PRE-ORDER: Aleister Crowley – Early Poetic Works

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Early announcement of a new book, Aleister Crowley – Early Poetic Works – Edited, Annotated and Introduced by Christian Giudice

Aleister Crowley is beyond doubt the most influential occultist of the 20th century. While he is hailed as one of the giants of the esoteric sciences, very little attention has been devoted to Crowley’s years as a Cambridge undergraduate (1895 –1898), when the author wrote and published an incredible amount of verse: this poetry, firmly planted within the vogue of the day, tells the tale of his doomed love affair with actor and female impersonator Jerome Pollitt and of his first steps towards occult sciences.

The two themes of homosexual love and spiritual yearning paint a magnificent picture of a taboo breaking poet, right when these twin pivotal ideas were just budding.

The four works included in this anthology of early poetic production are Aceldama: A Place to Bury Strangers In, Jezebel and Other Tragic Poems, Songs of the Spirit and The Tale of Archais: A Romance in Verse. In these verses, the reader will find many facets of the young Crowley: echoes of Oscar Wilde, the tortured homosexual lover; W.B. Yeats, the seeker of spiritual truths; Arthur Symons, the prurient Decadent poet; and A.C. Swinburne, the searcher of masochistic adventures and forbidden pleasures.

Cover art by Cristina Francov
Foreword by Henrik Bogdan
Edited, Annotated & Introduced by Christian Giudice

333 standard copies; Royal Quarto; dust jacket; black cloth cover; 16 pages of photos of Crowley, Pollitt, Beardsley, Smithers et al.; red ribbon; stitched; black end-papers; 304 pp. £25

56 deluxe copies; goat skin cover; ribbed spine; Royal Quarto; 16 pages of photos of Crowley, Pollitt, Beardsley, Smithers et al.; red ribbon; stitched; 304 pp. £111

Preorders starting on 1 October 2019.

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I have tried reading Crowley’s early poetry, but like a lot of poetry from that time it often has a basis in Greek or Roman mythology. In order to understand it one has to learn the story of Halicarnassus’s spider and the Atlantean dog. Or something like that. I am afraid I am not willing to learn the backwaters of European myth just to understand a poem – so this book is not for me.
I am sure it is a good book, though.

Nexist Xendaths

I am confused. What does this offer that Volume One of the Collected Works does not? It has four poems, so there is less content, though there are about the same number of pages, so probably a larger typeface.

Why would I want this book? (I would post on FaceBook, but I left it a couple years ago.)


Hi Nexist! As far as I know, the annotating and footnoting will add quite some info on the poetry and how it came to life, but of course there will be nothing new Crwoley-wise. Just like it will be with the nexet Kamuret book, The Sword of Song. But how good it will really be? I don’t know, but I am quite sure it is not just another money-milking by printing copyright-free stuff. Chris Giudice seems to be a dedicated scholar and the fact the Richard Kaczynski of perdurabo fame is releasing his Sword of Song work through Kamuret press… Read more »


Review of Early Poetic Works, gives a fair idea of the book contents. Thanks for posting this in the news section, Paul.