The Matterhorn 150 years ago…

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    The first ascent of the Matterhorn was on 14th July 1865. That is 150 years ago. The ascent made headline news at the time owing to the deaths on that expedition of three young men. One of them was named Douglas Hadow ( ).

    When I read the name Hadow I thought of Somerset Maugham’s novel The Magician, where Crowley’s avatar is named Oliver Haddo.

    Maugham was not yet alive in 1865 ( he was born in 1874 ) but the Zermatt disaster was very famous and may have resonated through his early years.



    That is an interesting possible source of my favorite AC nom de plume, under which he wrote “The Herb Dangerous” (Part 2 of “The Psychology of Hashish”) in Equinox 1:2, pp. 31-89.

    I had always thought Maughm took the “Oliver Haddo” name for his AC-based character in The Magician from this use in the Equinox, though apparently it was the other way around.

    Oddly, one of AC’s A.[sup:ylmnxjog].[/sup:ylmnxjog].A.[sup:ylmnxjog].[/sup:ylmnxjog]. 85 disciples in 1912 was called Olivia Haddon (Kaczynski, Perdurabo, p. 258); she later led Neuburg to follow her into apostasy

    I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to all the NYC cops who believed that “Oliver Haddo” was my name in my mis-spent youth.

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