Item #69540 Chicago May. A Love Poem. Aleister CROWLEY.
Chicago May. A Love Poem.
Chicago May. A Love Poem.

Chicago May. A Love Poem.

Great Britain: First Impressions Press, 1993. Facsimile Edition. Hardcover. Thin Octavo. 26pp, (ii). Original black cloth with gilt lettering to spine. First Impressions series Volume no. 20. The first facsimile reprint of one of the rarest of Crowley's printed works, which was originally published in 1904 (there was also a deluxe limited edition of this facsimile). "Chicago May" was the nickname of the beautiful Irish-born prostitute, thief, and criminal-about-town May Duignan (1871-1929) who earned for herself the title of "Queen of the Crooks." It seems that Crowley borrowed the nickname and gave it to his lover the Chicago-born Mary d'Este Sturges (Mary Desti). He wrote this eponymous poem at around the time of their parting: to say that it is unflattering would be an understatement. In fact much of it was - by the standards of the time - bordering on obscene, which is perhaps why he had it privately published in such a small number, and why there was an injunction on the title page that 'The possessor of this copy is earnestly requested to retain the same under lock and key, and in nowise to part with it until the year 1964.' This First Impressions edition (issued simultaneously in cloth and leather issues) was the second and only other publication of the work after the First Edition. Just a hint of shelf-wear, else a tight, clear near-fine copy. No dustjacket, (as issued). Item #69540
ISBN: 1872736343

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