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Tannhäuser.  A Story of All Time.


Upper Cover


Lower Cover


Interior Cover




Title Page


Printed on laid paper.2
Bound in blue cloth.1
Upper cover stamped in gilt

11 3/8” x 8 3/4”.2

Publisher: Society for the Propagation of Religious Truth (S.P.R.T.).1  
Printer: Turnbull and Spears, Edinburgh.4  
Published At: Boleskine, Foyers, Inverness.1  
Date: 1907.1  

New Edition. 

Pages: 142 + ii.2   
Price: Priced at 15 shillings.3  


Title-page states ‘A New Edition’.3 
This edition is comprised of the unsold, unbound pages left over from the original 1902 Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co. edition with a new S.P.R.T. title page bound in.5

Crowley was disappointed with Kegan Paul's management of his book sales and closed his account with them in May of 1904.  Between 1902 and 1904, Kegan Paul had only managed to sell ten copies of Tannhäuser.  This spurred Crowley's decision to distribute his works himself through S.P.R.T.7

Crowley supposedly composed this book in one uninterrupted 67 hour long bout of writing.6

[   1] Half-title
[   2] Quotation from Browning, Master Hughes of Saxe-Gotha
[   3] Title-page
[   4] ‘All Rights Reserved’
[5-7] Dedication in verse
[   8] Blank
[9-16] Preface
[   17] Fly-title
[   18] Persons of the play
[   19] Divisional title ‘ACT I’
[   20] Quotation
[21-31] Text
[   32] Blank
[   33] Divisional title ‘ACT II’
[   34] Quotation
[35-63] Text
[   64] Blank
[   65] Divisional title ‘ACT III’
[   66] Quotation
[67-91] Text
[   92] Blank
[   93] Divisional title ‘ACT IV’
[   94] Quotation
[95-132] Text
[  133] Divisional title ‘ACT V’
[  134] Quotation
[   i] List of books by the author
[   ii] Press notices
Contents: - Dedication
- Preface
- Tannhäuser
- Epilogue



Bound holograph manuscript, typescript, and printed versions, all with revisions in the hand of Aleister Crowley.  Pages:  376.  Dated:  1902.  Box 10, Folder 1.  Harry Ransom Center, Austin, TX.




Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co. Ltd., London, 1902.


The Collected Works of Aleister Crowley, Vol. I, page 222, Society for the Propagation of Religious Truth, Boleskine, Foyers, Inverness, 1905. 

+ Gordon Press, New York, 1974.

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. 42. 


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. 20-22.     

3. Personal observation of the item.

L. C. R. Duncombe-Jewell, Notes Towards An Outline of A Bibliography of the Writings in Prose and Verse of Aleister Crowley, The Works of Aleister Crowley, Volume III, Appendix A, Gordon Press, New York, 1974, p. 236.  

5. Timothy d’Arch Smith, The Books of the Beast, Mandrake, Oxford, 1991, p. 27.

Lawrence Sutin, Do What Thou Wilt:  A Life of Aleister Crowley,St. Martin's Griffin, New York, 2002, p. 82.  


Richard Kaczynski, Ph.D., Perdurabo:  The Life of Aleister Crowley, North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, California, 2010, p. 131.


Comments by

     My poetry at this time is charged to the highest point with these aspirations. I may mention the dedication to Songs of the Spirit, “The Quest”, “The Alchemist”, “The Philosopher’s Progress”, “A Spring Snowstorm in Wastdale”, “Succubus”, “Nightfall”, “The Storm”, “Wheat and Wine”, “Vespers”, “Astrology” and “Daedalus”. In “the Farewell of Paracelsus to Aprile”, “The Initiation”, “Isaiah” and “Power”, I have expressed my ideas about the ordeals which might be expected on the Path. All these poems were published in 1898. In later volumes, Mysteries Lyrical and Dramatic, The Fatal Force, The Temple of the Holy Ghost and Tannhäuser, these ideas are carried further in the light of my practical experience of the Path.
     — The Confessions of Aleister Crowley.  New York, NY.  Hill and Wang, 1969.  Page 146-147.


     At “Marlborough” we found the conditions for work very favourable. The first step was to get rid of all other preoccupations. I revised Tannhäuser, wrote an introduction, typed it all out and sent it to the press.
     — The Confessions of Aleister Crowley.  New York, NY.  Hill and Wang, 1969.  Page 238.


     During this retirement I was fortunate in being under the constant vigilant supervision of Allan Bennett, whose experience enabled him to detect the firs onset of disturbing ideas. For instance, the revising and typing of Tannhäuser were quite sufficient to distract my mind from meditation, and would even upset me in such apparently disconnected matters as Pranayama.
     — The Confessions of Aleister Crowley.  New York, NY.  Hill and Wang, 1969.  Page 238.


     There remain my narrative and dramatic books on love. The Tale of Archais is simply jejune; I apologize and pass on. The Mother’s Tragedy, “The Fatal Force”, Jezebel, Tannhäuser, all treat love not as an object in itself, but on the contrary, as a dragon ready to devour any one less than St. George.
     — The Confessions of Aleister Crowley.  New York, NY.  Hill and Wang, 1969.  Page 556-557.


This is really a tremendous poem.  Not only is it printed upon paper twice the size of that which meaner poets use, but also its scheme, which embraces the pursuit of man, in the person of Tannhaüser, after Supreme Knowledge, appears to be commensurate with the whole.  Mr. Crowley, as he is good enough to inform us, speaks “both in Hebrew and Egypto-Christian Symbology” and his work is less a drama than a monodrama, and “really a series of introspective studies; not necessarily a series in time, but in psychology, and that rather the morbid psychology of the Adept than the gross mentality of the ordinary man.”  Not being experts in the psychology of the Adept, we must content ourself with saying that to our gross mentality the adventures of Tannhaüser with the true and the false Aphrodite-Hathoor are exceedingly tedious, and that Me. Crowley’s chief poetic merit appears to be a certain facility in reproducing the emptier melodies of Mr. Swinburne.  A short example will perhaps suffice;—


Come, love, thy bosom to my heart recalls

Strange festivals and subtle funerals.

Soft passion rises in the amber walls,

And falls!

None but the dead can breathe the life of love!


Come, love, thy lips, curved hollow as the moon’s!

Bring me thy kisses, for the seawind tunes

The song that soars and reads the starry runes,

And swoons!

None but the dead can tune the lyre of love!


Come, love!  My body in thy passion weeps

Tears keen as dewfall’s, salter than the deep’s.

My bosom!  How its fortress wakes, and leaps,

And sleeps!

None but the dead can sleep the sleep of love!


Come, love, caress me with endearing eyes!

Light the long rapture that nor fades nor flies!

Love laughs and lingers, frenzies, stabs, and sighs!

And dies!

None but the dead can know the worth of love!


It is fair to add that, although “Tannhaüser” is not wholly free from morbidity, it does not reach the extreme of unpleasantness to be found in some of Mr. Crowley’s earlier works.

—The Academy and Literature, 9 August 1902.


      Mr. Aleister Crowley is an ambitious poet.  In Tannhäuser:  a Story of All Time (Kegan Paul) he essays no less a theme than the life-history of a soul in the pursuit of the eternal and the real.  This is shadowed forth with a good deal of what he chooses to call “Hebrew and Egypto-Christian symbology”—if the term is used at all, it should surely be symbolology—and in the somewhat longwinded and inflated style with which his readers are probably by this time familiar.  We do not think Mr. Crowley rises to the height of his great argument, but he avoids some of the worst eccentricities of the last volume of his verse which came before us.
—The Athenaeum, 6 September 1902.


     A remarkable “Pilgrim’s Progress” in dramatic form.  This work may be regarded as the culmination of the Author’s powers in lyrical and dramatic work: he has apparently said the last word possible on the subject of Regeneration.
     The Cambridge Review prefers “the vigour of Mr. Crowley’s “Tannhäuser” to the Attic monotone of the Master (Swinburne).
—The Cambridge Review, date unknown.


     Such magnificence of paper, print, and margin, that we trust we are right in assuming that he is possessed of material wealth even greater than the wealth of languages, which he displays so profusely throughout the volume.  With all these attractions, he nevertheless fails to stir at all deeply.
—The Pall Mall Gazette, date unknown.


     We are not sure that Mr. Aleister Crowley treats life as a sacrament, because we do not understand him.
—The Daily Chronicle, date unknown.



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