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The Sword of Song. Called by Christians The Book of The Beast.
Paris: by Philippe Renouard [colophon]; Benares: Society for the Propagation of Religious Truth,, 1904. Quarto. Printed on vellum, unbound as issued, gatherings laid into the original blue wrappers, titles and decoration to wrappers and backstrip in gold, uncut. Printed in red and black. Dusty, the wrappers torn at the spine and generally a little dull. First edition, first printing, one of just three copies printed on vellum for Crowley's own use. A major presentation copy inscribed by Crowley on the initial blank, in a mixture of letters and symbols: "An XIX [the Sun in 8 degrees 15 minutes Libra, the Moon in 0 degrees Cancer, i.e. in Thelemic dating, 2 October 1923] City of Tunis. Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law [symbol] I, the Beast 666 [symbols] A?A? give this third vellum copy of The Sword of Song (the other two being in my possession & that of John Quinn) to Edmund Saayman on his 26th birthday and his day of reception as a probationer of A?A? with the Motto of [Hebrew letters] "There the scribe knew the narcissus in his heart" with all good Will for his Attainment of the Summum Bonum True Wisdom & Perfect Happiness." The regular edition exists in two states, one of which has a red paper outer wrapper and was issued in ten copies. But the present example is a completely separate beast - no pun intended. The other two copies are recorded as appearing on the market as early as 1926 when the John Quinn copy sold at the Anderson Galleries. It was rebound in blue morocco by Zaehnsdorf, as was the second of the three copies which languished in a Detroit storage facility until Lunn liberated it and placed it, along with many other Crowley jewels, in the Harry Ransom collection at the University of Texas Austin. We have not traced the Quinn copy but our example is the only one of the three in the original condition. Edmund Saayman, a mathematics scholar, had been recruited to Crowley's cause by Norman Mudd. Both Oxford men, they visited Crowley at Cefalu and followed him to Tunis.
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington]
Last Found On: 2016-04-19           Check availability:      Biblio    


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