Item #69719 The Stratagem and Other Stories. Association copy - from the libraries of Louis Umfreville Wilkinson, later Oliver Marlow Wilkinson.
The Stratagem and Other Stories.

The Stratagem and Other Stories.

London: The Mandrake Press, (1929). First Edition. Hardcover. Small Octavo. 140pp. Original gold & black imitation-snake skin patterned boards with black cloth spine with white paper title label. Three novellas by Crowley: "The Stratagem," "His Secret Sin," and "The Testament of Magdalen Blair". "The Testament of Magdalen Blair " paints a particularly nasty picture of what happens to human beings after they die, which is indeed so nasty that it has been described in the Penguin Encyclopaedia of Horror & Supernatural as "one of the most horrible stories ever written." From the library of Oliver Marlow Wilkinson (1915-1999) dramatist, author educator and raconteur, the son of Louis Umfreville Wilkinson (1881-1966) an an English man-of-letters who wrote a number of satirical autobiographical and fictional works, mostly under the pseudonym "Louis Marlow." Louis Umfreville Wilkinson was a good friend of Aleister Crowley's, the two had an extensive correspondence, and Crowley respected Louis's literary skills to the extent that he engaged him to prepare a popular edition of Crowley commentaries on "Liber AL." Crowley also made Louis one of his executors, and it was Louis Wilkinson who caused some uproar amongst the more excitable members of the press by reading from Crowley's "Hymn to Pan" and other of his works at the Beast's funeral. Louis's son, Oliver, also knew Crowley well, indeed he was the one that found Crowley the rooms at Netherwood that became his final home and Crowley, along with John Cowper Powys, is said to have jointly shared the honour of being his godfather. Following his father's death in 1966 Oliver Wilkinson inherited many of the Crowley books and papers that had belonged to Louis, including a large number of letters, signed, and inscribed items, In the 1980s, following an approach by publisher Tony Naylor, Oliver refreshed his interest in Crowley, meeting with a number of contemporary Crowley afficiandos, and writing an Introduction to a new edition of his father's book "Seven Friends" which included a chapter-long reminiscense of Crowley. In 2021 Weiser Antiquarian books acquired the remains of Oliver's Crowley collection, which comprised some of the books and pieces of ephemera that had belonged to his father, as well as books, such as this, that he himself had bought or was given in the 1980s and 1990s. Given its age, and what we know of Oliver, this copy was most probably his father's, but as it is not marked as such we cannot say with absolute certainty. A small posthumous book-label, tipped in at the rear, identifies it as having come from Oliver Wilkinson's collection. Boards a little splayed, paper spine-label 100% intact, cloth spine quite heavily faded at head and tail. General modest wear. Inch and a quarter long insect nibble down cloth gutter of front hinge, boards lightly rubbed at edges. Endpapers shadowed by offest from dust jacket, overall a tight clean, VG copy in G+ dust jacket (the spine of the dust jacket is very darkened, the panels somewhat soiled, there are chips at the folds and edges, and there is a significant inch long chip from the bottom of the spine, and a smaller quarter inch chip from the head of the spine. Now protected by removable mylar sleeve). Item #69719

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