The Confessions of Aleister Crowley. Uncorrected Proof copy. Aleister CROWLEY, John Symonds, Kenneth Grant, Symonds.

The Confessions of Aleister Crowley. Uncorrected Proof copy.

London: Jonathan Cape, 1969. Uncorrected Proof. Softcover. Large thick Octavo. 940pp. B&W Photographic Ills. Printed paper covers. An original "uncorrected proof" copy of the 1969 Jonathan Cape first edition (thus) of Crowley's "Confessions". SIGNED by John Symonds next to his name on the title-page. The appearance of the Cape edition of "The Confessions" was a landmark in Crowley publishing, making available for the first time a near-complete edition of these autobiographical writings, which were and remain one of the major biographical sources on "the Beast" and are essential to an understanding of his life and magick. Crowley had originally intended that this "autohagiography," would be published in six magnificent volumes, but only two of these made it into print before the Great Depression and various internal disputes led to the demise of the original publishers, the Mandrake Press. The project languished uncompleted throughout Crowley's lifetime, and it was not until 1969 that "The Confessions" were finally issued in this massive (but still somewhat abridged) single volume edition, edited by John Symonds and Kenneth Grant. This "Uncorrected Proof" represents the first state of this work, and it is known that John Symonds (and possibly also Kenneth Grant) went on to make numerous corrections and additions to the text before the book went to press. The editor who signed this volume, and provided the Introduction, was John Symonds (1914–2006), an English author and journalist who met Crowley shortly before his death, and whom Crowley appointed his literary executor. Symonds is most widely remembered on account of the various iterations of his biography of Aleister Crowley, "The Great Beast", which were largely responsible for introducing a new generation to Crowley in the 1950s through 1970s, and also for his editing and publishing, mostly in co-operation with Kenneth Grant, a number of works by Crowley in the late 1960s and 1970s. From the collection of Clive Harper with his discrete book-label neatly tipped in at the rear. Harper is well-known as the bibliographer of Austin Osman Spare, for updating the Aleister Crowley bibliography in the 2011 Teitan Press collection of Gerald Yorke's writings, and as someone who has lent his expertise to numerous other publications. Wrappers darkened and discoloured, a bit shelf worn in general, spine darkened and creased, corners bruised and creased, all edges and extremities a bit chafed, page edges darkened and thumbed. It has the appearance of having been read - perhaps more than once. Clean internally - no markings. Overall a solid Good + copy. Rare and important. Item #65113