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THE CITY OF GOD


 

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Title:

The City of God.  A Rhapsody.

   

Upper Cover

 

Lower Cover

 

Interior Cover

 

Title Page

 

Frontispiece

 

Limitation Page

 

Dedication

 

Liber OZ

 

Review Copy

Print
Variations
:

200 copies2 printed on mould-made rag paper.3
Pages uncut and unopened.2
Bound in thick gray paper wrappers.3
Upper cover lettered in red ‘THE CITY OF GOD | A RHAPSODY | by | ALEISTER CROWLEY’.2
Signed (most copies are not) and hand-numbered 1-200.2
9 3/4” x 6 1/4”.2

______________________________

 

Note:  Some copies were sent out as a special “review issue.  Some of these copies were numbered and some had review issue in place of where the number would normally be.10  Pasted onto the front endpaper is a 13 line typescript note which states WITH COMPLIMENTS.  We have the honour to submit this copy for the favour of a review.  Work of this quality cannot be buried for ever:  the editor or critic with the courage to recognise it must reckon with the usual campaign of bullying, blackmail, and backstairs intrigue; but, in the end, he may be sure of the reward of self-respect.  Nor need he await (a) a hard-luck story, (b) an Adonais, (c) twenty-seven years, (d) a Lord Houghton for the world to wake up.  But let him lose no time in sounding the war-drum if he would stand in history and in heaven beside Pheldippidae and Paul Revere!  THE PUBLISHERS.9

 

Publisher:

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

 

Printer:

Chiswick Press Ltd, London, N. 11.2

 

Published At:

93, Jermyn Street, London, S.W. 1.2

 

Date:

21 March 1943, 12.30 p.m. (per the title page)  (The City of God was actually published on 20 April 1943 per Crowley's diary entry for that date.)

 

Edition:

1st Edition.

 

Pages:

12.1

 

Price:

Priced at 5 shillings.2

 

Remarks:

Has a portrait of Crowley by Cambyses Daguerre Churchill as a frontispiece.

 

This book was bound to match Crowley's The Fun of the Fair.  From the dedication ‘This Rhapsody is the complement of The Fun of the Fair.  This reveals the Poet and Magus, as that does the Man of the World.’
 

“The City of God” was first published in the English Review in January 1914.  Crowley completed the title, dedication and preface for The City of God on 13 March 1943.8
 

Distribution:

 Copy # 0 was among the inventory conducted by Kenneth Grant of Crowley's Books at Netherwood.”6

 Copy # 5 went to Louis Umfreville Wilkinson with an inscription by Crowley that read “To my subtile Louis Umfreville Wilkinson, a mind in a million and so my only link with out unhappy genus.  With deep affection and obscure longing.  Love Aleister Crowley.”4
 Copy # 9 went to Sascha Germer with an inscription by Crowley that read “To Sascha who also is a City Beautiful!  Aleister Crowley”11

 Copy # 41 was sent out as a special “review issue.”  See above.9
 Copy # 52 went to Helen Parsons with an inscription by Crowley which read “To Helen 52 = בן  =  אימא  See to it! from her friend and admirer Aleister Crowley”

 Copy # 71 went to Peter Brook.14
 Copy # 132 went to Wilfred T. Smith with an inscription by Crowley which read “To Wilfred Smith Fra\ 132  Your own number—but What is it?  Love from 666.”7
 Copy # 152 went to Nancy Cunard with an inscription by Crowley that read “To my adored Nancy after far too many years!”5
 Copy # 153 went to Sylvia Thorne-Drury with an inscription by Crowley that read “To Sylvia Thorne-Drury with love.  This poem is not really difficult; but you must read it till the sound kindles the sense.  It is best of all to read it aloud to yourself; the test of success is that your voice breaks at the end, and the tears come.  Aleister.”12

 Copy # 154 went to Dr. Charnock Smith.13

 

Pagination:

Page(s)

 

[  1]

Title-page

[  2]

Dedication and printer’s imprint.

[3-4]

Preface

[5-10]

Text

[  11]

Limitation notice

[  12]

Liber OZ

 

Contents:

-  Preface
-  The City of God
-  Liber LXX VII (OZ)

 

Author’s
Working
Versions:

1.

Manuscript.  Warburg Institute Collection.

 

Other
Known
Editions:

+

The English Review, January 1914.

+

Neptune Press, London, 1974.

+

93 Press, Canada, 1979.

+

The Giant’s Thumb, Mandrake Press, England, 1992.

+

Mandrake Press, England, 1993.

 

Bibliographic
Sources:

1.

Gerald J. Yorke, Bibliography of the Works of Aleister Crowley in John Symonds The Great Beast, Rider and Co., London & New York, 1951, p. 304.

2.

Personal observation of the item.

3.

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.  

4.

Call No. PR 6005 R7 C36 1943 - Copy 3 Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin, Texas.

5.

Call No. PR 6005 R7 C36 1943 - Copy 2 Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin, Texas.

6.

Kenneth Grant, Remembering Aleister Crowley, Skoob Books Publishing, London, 1991, p. 54. 

7.

Martin P. Starr, The Unknown God:  W.T. Smith and the Thelemites, The Teitan Press, Inc., Bolingbrook, Illinois, 2003, p. 383. 

8.

Richard Kaczynski, Perdurabo:  the Life of Aleister Crowley,North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, California, 2010, p. 525. 

9.

Weiser Antiquarian Books, On-Line Catalog #1 – “Aleister Crowley (Part 1)”.

10.

Weiser Antiquarian Books, On-Line Catalog # 35, “Aleister Crowley:  Rarities.”

11.

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

12.

Dreweatts Bloomsbury Auctions, Internet resource last accessed on 23 December 2015.

13.

Aleister Crowley, Diary entry for 27 September 1945, unpublished.

14.

Gates Past Books, Bookseller, Internet Resource. Last accessed on 21 June 2018.

https://www.biblio.com/book/city-god-rhapsody-signed-aleister-crowley/d/717724822

 

Comments by
Aleister
Crowley:

     In all that I wrote in those six weeks, I doubt if there is a single word of Anny. She was the soul of my expression, and so beyond the possibility of speech; but she lifted me to heights of ecstasy that I had never before consciously attained and revealed to me secrets deeper than I ever deemed. I wrote things that I knew not and made no mistake. My work was infinitely varied, yet uniformly distinguished. I expressed the soul of Moscow in a poem “The City of God”, published some months afterwards in the English Review. It is a “hashish dream come true”. Every object of sense, from the desolation of the steppes and the sheer architecture of the city, to the art, attitude and amusements of the people, stings one to the soul, each an essential element of a supreme sacrament. At the same time, the reality of all these things, using the word in its grossest sense, consummates the marriage of the original antinomies which exist in one’s mind between the ideal and the actual.
     — The Confessions of Aleister Crowley.  New York, NY.  Hill and Wang, 1969.  Page 713.

 

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