Cover image for White stains.
White stains.
Crowley, Aleister, 1875-1947.
[First edition reprinted]; edited with an introduction by John Symonds.
Publication Information:
London : Duckworth, 1973.
Physical Description:
xv, 118 pages ; 22 cm
General Note:
Facsimile reprint of 1st ed. privately and anonymously published by Leonard Smithers, 1898.

Includes three poems in French.
Format :

On Order



Branded "the most terrible man in England" in the 1920s, Aleister Crowley enjoyed a measure of notoriety in his lifetime that few would be able to match. White Stains, a collection of Crowley's poetry praised by W.B. Yeats, published in paperback for the first time, has been called 'the filthiest book of verse ever written' and of the first edition of 100 numbered copies, 83 were pulped and burned by Her Majesty's Customs in 1924.

Author Notes

Aleister Crowley was born Edward Alexander Crowley in Leamington Spa, England on October 12, 1875. His parents belonged to the Plymouth Brethren, a strict fundamentalist Christian sect, so he was raised with a thorough knowledge of the Bible. He attended Trinity College at Cambridge University, but left before completing his degree. He became a member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, an occult society which taught magic, qabalah, alchemy, tarot, and astrology, in 1898, but the group disbanded in 1900.

In 1903, he married Rose Kelly, who began entering trance states and sending him messages from Horus, an Egyptian god. These messages formed the first three chapters of The Book of the Law, which introduced Crowley's main concept of Thelema. He founded his own occult society.

He was a prolific writer, who published works on a wide variety of topics. His works include The Book of Thoth, The Vision and the Voice, 777 and Other Qabalistic Writings, The Book of Lies, Little Essays Toward Truth, and The Confessions of Aleister Crowley. He also wrote fiction including plays, novels, and poems. His fictional works include Moonchild, Diary of a Drug Fiend, The Stratagem and Other Stories, White Stains, Clouds without Water, and Hymn to Pan. Three of his compositions, The Quest, The Neophyte, and The Rose and the Cross were included in the 1917 collection The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse. He died on December 1, 1947 at the age of 72.

(Bowker Author Biography)