CROWLEY, Aleister

CROWLEY, Aleister. Moonchild. A Prologue.

London, The Mandrake Press, 1929.


FIRST EDITION. 8vo. Original sea-green cloth, titles to spine gilt. With the pictorial Beresford Egan dust jacket almost completely intact, only upper part of dust jacket, covering head of spine, torn away. Text clean and crisp, flawless.


An important presentation copy inscribed by the author on front endpaper: “To Clements Hassell with sincere admiration of a fine artist and appreciation of an excellent friend, from Aleister Crowley, Oct 8, ’32 e.v.”. This “Clements Hassell” person is likely to be identified with Hilary Clements Hassell (1871-1949), who was a British painter of interiors and landscapes. ‘E.v.’ stands for ‘era vulgaris’, which is a Latin expression for ‘common era’. This is placed after the date to differentiate it from Crowley’s Thelemic calendar, which starts in 1904 (the year the author claimed he had received the ‘Book of the Law’). On the rear endpaper, very presumably in Crowley’s own handwriting, appear details of a two-day schedule accompanied by planetary symbols. These symbols represent days of the week (Mars, i.e. Tuesday, and Mercury, i.e. Wednesday). Crowley mentions Foyle’s “lunch at Grosvenor House”, where it is known he gave a lecture on Magick in 1932:


“In September 1932 Crowley was invited to a literary luncheon by Christina Foyle. Christina Foyle’s owned Foyle’s bookshop in London and held a literary lunch every year. This was a small coup for Crowley, to be invited as the guest of honour and speaker. Crowley spoke on The Philosophy of Magick which was well received. A queue of women formed at the end of the luncheon to have him autograph their books”.


At the luncheon, Crowley was accompanied by his friend Louis Wilkinson (1888 – 1966) and met John Cowper Powys (1872 – 1963) for the first time and Sir Denison Ross.


Bibliography: Marlene Peckwood, The Feng Shui Journey of Mr Aleister Crowley, 2012, P. 205; J. Cowper Powys, Letters to Glyn Hughes, p. 13; Symonds, John. The King of Shadow Realm, pp. 308, 516. Churton, T. Aleister Crowley: The Biography, pp. 357-8.