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ROSA DECIDUA


 

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Title:

Rosa Decidua.

   

Upper Cover

 

Lower Cover

 

Interior Cover

 

Frontispiece

 

Print
Variations
:

20 copies printed on laid paper.1
Bound in black boards that have been marbled blue.2
Upper cover lettered in gilt ‘ROSA DECISUA | BY | ALEISTER | CROWLEY’.2

Interior has endpapers of wove paper.2 
8 3/4” x 5 5/8”.2

 
Publisher: Privately published.  
Printer:    
Published At:    
Date: 1910.1  
Edition: 1st Edition.  
Pages:

iv + 11 + v.1

 
Price:

 

 

Remarks:

Some1 copies contain a photo of Crowley, Rose and daughter Lola, 10 January 1910 pasted to the front endpaper.

Printed to commemorate Crowleys divorce from his wife, Rose.  Crowley dedicated it to Lord Salveson, who presided over the divorce trial.3

 
Pagination:2
Page(s)  
[i-ii] Blanks
[  iii] Photograph
[  iv] Blank
[1-11] Text
[i-v] Blanks
 
Contents:

 

 

Author’s
Working
Versions:

   
 

Other
Known
Editions:

+ The Winged Beetle, Page 130, Privately published, London, 1910.
+ Olla:  An Anthology of Sixty Years of Song, Page 54, O.T.O., London, 1946.
+ Selected Poems, Crucible Books, England, 1986.
+ Mandrake Press, England, 1993.
 
Bibliographic
Sources:
1. Clive Harper, A Bibliography of the Works of Aleister Crowley (Expanded and Corrected), Aleister Crowley, The Golden Dawn and Buddhism:  Reminiscences and Writings of Gerald Yorke, The Teitan Press, York Beach, Maine, 2011, p. 46.
2. Personal observation of the item.
3. Richard Kaczynski, Ph.D., Perdurabo:  The Life of Aleister Crowley, North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, California, 2010, p. 203.
 

Comments by
Aleister
Crowley:

     Finally, early in 1909, the doctor threw up the sponge. He told her that she must agree to be sequestrated for two years. She refused: I insisted upon a divorce. I loved her as passionately as ever—more so than ever, perhaps, since it was the passion of uttermost despair. I insisted on a divorce. I would not be responsible for her. I would not stand by and see her commit suicide. It was agreed that I should be defendant as a matter of chivalry, and the necessary evidence was manufactured. I continued, however, to look after her as before; we even stayed together as much as we dared, and I saw her almost every day, either in our house or at my rooms. Directly the divorce was pronounced I returned from Algeria, whither I had gone to be out of the way during the trial, and we were photographed together, with the baby, at the Dover Street studios.
     I had written the agony of my soul in Rosa Decidua, which I dedicated to Lord Salvesen (not Salvarsan), the judge who presided at the trial. This poem was printed privately and a copy with the best of the photographs was sent to the judge, with a polite letter of thanks. (It is reprinted in The Winged Beetle, pp. 130-149.) This poem is, perhaps, my high-water mark in realism. It reveals my human self as I had never even attempted to do. I trace my agony through every writhe.
     — The Confessions of Aleister Crowley.  New York, NY.  Hill and Wang, 1969.  Page 535.

______________________________
 

     This poem has everywhere been recognized as overwhelming. E. S. P. Haynes told me that it was the most powerful that he had ever read, and Frank Harris wrote from what he thought was his death bed, “In Rosa Decidua there is more” (“scil”. than in some other poem of which he has been writing) “a despairing view of life—‘beats of a senseless drum—all’s filth’. To ‘My tongue is palsied ... exquisite agony.’ Astounding realism raised to art by perfect artistry.”
     — The Confessions of Aleister Crowley.  New York, NY.  Hill and Wang, 1969.  Page 535.

 
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