Aleister Crowley: The Biography: Spiritual Revolutionary, Romantic Explorer, Occult Master and Spy

Overview

This definitive biography of Aleister Crowley (1875-1947), the most notorious and controversial spiritual figure of the 20th century, brings together a life of world-shaking 'magick', sexual and psychological experimentation at the outer limits, world-record-beating mountaineering and startling prophetic power - as well as poetry, adventure, espionage, wisdom, excess, and intellectual brilliance. The book reveals the man behind the appalling reputation, demolishing a century of scandalmongering that persuaded the...

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Aleister Crowley: The Biography

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Overview

This definitive biography of Aleister Crowley (1875-1947), the most notorious and controversial spiritual figure of the 20th century, brings together a life of world-shaking 'magick', sexual and psychological experimentation at the outer limits, world-record-beating mountaineering and startling prophetic power - as well as poetry, adventure, espionage, wisdom, excess, and intellectual brilliance. The book reveals the man behind the appalling reputation, demolishing a century of scandalmongering that persuaded the world that Crowley was a black magician, a traitor and a sexual wastrel, addicted to drugs and antisocial posing, rather than the mind-blowing truth that Crowley was a genius as significant as Jung, Freud or Einstein. Churton has enjoyed the full co-operation of the world's Crowley scholars to ensure the accuracy and plausibility of his riveting narrative. The author has also been in contact with Crowley's grandson, who has vouchsafed rare, previously untold accounts of family relationships. The result is an intimate portrait that has never before been shown, and one that has great emotional impact.
The book contains the first ever complete investigation of Crowley's astonishing family background - including facts he concealed in his lifetime for fear of social prejudice. Tobias Churton also gives us a detailed account of Crowley's work as a British spy during World War I in Berlin during the early 1930s and during World War II. This information has not been available to any previous biographer.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781780280127
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 9/6/2011
  • Pages: 496
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Tobias Churton is a world authority on Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism, Hermeticism and Gnosticism. Holding a Master's degree in Theology from Brasenose College, Oxford, he is an Honorary Fellow of Exeter University and Faculty Lecturer in Western Esotericism. An accomplished filmmaker and composer and the writer of the award-winning drama documentary series The Gnostics, for Channel 4, Dr Churton has also written a now standard biography on Elias Ashmole (1617-92). Please consult www.tobiaschurton.com for more information.

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Table of Contents

List of Plates xiii

Crowley Family Trees xvi

Foreword Christopher McIntosh xix

1 The Legend 1

2 The Magnificent Crowleys 12

3 The Best 1875-98 21

4 Crowley and the Carlists 1898-99 36

5 Revolt in the Golden Dawn 1899-1900 47

6 I was born Fighter 1900-01 61

7 Son of Man 1901-03 75

8 The Lesion 1904 91

9 The Dawning 1905-06 111

10 Teaching Tankerville 1907 126

11 A Licence to Live 1908-09 140

12 Sex on Trial 1909-12 153

13 To Russia with Lust 1913 170

14 Spying in the USA 1914-18 186

15 The Peacock Angel 1918 216

16 Sex Magick 1914-19 230

17 The Abbey of Thelema 1920-22 246

18 Persecution 1923 261

19 Rebirth 1924 275

20 The World Teacher 1925-27 289

21 Four Red Monks carrying a Black Goat across the Snow to Nowhere 1928-30 297

22 Shitland 1927-30 307

23 One Part a Knave 1926-30 322

24 Berlin 1930-32 332

25 All great Saviours have been bastards 1932-38 356

26 V 1939-43 375

27 A City of Refuge 1943-47 400

28 Aleister Crowley Remembered 419

Endnotes 431

Bibliography 460

Index 463

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