Item Details

Gilles de Rais (The Banned Lecture).

London: P.R. Stephenson / Printed by Botolph Printing Works, [1930]. First Edition. Staplebound. Scarce pamphlet is a printed original specimen and sold on the streets of Oxford the day after Crowley was told not to turn up Poetry Society. The lecture by Crowley was due to take place on 4th February 1930. But shortly before Crowley received a letter from the secretary of the society. In it he says, "I am writing to tell you that we have been unfortunately forced to cancel next Monday's meeting of the poetry society. It has come to our knowledge that if your proposed paper is delivered disciplity. In this circumstance you will, I trust, understand why we had to cancel the meeting." Crowley responded to this letter publicly and says "Perhaps the refusal to let me lecture has come because Gilles de Rais is said to have killed 500 children in ritual murder and in some way, this was connected with myself. Since the accusation that I have not only killed but eaten children is one of many false statements that have been circulated about me in the past." He was quick to use his connections to print a good number of these pamphlets and distribute them on the streets of Oxford. His banned lecture received far more attention and readership than he could have hoped for. Even though there was purported to be a decent number printed, due to the ephemeral nature
of them, none have been on the market in recent years. "The Oxford Poetry Society, a typically worthy undergraduate club, decided to venture on a strange fields by listening to a lecture by Mr Aleister Crowley on Gilles de Rais, a fifteenth-century magician known to history as the companion-in-arms of Joan of Arc and to children as the celebrated Bluebeard. The dons, however, took alarm, and so Mr Crowley has had to stay behind in Kent, leaving, one imagines, his inquiring young disciples to the less exciting delights of a paper on Wordsworth..." The lore of de Rais is beyond fascination, including black magic, Satanism, and serial killer, a pop culture delight. This ephemeral work also informs how printing history responds to controversy and censorship not the basis of minor opinion. An exceptional piece of Crowley collectibility and text never spoken. Very Good+ in Wraps. Unmarred, slightly worn, toning, else very good in original wrappers. 24 pp. 8vo. Item #11205

Price: $5,500.00

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