The Winged Beetle. Aleister CROWLEY.
The Winged Beetle.

The Winged Beetle.

London: Privately Printed, 1910. First Edition. Hardcover. Octavo. x + 228pp. Composite pressed-paper boards with gilt titling and winged scarab design on top board. 'Glossary of Obscure Terms' bound in at rear. Copy number 118 of an edition of 300 copies printed on ordinary paper and numbered from 51 - 350 (there was also a printing of 50 copies on handmade paper numbered 1 - 50 ). "The Winged Beetle" is a collection of poetry by Crowley with some extremely memorable dedications (see D'Arch-Smith, "The Books of the Beast"). The 'Glossary of Obscure Terms' gives an alarming and rather blasphemous alternative meaning to the third stanza of the main dedication, which could probably have only been published in this encrypted form. A recent, hand-written decipherment of the offending passage is loosely inserted. The book is far scarcer than its limitation suggests, a circumstance explained both by its non-durable binding and the destruction or damage of approx. a third of the print run by flood in a storage facility (see Martin Starr's introduction to the facsimile edition). 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 volume is somewhat bowed, and rear board, spine, and a strip of the front board are lightly sun-faded. A hint of bruising to the corners, and a little light shelf-wear, but still the binding is strong and firm, and the hinges uncracked. Internally bright, fresh and clean. A VG+ copy of a scarce work that seldom seen in such good condition on account of its notoriously frail binding. (No dust jacket issued). Item #65316

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