Konx Om Pax. Essays in Light. Aleister- SIGNED and INSCRIBED CROWLEY.
Konx Om Pax. Essays in Light.
Konx Om Pax. Essays in Light.

Konx Om Pax. Essays in Light.

Boleskine & London: SPRT / Walter Scott Publishing, 1907. First Edition - First Issue. Hardcover. Squarish Octavo. (8" x 6 3/4"), Original black buckram, with intricate highly stylized design of book's title stamped in white on top board. xii [+ ii] + 108pp [+ 12 pp adverts] . Frontisportrait of Crowley. Title page in red and black. Edition limited to 500 numbered and signed copies, of which this is copy number 51 and is SIGNED by Crowley with his full name under the frontis-portrait and it is also INSCRIBED by Crowley on the front blank: "To A. R. Orage, with the author's kindest wishes, January 12, 1908." Alfred Richard Orage (1873 – 1934) was a significant figure in contemporary British avant-garde literature and politics, who would later (1920s) become a student, friend, and translator of George Ivanovich Gurdjieff. At the time that Crowley inscribed the copy of "Konx om Pax" for Orage they had known each other for about two years: according to Richard Kaczynski's "Perdurabo" they had met at a Society for Psychical Research meeting, and a friendship had quickly developed. Orage was then the editor of the British radical/modernist journal "The New Age," and after receiving the copy Orage most probably passed it to a regular contributor to the journal - the psychoanalyst and writer David Eder (1865–1936) for review. About six weeks later Orage published a somewhat bewildered, and bewildering, review of "Konx om Pax" by Eder as the journal's "Book of the Week." ("The New Age" - Vol. II, No. 18, Feb. 29, 1908 pp. 353 - 353). Orage subsequently published one of Crowley's poems, and a humorous piece, "The Suffragette: A Farce" before they drifted out of each other's orbit. Apparently only about 500 sets of sheets of "Konx Om Pax" were printed, of which approximately half were bound in black buckram with white printing (symbolising light out of darkness), and half bound in gilt stamped white buckram. The black buckram copies are generally regarded as the "first issue", although there is some indication that they may have been issued simultaneously. Signed and numbered copies of "Konx Om Pax" are quite uncommon as Crowley was very off-hand about numbering and signing the book, and probably two-thirds of the copies in circulation are neither signed nor numbered. The book is a collection of poetry, plays and essays and was clearly one of Crowley's own favorite works. He wrote glowingly of it in his 'Confessions', in particular describing the final essay 'The Stone of the Philosophers' as being "really beyond praise." Yorke 56. Most recently from the collection of Clive Harper with his 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. The label can easily be removed without affecting the page, although it would be a shame not to preserve this record of the book's provenance. Cloth a bit rubbed overall with a bit of light rippling and a few light marks, bruising and chafing to spine ends and corners, the white embossed title on the front cover is darkened, discoloured and flaked in places - as is quite common with this edition. Endpapers unevenly browned, pages lightly toned but clean and unmarked. Shadow offset from portrait to title-page as almost always, title-page unevenly toned. Still an interesting VG association copy, a scarce signed and inscribed work. Item #68269

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