An Appeal to the American Republic. Aleister CROWLEY.
An Appeal to the American Republic.

An Appeal to the American Republic.

London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co., 1899. First Edition. Stiff wrappers inside later hardcover cloth binding. Quarto booklet (11.5 x 9 inches). 12pp. In a later red cloth binding with gilt titling that was commissioned by Helen Parsons Smith (see further below). Original printed paper wrapper laid down onto thin card, and bound in at front. "An Appeal to the American Republic" is a rather jingoistic poem that Crowley wrote in 1898 calling for a closer Anglo-American relationship, at a time of strong Anglo-Russian rivalry. It was first published in book form thus in 1899, and was reprinted in journals a number of times. According to Duncombe-Jewell 500 copies of this booklet were printed. However, the sales were staggeringly bad (Kaczynski notes that between 1902 and 1904 Kegan Paul did not sell as much as a single copy), which perversely may account for the rarity of the volume, as it seems likely that many were pulped. Crowley wrote of it in his "Confessions": "My 'Appeal to the American Republic' was begotten of a pleasant journey with two Americans from Geneva to Paris. The poem is still popular, though from time to time one has to change 'The Lying Russian cloke his traitor head' to 'Prussian', and so on."
Although not marked as such, this volume was originally from the library of Helen Parsons Smith, who had it restored and rebound in the cloth binding. Helen Parsons Smith (1910 - 2003), was the ex-wife of Jack Parsons and widow of W. T. Smith, and long time member of Agape Lodge of the O.T.O. and was one of the pioneers of Crowley publishing in the USA in the 1970s with her Monthelema and Thelema Publications imprints. More recently it is 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.
The original wrappers appear to have been trimmed slightly, and have been laid on thin red felt-backed card. The front wrapper has a couple of marks, is missing a half inch strip from the bottom edge, and has a significant chip from the lower fore-edge, and both wrappers have a half-inch paper reinforcement at the inner margin where they have been bound in. There is a quarter inch tear with old tape repair to the fore-edge margin of the first leaf. Otherwise the booklet is in VG+ condition. The more recent outer binding has a few light indentations to the front board, but is otherwise in VG+ condition. A solid, internally sound example of a very rare Crowley edition with interesting provenance. Item #65243


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