London: W. Collins, 1922. First Edition - Second Impression. Hardcover. [iv] + 368pp. Octavo. Original dark blue cloth lettered in red. The second impression of the first edition of one of Crowley's most famous books. It is testament to the initial popularity of the work that the second impression was issued in the same month as the first (November 1922) before adverse publicity seems to have caused the publishers to quietly stop promoting it (it was not banned as sometimes suggested). Oddly the second impression is considerably scarcer than the first - it presumably had a much smaller print-run. The book itself is a landmark work in the annals of drug literature: focussing on the destructive effects of heroin and cocaine addiction, and positing the practice of magick and the discovery of one's true will as a curative. One of the characters - King Lamus - is clearly a romantic self-portrait by Crowley, and Lamus's "Abbey of Thelema" at Telepylus an idealised version of Crowley's own Abbey at Cefalu. 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. Given its notoriety, and popularity, copies of the work are almost always encountered in "well-read" condition as is this one.
Cloth rubbed overall with chafing at all edges and extremities, more so at spine edges and ends, short closed split to cloth at upper front gutter, some loss to red lettering and borders, page edges darkened and thumbed, endpapers unevenly toned, bookshop label on front pastedown, pages lightly toned but clean and unmarked. Overall a solid, tight, G+ copy in an old, home-made but quite neat FACSIMILE of the rare dust jacket. Item #68274