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THE BOOK OF THOTH


     

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Title:

The Book of Thoth.  A Short Essay on the Tarot of the Egyptians.  Being The Equinox Volume III, No. V.

   

Upper Cover: State (a)

 

Upper Cover-State (b)

 

Lower Cover-State (b)

 

Interior Cover-State (b)

 

Spine

 

Top Edge Gilt

 

Bound by Sangorski and Sutcliffe

 

Title Page

 

Limitation Page (signed as Aleister Crowley)

 

Limitation Page (signed as To Mega Therion)

 

Chiswick Press

 

The Hierophant

 

Lust

 

Ace of Swords

 

Ace of Disks

 

The Lovers

 

The Sun

 

The Universe

 

The Key Scale

 

Subscription Form

 

Prospectus (U.K.)

 

Binding Details - Prospectus(U.K.)

 

Prospectus (U.S.)

 

Binding Details - Prospectus (U.S.)

Print
Variations
:

State (a):

11 copies bound in half Morocco leather.15

Printed on Arnold unbleached hand-made paper.11 The prospectus for this book states that the book is printed on "the finest mould-made paper, pre-war quality."3
Top edges cut and gilt.1
Bound in half Morrocco leather, native-tanned and native-dyed from the Niger.3

Patterned boards in a four color Egyptian design.5 

Spine stamped in gilt horizontally across spine ‘THE | BOOK | OF | THOTH | [ornament - Seal of Ankh-f-n-khonsu] | OTO | [ornament - OTO Lamen]’5
Numbered and signed.1
10” x 7 1/2”.3

State (b):

189 copies.

Printed on Arnold unbleached hand-made paper.11  The prospectus for this book states that the book is printed on "the finest mould-made paper, pre-war quality."3
Top edges cut and gilt.1
Bound in quarter Morrocco leather, native-tanned and native-dyed from the Niger.3

Patterned boards in a four color Egyptian design.5 
Spine stamped in gilt horizontally across spine ‘THE | BOOK | OF | THOTH | [ornament - Seal of Ankh-f-n-khonsu] | OTO | [ornament - OTO Lamen]’
5
Numbered and signed*.1

10” x 7 1/2”.3

 

*(11 full sets of unbound sheets were discovered and bound by Weiser Antiquarian Books in 2007 so the actual edition may only be numbered and signed 12 - 189)

 

Publisher:

Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.).1

 

Printer:

Chiswick Press, London, N.11.4

 

Published At:

93 Jermyn Street, London, S.W.1.4

 

Date:

21 March 1944 e.v., 5.29 p.m. [from title page].4  Dr. Richard Kaczynski states that Crowley was still signing unbound sheets in August 1944.  Sangorski and Sutcliffe were binding the books as orders arrived so not all copies were bound at the same time.15

 

Edition:

1st Edition.

 

Pages:

xii + 287.5

 

Price:

10 guineas / $50.00 U.S. for state (b).3 

 

Remarks:

Bound by Sangorski and Sutcliffe.15

Crowley began selling subscriptions to The Book of Thoth in May 1944 and found takers in McMurtry, Sutherland, Tredegar, and Bayley as well as E. N. Fitzgerald, Dion Fortune, and others.15

In his book, Remembering Aleister Crowley, Kenneth Grant reproduces a letter to him from Aleister Crowley in which Crowley states that any one who bought two or more copies of the book received one copy bound in 1/2 morocco leather.8  
 

Distribution:  By November 1944 Crowley had already sold 50 copies.15
Copy #0 was Aleister Crowley's own personal copy.  Later given to Lady Frieda Harris.16

Copy #3 went to Karl and Sascha Germer with an inscription from Crowley which read ‘To Karl and Sascha (Fratri Saturno) without whose constant aid and loyalty and encouragement this volume could never have seen the light, their grateful and devoted Aleister.  Jour de la Bastille ‘44 An I, xviii Sun in 22° Cancer’7

Copy #7 went to Jane Wolfe.16
Copy #816 went to Frieda Harris with an inscription from Crowley which read ‘To my dearest Sister TzBA  93  My admired accomplice in the perpetration of this atrocity. . .  To Mega Therion 666.’15

Copy #9 went to Dion Fortune (Violet Firth).16 with an inscription from Crowley which read ‘To Dion Fortune, this small tribute to her achievement and attainment in the Science of Wisdom and to her eminence as an Artist in Words.  No. 9 to Dion Fortune, as to the High Priestess of Our Lady Selene.  The number 9 is sacred, and attains the summit of philosophy.  Zoroaster.’17

Copy #10 went to Grady Louis McMurtry.6

Copy #11 went to Lady Aberconway.16

Copy #14 went to Max Schneider.16

Copy #18 went to Lady Aberconway.16

Copy #19 went to Lucy Oppenheimer.16

Copy #20 went to Clifford Bax.16

Copy #21 went to Soror Fiat Yod (Anne Macky).16

Copy #22 went to D. W. Atkinson.16

Copy #23 went to Galloway & Porter.16

Copy #24 went to Beauchamp Press.16

Copy #25 went to e. Noel Fitzgerald.16

Copy #28 went to Gerald Yorke.16

Copy #29 went to J. G. Bayley.16

Copy #30 went to W. Dawson Sadler.16

Copy #33 (in 1/2 leather) went to Kenneth Grant with an inscription from Crowley which read ‘This copy No. 33 with the wish that he may soon be able to write 33° after his name.  Baphomet’8, 16

Copy #36 went to the Atlantis Bookshop.16

Copy #37 went to the Atlantis Bookshop.16

Copy #38 went to Lt. Col. Bruce Wilson, OBE.16

Copy #39 went to Lt. Col. Bruce Wilson, OBE.16

Copy #40 went to Mrs. Dundas.16

Copy #41 went to Mrs. James Boyd.16

Copy #42 went to George H. Brook.16

Copy #43 went to M. McE. Porter.16

Copy #44 went to Dr. J. M. Walker.16

Copy #45 - 47 went to Inner Light Publishing Co.16

Copy #48 went to Mrs. L. Whincop.12, 16

Copy #49 went to Miss M. E. Benn.16

Copy #50 went to Miss Miesegaes.16

Copy #52 - 57 went to the Atlantis Bookshop (It appears either that Crowley was mistaken about where these copies went or inadvertently numbered some copies with the same number).16

Copy #52 went to Helen Parsons.14

Copy #56 went to David Curwen.10

Copy #172 went to Ray Burlingame.13

 

Pagination:5

Page(s)

 

[  i]

Half-title

[  ii]

Limitation notice

[  iii]

Blank

[  iv]

Color plate mounted [The Hierophant]

[  v]

Title-page

[  vi]

Quotation from the Book of Lies, printer’s imprint ‘Made and Printed in Great Britain by | the Chiswick Press Ltd., London, N. 11’

[vii-x]

Contents

[xi-xii]

Bibliographical note

[  1]

Divisional title ‘PART ONE | THE THEORY OF THE TAROT’

[  2]

Blank

[3-48]

Text

[  49]

Blank

[  50]

Color plate mounted [Lust]

[  51]

Divisional title ‘PART TWO | THE ATU | (KEYS OR TRUMPS)’

[  52]

Blank

[53-142]

Text

[143]

Blank

[144]

Color plate mounted [Ace of Swords]

[145]

Divisional title ‘PART THREE | THE COURT CARDS’

[146]

Blank

[147-171]

Text

[172-173]

Blanks

[174]

Color plate mounted [Ace of Disks]

[175]

Divisional title ‘PART IV | THE SMALL CARDS’

[176]

Blank

[177-220]

Text

[221]

Blank

[222]

Color plate mounted [Lovers]

[223]

Divisional title ‘PLATES’

[224]

Blank

[225-244]

Illustrations of “The small cards" and diagrams

[245]

Blank

[246]

Color plate mounted [The Sun]

[247]

Divisional title ‘APPENDIX A THE BEHAVIOR OF THE TAROT:  ITS USE IN | THE ART OF DIVINATION’

[248]

Blank

[249-260]

Text (Appendix A)

[261]

Blank

[262]

Color plate mounted [The Universe]

[263]

Divisional title ‘APPENDIX B’

[264]

Blank

[265-270]

Text (Appendix B)

[271]

Blank

[272]

Color plate mounted [The Key Scale]

[273-287]

Text (Appendix B)

[288]

Blank

[289]

Colophon ‘[device of the Chiswick Press] | CHISWICK PRESS LTD.

[290-292]

Blanks

 

Contents:

-

 

Part One:  The Theory of the Tarot

-

 

Part Two:  The Atu (Keys or Trumps)

-

 

Part Three:  The Court Cards

-

 

Part Four:  The Small Cards

-

 

Appendix A

-

 

Appendix B

 

Illustrations

-

 

The Hierophant (Mounted color plate)

-

 

Lust (Mounted color plate)

-

 

Ace of Swords (Mounted color plate)

-

 

Ace of Disks (Mounted color plate)

-

 

The Lovers (Mounted color plate)

-

 

The Sun (Mounted color plate)

-

 

The Universe (Mounted color plate)

-

 

The Key Scale (Mounted color plate)

-

 

The Small Cards (20 pages)

-

 

Diagrams (4 pages)

 

Author’s
Working
Versions:

1.

Partial manuscript.  Pages:  7.  Warburg Institute Collection.

2.

Bound typescript.  Written by Aleister Crowley for use by Frieda Harris in designing the Book of Thoth tarot cards.  Pages:  409.  Warburg Institute Collection.

3.

Manuscript letters between Aleister Crowley and Frieda Harris.  Pages:  111.  Syracuse University.

 

Other
Known
Editions:

+

Kashmarin Press, Berkeley, California, 1969.

+

Samuel Weiser, New York, 1969.

+

Lancer Books, NY PB, 1972.

+

Samuel Weiser, New York, 1973.

+

Samuel Weiser, New York, 1974.

+

Level Press, San Francisco, California, 1974.

+

U.S.Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT PB, January 1977.

+

Samuel Weiser, New York, 1978.

+

Samuel Weiser, New York, 1981.

+

Samuel Weiser, New York, 2000.

+

Weiser Antiquarian Books, Maine, 2007.

 

Bibliographic
Sources:

1.

Gerald Yorke, A Bibliography of the Works of Aleister Crowley (Expanded and Corrected by Clive Harper from Aleister Crowley, the Golden Dawn and Buddhism:  Reminiscences and Writings of Gerald Yorke, Keith Richmond, editor, The Teitan Press, York Beach, ME, 2011, p. 48.  

2.

Weiser Antiquarian Books, Catalog # 20, “Aleister Crowley, Frieda Harris, and the Thoth Tarot.”

3.

U.S. Prospectus for The Book of Thoth..

4.

Personal observation of the item.

5.

Dianne Frances Rivers, A Bibliographic List with Special Reference To the Collection at the University of Texas,  Master of Arts Thesis, The University of Texas, Austin, Texas, 1967, pp. 147-149. 

6.

J. Edward Cornelius, In the Name of the Beast:  A Biography of Grady Louis McMurtry, Volume 1 – 1918-1962, Berkeley, California, 2005, pp. 60-61.

7.

Bill Heidrick, Thelema Lodge Calendar, November 1997, Internet resource last accessed on 27 November 2015.

8.

Kenneth Grant, Remembering Aleister Crowley, Skoob Books Publishing, London, 1991, pp. 9-10.

9.

Anthony Clayton, Netherwood:  Last Resort of Aleister Crowley, Accumulator, Press, London, 2012, p. 103.

10.

Henrik Bogdan, Brother Curwen, Brother Crowley:  A Correspondence, The Teitan Press, York Beach, Maine, 2010, p. 4.

11.

Weiser Antiquarian Books, Catalog # 122, “Aleister Crowley.  Used and Rare Books and Ephemera.”

12.

Weiser Antiquarian Books, Catalog # 20, “Aleister Crowley, Frieda Harris, and the Thoth Tarot.”

13.

Weiser Antiquarian Books, Catalog # 2, “The Ray Burlingame Collection & Other Books by Aleister Crowley.”

14.

Martin P. Starr, The Unknown God, The Teitan Press, Inc., Bolingbrook, 2003, p. 308.

15.

Richard Kaczynski, Ph.D., Perdurabo:  The Life of Aleister Crowley, North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, California, 2010, pp. 530-531.

16.

Record of Distribution from the end-paper of Aleister Crowley's copy of The Book of Thoth.  Warburg Instute, University of London, London, Folder NS 93.

17.

Alan Richardson, Aleister Crowley and Dion Fortune, Llewellyn Publications, Woodbury, Minnesota, 2009, p. 34.

 

Comments by
Aleister
Crowley:

 

 

Reviews:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
       
   

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