Kings Beach, CA: Thelema Publications, 1988. Publisher's typescript mock-up. Hardcover. Tall octavo. (6 3/4 x 11 1/4inches). Approx. 100 leaves (printed on one side only) Blue binder's cloth, with elaborate gilt titling etc. to front board and spine. A publisher's "mock-up" or trial copy produced by Thelema Publications, the publishing company of Helen Parsons Smith (1910 - 2003), ex-wife of Jack Parsons and widow of W. T. Smith, and long time member of Agape Lodge of the O.T.O. When planning the publication of "Amrita," Helen solicited Introductions from a number of individuals: Israel Regardie, Mark Aguiar, William Breeze, Martin P. Starr and Lon DuQuette, however, when the book went to press she only used that provided by Martin Starr, along with her own Foreword. This volume - originally from the archives of Helen Parsons Smith / Thelema publications - is a typescript mock up of a version of the book which never went to press. It comprises a 13 page typescript introduction by Regardie (still unpublished) SIGNED by him at the end. There is also loosely inserted, a typesheet of a trial sheet of the final page of the Introduction, also SIGNED by Regardie. The rest of the volume comprises the text of Crowley's "Amrita" There are numerous small differences between the text here given and the published version. Most notably the typescript includes a four page 'Record of Experiments' undertaken by Crowley at the Savoy Hotel in London, not in the published version, but omits the penultimate chapter 'It' and the final chapter 'On Food' that version contains. Various manuscript insertions, corrections etc. throughout. The books is a collection of Aleister Crowley's on writings occult/sexual medicine, particularly on Amrita: an ambrosia or "elixir of life" said to ensure longevity, restore youth and energy, and bestow various occult boons, that was referred to by Crowley as "the principal Secret of the Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O. )." Evidence within this mock-up suggests that Helen began work on it as early as 1978, although it was probably not finished until the 1980s, with Helen actually having it bound at around the time of the release of the (very different) published version in 1988.
Weiser Antiquarian Books were entrusted with the sale of Helen's library starting in 2006, and this volume put on the market and purchased by Mr. Clive Harper that same year. It is from his collection that it now comes. 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. His discrete book-label neatly tipped in at the rear.
A copy of Weiser Antiquarian Books Catalogue 5, June 2006, "Aleister Crowley. From Agape Lodge to Thelema Publications" accompanies the book. This was the catalogue in which Weiser Antiquarian listed some of the choicest items from Helen Parsons Smith's library. The catalogue, of which only 60 copies were printed, is A5 size, 24pp., stapled in printed card wrappers, and includes short original essays by Martin P. Starr and Keith Richmond. This publisher's mock-up of Amrita is included in the listings, and this specific catalogue is the one that accompanied the volume when it was sold, as is noted in the rear.
VG+ condition, and obviously a unique, and fascinating item. Item #65117