppose finally …) The Lord hath given & the Lord hath taken away: Blessed be the name of the Lord!”. Shortly afterwards (November 8th) the name of Marie Therese de Miramar “A creole Cuban – born in Nicaragua [in 1894] To change the luck” appears, by 14th November Crowley is writes of consecrating their partnership and noting that “She has absolutely the right ideas of Magick & knows some Voudoo”. November 19th: “She is marvellous beyond words, but excites me too much, so that I cannot prolong. ‘Lucrezia’ my daughter!”. They were married in August 1929, but separated in 1930. Other names mentioned included Gerald Yorke, Montgomery Evans, Mr & Mrs Langston Moffett, Blanche Legrange, Mary Freeman, Jack McAdam, Suzanna Demas, Mrs. Page. At the back are a number of contact names and addresses, headed by Man Ray and a French (?Paris) address. Of particular interest are the numerous occasions when Cowley records the results of his consultation of the i-ching, on a wide range of questions varying from should he get married, to which country should he live.

Bloomsbury Auctions would like to thank William Breeze for his kind assistance in the cataloguing of this lot. An uncorrected proof copy of his latest work Aleister Crowley: Diaries 1926-1947 is included in this lot.

est. $10000 – $15000


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