Home Forums Aleister Crowley Biography Life at Boleskine House 1899 – 1913

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  • #108305

    elitemachinery
    Participant

    Aleister traveled a lot in a time when travel was very slow. But what was it like living at Boleskine? Was it basically like living off-grid? Is there a small town close by with a local market? How did he get home after arriving by ship? Were there horse and buggy taxis? Automobiles? Did he grow vegetables or own horses or farm animals? A man has to eat. If he had servants they would need to eat also. Did his servants do his shopping? If so how was this done? On horseback? By foot? Auto? Was there postal service to Boleskine in those days? Can you buy a bottle of whiskey anywhere close by?

    Two more questions:

    Did AC ever own a car?

    Did AC ever fly on a plane?

    Apologies if any of these questions seem stupid or uninformed, but in hindsight it’s easy to forget that there was no usable Internet in 1989 and much less modern conveniences in 1900.

    #108313

    jdes
    Participant

    @elitemachinery

    Foyers is the nearest town at about 1 mile (25 minutes on foot) south-west of Boleskine House.

    There was a shop ‘Foyers Supply Stores’ run by the Ramsey family circa 1910.

    Photo at: http://southlochnessheritage.co.uk/foyers-historic-images/#jp-carousel-1044

    Part of the caption to above photo reads: ‘Foyers Shop around 1910 with donkey and pony cars that were used to transport supplies from steamer to shop and distribute them round village.’

    Boleskine Hse. is about 20 miles from the railway station in Inverness. It’s about 45 minutes by car; 6-7 hours by foot. Perhaps the steamer referred to above also carried passengers, otherwise pony-and-trap down the south shore of Loch Ness.

    There was also a hotel in Foyers and an Aluminium Smelting Factory. So, a small place but not entirely off grid.

    #108314

    jdes
    Participant

    Apologies for the double post.

    I’ve just noticed on the left of the photo linked to above is another shop that seems to be the butchers.

    From the Telegraph report of the Boleskine fire:
    Former-home-of-most-evil-man-in-Britain-burns-down

    ‘Unexplained and unconfirmed stories of the time include those of a local butcher cutting off his own hand with a cleaver after reading a note from Crowley written on a piece of paper with a spell on the reverse.’

    #108323

    elitemachinery
    Participant

    @jdes Thanks for this info. The pictures are fantastic and give me a better idea what the community was like.

    #108331

    Shiva
    Participant

    EM: Apologies if any of these questions seem stupid or uninformed

    Neither stoopid nor uninformed. There was a whole thread on DID AC OWN A CAR, and I believe no firm conclusion was discovered. He certainly rode in cars, but there’s been no mention of him knowing how to drive one. Despite his later-life poverty, he seems to have “written” most of his books via dictation (“I had a secretary sent around”) and utilized chauffeurs or cab drivers, all in the manner of a Laird or a Duke, maybe a Prince.

    Assessing the nature and state of communication (including travel) in the very early 1900s gives one (anyone) a perspective on how fast things have changed … and how the acceleration is still increasing today.

    I just tried to look at the “supply store” photo and got this result:

    Malwarebytes PREMIUM

    Website blocked due to malware

    Your Malwarebytes Premium blocked this website because it may contain malware. We strongly recommend you do not continue.

    Well, isn’t that exiting? A confrontation with the deep state black lodge right here on my own little “war engine.”

    The buther story, according to Confessions, was that he (AC) sketched out an Abramelin talisman on the back of the butcher’s bill, and the butcher slipped with his sharp buther’s knife and sliced open his femoral artery (that’s in the leg, not the throat). Isn’t it interesting how the same butcher legend varies in the details?

    #108339

    Jamie J Barter
    Participant

    Did he grow vegetables or own horses or farm animals? A man has to eat. If he had servants they would need to eat also. Did his servants do his shopping? If so how was this done?
    As lofty Laird of Boleskine (and considering the social milieu of the times and his considerable personal inheritance) I would imagine he would have all his worldly needs catered for by ‘staff’ — and farm animals, dogs, and vegetable plots all tended to a point (the point of self-sufficiency). Confessions also makes mention of ghillies in attendance, etc.

    Can you buy a bottle of whiskey anywhere close by?
    Ah, I would have thought so — this is the Highlands, after all! The sort of ‘hood which was featured in that classic post-war Ealing comedy, Whisky Galore… I imagine there would have been an establishment selling such liquor not too distant, if not an actual pub. However houses of ill-repute would seem to have been a bit thin on the ground and harder to come by, conspicuous as their inhabitants were “by their absence” (also according to Confessions).

    A.C. in an aeroplane? He didn’t travel overseas after returning from Germany in ’32, and it was a little while after that that passenger transportation by aircraft “took off”. Perhaps he might have flown in a (graf) zeppelin airship though (which was around a bit earlier)?

    Informatively yours,
    Norma N Joy Conquest

    #108343

    herupakraath
    Participant

    There was a whole thread on DID AC OWN A CAR, and I believe no firm conclusion was discovered. He certainly rode in cars, but there’s been no mention of him knowing how to drive one

    In a letter Crowley wrote–not sure when or to whom–he stated that he was afraid to travel in a car traveling beyond a certain speed–30 mph if I recall–unless he was behind the wheel, so yes Crowley did drive.

    #108344

    elitemachinery
    Participant

    @jdes wrote:

    Foyers is the nearest town at about 1 mile (25 minutes on foot) south-west of Boleskine House.

    There was a shop ‘Foyers Supply Stores’ run by the Ramsey family circa 1910.

    @shiva wrote:

    Assessing the nature and state of communication (including travel) in the very early 1900s gives one (anyone) a perspective on how fast things have changed … and how the acceleration is still increasing today.

    Yes it seems like a long time but 100 years is not very long. 25 years ago i got my first Internet connection. Try to explain to a millennial that you grew up without Internet or mobile phones and they look at you funny.

    @jamiejbarter wrote:

    A.C. in an aeroplane? He didn’t travel overseas after returning from Germany in ’32, and it was a little while after that that passenger transportation by aircraft “took off”.

    Thanks. I figured as much but thought i’d ask anyways.

    @herupakraath wrote:

    In a letter Crowley wrote–not sure when or to whom–he stated that he was afraid to travel in a car traveling beyond a certain speed–30 mph if I recall–unless he was behind the wheel, so yes Crowley did drive.

    Thanks for this info.

    There really should be a searchable database of all things Crowley including his letters and writings so we could simply search “automobile” and find this letter.

    The BORG (Google/War-Engine) is slacking! Get with it BORG!

    • This reply was modified 3 months ago by  elitemachinery.
    • This reply was modified 3 months ago by  elitemachinery.
    • This reply was modified 3 months ago by  elitemachinery. Reason: for posterity i clarify what i mean by BORG
    #108348

    elitemachinery
    Participant

    just found this in Google from the “Aleister Crowley in America” book (don’t have a copy yet)

    According to this note that AC wrote he had a car or a driver as early as 1900!

    Apologies to Borg/Google/War Engine.

    #108354

    Tiger
    Participant

    V.V.V.V.V. was driving his car; it could sail and fly the aeons he called it called Millions – of – Years

    53. I sailed over the sky of Nu in the car called Millions – of – Years,
    THE BOOK OF THE HEART GIRT WITH A SERPENT
    http://www.luminist.org/archives/lxv.htm

    just plopping this one in

    #108360

    Jamie J Barter
    Participant

    @tiger :

    V.V.V.V.V. was driving his car; it could sail and fly the aeons he called it called Millions – of – Years
    Doesn’t have quite the same catchy ring about it as “Chitty – Chitty – Bang – Bang” though, does it?

    just plopping this one in
    (“as the bishop said to the actress”…)

    Norma N Joy Conquest

    • This reply was modified 3 months ago by  Jamie J Barter.
    • This reply was modified 3 months ago by  Jamie J Barter. Reason: could not resist adding the crap joke at the end!
    #108364

    Tiger
    Participant

    not a chitty bang bang
    but

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