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Aleister Crowley's Earliest Manuscript Found: The Amsterdam Notebook

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posted on May, 20 2014 @ 02:11 PM

All the sonnets, written in Crowley's undergraduate hand, are homosexual and masochistic in tone, and for the time unpublishably explicit.

-Neil Pearson Rare Books

Antiquarian book dealer Neil Pearson, whilst "on a hunt for early gay literature", has discovered what is presently the earliest known Aleister Crowley manuscript in existence.

The book is to be exhibited at the London International Antiquarian Book Fair later this month. I will provide all pertinent links, but the short of the story is that in 1898 Aleister Crowley arrived at Trinity College, Cambridge and promptly fell in love with Herbert Jerome Pollitt.

Trinity College was known for theater arts and Pollit was a very famous female impersonator and actor at Trinity. It was a quick and torrid affair and I can't do any better a job of putting it in a nutshell than Neil Pearson has...

The sonnet sequence seems to address his love affair with Herbert Jerome Pollitt, conducted whilst the pair were up at Trinity College, Cambridge.

Pollitt, in his guise of theatrical female impersonator, also answered to the name Dine de Rougy. Crowley arrived at Cambridge in 1895, the two met in October 1897, and the affair was over by the following year.

Aleister Crowley

Crowley had made his way to Holland for the Christmas of 1897 after breaking up with Pollitt, but the couple spent the holiday writing each other letters by turn beseeching and flirtacious, and they were reconciled on New Year's Eve.

Herbert Jerome Pollit

This little book of poems, written during the painful final breakdown of the couple's relationship, is thought to be the earliest Crowley manuscript in existence.

The Amsterdam Notebook

The notebook consists of eight sonnets and six other poems:

Sonnets. E. Aleister Crowley fecit

Love me or leave me
Your love is light
To pass through the pale streets
I, who am dying for thy kiss
He, who seduced me first
A sailor's kiss is branded
Did you speak truly?
The old dark evening

Rondels & Songs, &c. E. Aleister Crowley fecit

The End -- rondel
The Red Lips of the Octopus
In Fur and Silk poem
Xmas -- ballad
Parody on above

For those interested in the life of Aleister Crowley, this little volume provides some interesting insight in to the trajectory of the career of the “Great Beast”. It was, for instance, only two years later in 1899 that Crowley was booted out of the Golden Dawn for being “bisexual”.

A. Crowley was notorious for going all Fahrenheit 451 on his own work and he destroyed all of his early poetry, so it is also very notable that of all that material that he trashed, he kept this one volume, presumably for his whole life.

Thanks ATS, be sure to visit the links.

Earliest known Aleister Crowley manuscript surfaces

Black magician Aleister Crowley's early gay verse comes to light
edit on 20-5-2014 by Bybyots because: . : .

posted on May, 20 2014 @ 02:31 PM
Interesting, but unsure if this thread is meant to be informative or somehow yet another "bad, Aleister, bad" dooby-do.

just wondering.

posted on May, 20 2014 @ 02:49 PM
a reply to: Chamberf=6

Interesting, but unsure if this thread is meant to be informative or somehow yet another "bad, Aleister, bad" dooby-do.

I've given this a lot of thought, and I think that the ambiguity that people must cope with when approching Crowley's work is especially amplified in this Amsterdam Notebook.

Which is to say that I think that the answer to your question can only be answered by each individual viewing the material.

Realizing what I was dealing with, I did everything I could to simply let the notebook and links speak for themselves. Do you find that I have skewed things somehow?

edit on 20-5-2014 by Bybyots because: . : .

posted on May, 20 2014 @ 02:57 PM
a reply to: Bybyots

Do you find that I have skewed things somehow?

No. I don't and TBH it's nice and kind of surprising.

i guess--if you'd see my point of view, on ATS I always am looking for that...slant, or mild know.

posted on May, 20 2014 @ 03:04 PM
a reply to: Chamberf=6

I'm really amazed that the guy keeps on bringing the suprises so many years after his death. I won't link the stuff or paste it at the moment, but that Neil Pearson is obviously a historian as well.

Crowley had a way of looking back on his life and integrating his past experiences as sort of "initiations-in-hindsight". The "evidence" for this sort of behaviour is not hard to find in Crowley's notes, letters and writings, because there is so much of it.

My point being that Pearson has already connected Crowley's experiences with Pollitt to his (Crowley's) development of The Book of The Law historically through this new connection we have with the Amsterdam Notebook.

So, yeah, all these years later, this stuff is probably going to upset even some folks that didn't think they were upsettable.

edit on 20-5-2014 by Bybyots because: . : .

posted on May, 20 2014 @ 03:05 PM
Am I the only one who is fascinated by the fact of that little book with gilt edges, and the fact that he wrote in it sideways?

Never in a million years would I have ever thought of using it that way... but like everything Crowley, it somehow explains a lot.

posted on May, 20 2014 @ 03:35 PM
a reply to: Bybyots

This is so awesome of a find. I can't believe it's being sold for under 13,000 pounds. This would be on my Yule wish list if I had rich friends.

posted on May, 20 2014 @ 03:56 PM
a reply to: Cuervo

Well I'll tell ya, Cuervo, the little volume has to be the biggest deal at that upcoming book fair in London. It's this weekend, and I bet the thing is in private hands or heading that direction by Monday morning.

The Olympia Book fair has it listed amongst Exhibitor Highlights.

P.S. So grooving on that avatar, would love to see it full sized.

edit on 20-5-2014 by Bybyots because: . : .

posted on May, 20 2014 @ 03:58 PM
Interesting ... he wrote sideways across the pages .... not from top to bottom. I've never seen anyone do that before. I'm sure some have ... but I've never seen it.

posted on May, 20 2014 @ 04:02 PM
a reply to: FlyersFan

I know, weird. singnalfire mentioned it too, so I went to check it out on Google Images and I can't find any other examples of him doing that, at least not with the tiny bit of digging I did.

To me it suddenly makes the rounded corners of the pages make sense in a way that might lead one to believe that it was supposed to be written in like that.

Uncle Al never ceases to educate.

edit on 20-5-2014 by Bybyots because: . : .

posted on May, 20 2014 @ 04:17 PM
a reply to: FlyersFan

Crowley was known to do things differently for the point of not doing things the same as everyone else. That and taking everything to excess. I have been interested in Crowley and the O.T.O. since i was young. I own copies of all his publications so this is pretty big news to me.

Let's get one thing straight though, Aleister Crowley was a lunatic, an addict, a liar/manipulator, S&M, rapist, pedophile, and probably a murderer. He loved to write down his thoughts, and he does a great job of letting you inside his head. He is full of insight into the minds and weaknesses in the people around him, but uses his talents for greedy and selfish purposes. He concocted an entire mythology around himself, so grand, even he couldn't believe that people took him seriously. He died poor, alone, and hopelessly addicted to heroin and other urges, riddled with std's.

I don't think that it is new news that he was a homosexual though. I believe he wrote about several encounters in other books. It is believed that he destroyed a lot of his work at some point, but he published many books as himself and other penn names.

The O.T.O. Is worth at least it's own thread. You'd be surprised at some of the names you would recognise from their rosters.

Well ... Maybe someone will buy it and have it published.
edit on 20-5-2014 by Woodcarver because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 20 2014 @ 06:05 PM
a reply to: Bybyots

AC was a pedophile murderer i find it disturbing that so many are in love with this guy, although i guess anybody with ties to the crown can bone and kill as many children as they want and still be held in high regards.

I like how tptb turned luciferism into a a hipster, emo movement. So its cool to Devil worship now. I am not saying that i believe in any religion. but well over, if not a overwhelming majority of the population does believe in some sort of religion including the richest of of the rich and royal bloodlines.

So even if we are just random space blobs that evolved into humans the fact that we belive in religion makes it a real force in this existence. His religion(and others) involve raping and killing to absorb power, its fing sick, i am sorry you guys are blind to this.

posted on May, 20 2014 @ 09:13 PM
Is this that Satanist moron? Sorry, but I have better things to read...

posted on May, 20 2014 @ 09:38 PM
a reply to: DocMartigann

Are you sober?

I don't approve of ...well most anything anyone different from me does....get it? (going very far afield here to try to make a point------, those babies..nasty things can't even be bothered to control their bowels in bad)

No, bet not.

Can somebody think new info or facts are interesting without a diatribe of how things are evil?

Well, I think so, but hey, I guess I'll burn in hell for eternity under an all loving god, right?

edit on 5/20/2014 by Chamberf=6 because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 20 2014 @ 11:29 PM
a reply to: Chamberf=6

I never said anything about god or hell just rape and murder

posted on May, 20 2014 @ 11:40 PM
a reply to: DocMartigann

rape and murder

Do you have some sort of proof that Crowley was a rapist or murderer?

posted on May, 21 2014 @ 12:26 AM
a reply to: Bybyots

if by prof you mean did i watch him do it or do i have a rock solid record of him doing these things then no i don't. Nor do i care to spend anymore time reading about this guy that obviously has had a negative impact on this existence.

How many pedophiles and murders have got murders have gotten off the hook because they knew the right people? This guy definitely knew the right people and those people are all about rape and murder, you don't have to be Sherlock holmes to put this stuff together.

But if you are going to blindly defend this guy then I am sure there is no changing your mind so i wont even try, nor was it my intention in the first place, i stated my opinion based on the info i have gathered read it or don't, what is it? "do what thou wilt"

posted on May, 21 2014 @ 03:18 AM
No wonder most of his "sex magick" included ingesting semen. A straight guy would not be cool with that. Just sayin'.

posted on May, 21 2014 @ 03:34 AM
a reply to: ItCameFromOuterSpace

The Amsterdam Notebook truly is his seminal work.

posted on May, 21 2014 @ 10:55 AM

originally posted by: DarknStormy
Is this that Satanist moron? Sorry, but I have better things to read...
He was not a satanist. He was a hermetic magician, or claimed to be one. I think he believed it. But he explains it as simple manipulation.

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