London: O.T.O., 1939. First Edition. Softcover. Quarto (11.25 x 8.25 inches). Not paginated. [20pp] Original cream card wrappers with red printed titling, tied with gold cord. Housed in a custom-made portfolio: antique midnight blue buckram with hand marbled paper boards, gilt-stamped leather spine label, lined with archival paper. First edition limited to 100 numbered and signed copies, this being copy number 88, SIGNED by Crowley on the limitation page and INSCRIBED by him to his physician, Dr. Vernon. A collection of five poems each with individual dedication: including one for Deidre McAlpine (mother of Aleister Attaturk), one for Augustus John and one for Frieda Harris. The book has been famously described by Timothy d'Arch Smith as "a collection of drinking-songs dedicated to the teetotal Lady Astor. It was bound like the wine-list of a grand restaurant or transatlantic liner, its disjunct leaves caught with a knotted gold cord." The inscription, which is on the blank facing the title-page, reads: "To Dr Vernon / in sincere appreciation / of his care, thoroughness, and sympathy. / An Ixv [following in symbols:] Sol in 0 degrees Pisces." Dr. Vernon was one of the physicians who attended Crowley in London during the war. It seems - from the Thelemic date - that Crowley gave Vernon the copy on Friday February 20, 1942. That same day, in a diary entry, Crowley described Vernon as "reasonable age, Kerubic Asc., very intelligent and observant. Made examination - said nothing needless," however, a reading that he did later that same day to gain insight into Vernon described him as "a pedant, stickler, martinet, inhuman."
Properly signed and numbered copies of "Temperance" are extremely scarce, and inscribed copies especially so. In fact any copy at all is genuinely uncommon - to the extent that it has been speculated that part of the print-run might have gone astray, although it is equally plausible that because of its ephemeral nature a number of copies might simply have been handed in for recycling during the paper drives that were a frequent occurrence during the war that followed shortly after its publication.
Vernon's copy of "Temperance" was later acquired by Crowley's biographer John Symonds, who mentions both Vernon and his ownership of this particular volume in "The King of the Shadow Realm" (p.552). The copy was later purchased from Symonds by Clive Harper, and it has 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. Custom-made portfolio in Fine condition. Covers and edges a little darkened and creased around the edges with a few hints of rubbing. Internally bright and clean. Overall a nice, clean VG+ copy of a very scarce, inscribed First Edition. Item #65228