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Sale 2514 Lot 10
ALEISTER CROWLEY (1875-1947)
White Stains: The Literary Remains of George Archibald Bishop: A Neuropath of the Second Empire.
4to, black cloth lettered in white, slightly rubbed, small mark to left corner by title; hinges starting; custom purple morocco backed slipcase and chemise. Printed on Van Gelder paper. Provenance: J.B. Rund,with his bookplate and his customary penciled notes on the front endpaper. [Amsterdam: Leonard Smithers,] 1898.
Estimate $5,000 - 7,500
first edition of the extremely rare and most explicitly erotic late victorian verse, and among the rarest of Crowley's works. Number 69 of only 100 copies. Crowley later wrote that his examination of sexual deviance is "commonly quoted by my admirers as evidence of my addiction to every kind of unmentionable vice. Asses! It is, indeed, technically an obscene book, and yet the fact that I wrote it proves the purity of my heart and mind in the most extraordinary fashion... I wrote the book in absolute seriousness and in all innocence. It never occurred to me that a demonstration of the terrible results of misguided passion might be mistaken for pornography." This copy is numbered in purple ink, likely by publisher Leonard Smithers, and inscribed "les revenants" alluding perhaps to the evocative number of this copy. Many copies of White Stains are recorded as having been destroyed by H.M. Customs in 1924 and only a few have come to auction in the past fifty years. Cornelius Crowley, page 207; Mendes 121.