The High History of Good Sir Palamedes the Saracen Knight and of his Following of the Questing Beast. By Aleister Crowley. Rightly Set Forth in Rime.
London: Wieland and Company, 1912. First Edition. Hardcover. Quarto. (ii) + viii + 114 pp, Original white buckram with gilt title, etc. to spine and upper board. Top edge gilt. A play in which Crowley sought to describe "the Path of the Wise," in terms of the classic literature of "the quest." In his "Confessions" Crowley described it thus: "'Sir Palamedes' was the most ambitious attempt to describe the Path of the Wise as I knew it. It is in its way almost complete, but there is no attempt to show the necessary sequence of the ordeals described in each section. The last section, in which Sir Palamedes after achieving every possible task and finding that all his attainments did not bring him to the end of his Quest, abandons the following of the Questing Beast; he returns, discomfited, to the Round Table, only to find that, having surrendered, the Questing Beast comes to him of its own accord." The play was first published in "The Equinox," Vol I, No. IV (September 1910): this is its first separate publication. This copy formerly in the library of J. Edward ("Jerry") Cornelius, Frater Achad Osher 583. Cornelius is a former Lodge Master of Brocken Mt. Lodge of the Ordo Templi Orientis, one of the O.T.O.'s most active Lodges in the early 1980s, co-publisher of the "Red Flame" series of journals, author of "The Aleister Crowley Desk Reference" and of numerous other Crowley-related works. The book has his large private stamp and hand drawn magical monogram on the front pastedown, and a small O.T.O. "dove and chalice" ink stamp above a smaller smaller "Brocken Mt. Lodge / Ordo Templi Orientis" on the bottom corner of the front pastedown. There is also a small label with the name and address of the Brocken Mountain Lodge at the foot of the title-page. Boards and spine a little darkened, but the gilt-work is bright and the cloth cleaner than usual. The endpapers have some pale, uneven browning. The pages are evenly toned with just a hint of flecking. A clean, tight, better than VG copy with an interesting association from the revival of the O.T.O. in the 1980s (issued without dust jacket). Item #59862