Tempe, AZ: New Falcon Press, 1996. First Edition Thus. Softcover. Large octavo (8.75 x 6 inches). 302pp + (ii pp blank). Index. Colour plate of the obverse and reverse of the Stele of Revealing. Indexes. List of "Works Cited." In addition to the printed text (Liber CCXX) and the facsimile of the manuscript (Liber XXXI) of "The Book of the Law," it also includes Crowley's "New Commentary," the "Tunis Comment," and the Introduction written by Crowley's friend Louis Wilkinson (AKA Louis Marlow). According to the editor of the volume, Hymenaeus Beta, it is arguably the first book to present Crowley's thoughts on "Liber AL" to a broad modern audience in the manner that he had intended. This copy INSCRIBED and SIGNED by Hymenaeus Beta on the half-title page "For Christopher Wilkinson, / with best regards / 93 93/93 / [Eleven-fold cross] [signed] Hymenaeus Beta / Frater Superior OTO." Christopher Wilkinson was the son of Oliver Marlow Wilkinson (1915-1999) dramatist, author, and educator, and the grandson of Louis Umfreville Wilkinson (1881-1966) 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 this popular edition of Crowley commentaries on "Liber AL."
Louis's edition of the "Commentaries" remained unpublished during Crowley's lifetime. It reached proof stage in a collaboration between Alexander Watt and Karl Germer in the 1950s (the only known proof copy was previously in stock at Weiser Antiquarian Books - it is now in the O.T.O. archives) but remained unpublished until Hymenaus Beta brought this edition to press with New Falcon in 1996.
Crowley had also made Louis Wilkinson 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 which became his final home. Oliver Wilkinson inherited many of the Crowley books and papers that had belonged to Louis, including many signed and inscribed items, etc. etc. In the 1980s, following an approach by publisher Tony Naylor, Oliver refreshed his interest in Crowley, meeting with a number of contemporary Crowley afficiandos including Hymenaeus Beta. 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 been given in the 1980s and 1990s.
This particular copy was originally a gift from Hymenaeus Beta to Oliver's son, Christopher. Hymenaeus Beta also gave Oliver an inscribed copy of the work, but it suffered disaster - it appears that Oliver dropped it in the water whilst reading it in the bath - so Christopher gave Oliver his copy as a replacement. A small posthumous book-label, tipped in at the rear, identifies this copy as having come from Oliver's collection.
A hint of shelf-wear, otherwise a bright, clean, near-Fine copy with wonderful provenance. Item #69721