Princeton, NJ: Privately Produced, 1997. First Edition. Softcover. Quarto. (11 x 8.5 inches). xiv + 392pp. Reproduced from a computer printed original. Comb bound, clear mylar cover sheet over white printed title page, heavy black rear cover, b&w illustrations, bibliography. John Balance's copy of Brad Verter's PhD thesis, with a typed letter SIGNED from the Verter to John Balance which obviously accompanied, it loosely inserted. Verter's thesis was written for submission to Princeton University in his candidacy for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, which he received in 1998. In his "Abstract", Verter describes his research: "Focusing on occultism as the active pursuit of mystical experience through ostensibly secret techniques, this study chronicles some of the changes in which the category was conceived in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries." In the fourth chapter, Verter focuses especially in Aleister Crowley. A truly important thesis written at a time when there was very little academic study being done on the occult. Sadly, since then, the subject has become academically popular, and while there are notable exceptions, many of the theses produced have been of very poor quality, typically highly-derivative, drawn largely from published sources, and with their lack of any meaningful or original argument shrouded by poor writing and incomprehensible pseudo-academic jargon. Verter's work stands out in total contrast to these, being not only original in thought, but making extensive use of primary sources and being eminently readable.
As noted, this typescript was given to John Balance. After Balance's death it was acquired by Clive Harper from whose library it now comes. With Harper's discreet 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. Light overall wear, else a clean VG+ copy. Unusual. Item #66690