The Vision & the Voice of the Mountains: When Crowley & Wellman Collide

crowley wellman

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The esteemed wordsmith Joshua Reynolds drew my attention to this little item, currently on eBay — a First Edition Magick in Theory & Practice. Highly coveted by yours truly, but doubly so due to its rather unique provenance. Here is what the seller has to say about it —

For your library: Magick in Theory and Practice, by “The Master Therion” (Aleister Crowley). This is a first printing of the hardcover 1st edition “Published for Subscribers Only” in 1929 at The Lecram Press (Paris); xxxiv + 436 pages; bound in brick-red cloth; lettered in gilt on the spine; upper edges of the text block gilt. Please note: bibliograsphical descriptions call for a color plate of The Invoking Hexagram of the Beast; that plate is NOT present in this copy. This copy comes from the personal library of Weird Tales author Manly Wade Wellman whose ownership signature appears on the front free endpaper; he notes there that he received the book as a gift in 1938, and he has also handwritten a lengthy “Exorcism” – presumably as a safeguard against the author and his text; he also penciled Christian crosses on both covers and the spine panel. Mr. Wellman has made marginal notations, frequently critical, throughout the text. The binding’s edges are rubbed; the corners have curled; the gilt upper edge has dulled; the other edges have darkened; the rear inner hinge is cracking; the endpapers display foxing; otherwise – and excepting Mr. Wellman’s additions – this is a solid very good copy of what is considered Crowley’s masterwork. This book will be packed carefully and shipped via insured US Media Mail. Thanks for looking.

What I wouldn’t give to read those critical notations made by one of my greatest literary influences about one of my greatest literary and spiritual influences. Unfortunately, as are most magicians of my ilk, I am as poor as the Waltons, as they say. So no, this will not be joining me in my great sanctum sanctorum. But I will fantasize about it for days on end, I assure you, and, in fact, a tale is already brewing in the black cauldron of my imagination. You can fully expect a Landon Connors mystery in the near future based around this theme.


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