Stockholm: Edda Publishing, 2013. Limited to 418 hand numbered copies. Beautifully bound in pink cloth. Edited, with an introduction, by Vere Chappel. Illustrated by Fredrik Söderberg with thirty-eight pages of new art. Book is in fine unread condition.
While at his Scottish retreat Boleskine in 1903, Aleister Crowley decided to amuse his wife, Rose, and their friends by writing a pornographic tale, one new section each day. He concocted a tale that managed to be marvelously creative, and utterly repugnant at the same time. He spared no taboo or perversion. The protagonist is no less than an Archbishop. The Cleric having been a popular character in pornography for centuries, and a particular favorite and victim of Crowley’s wit. Many contemporary figures were also made objects of satire, although they were also rendered “nameless” by the use of elision, or omitted letters. The overall result is more absurd than obscene, owing more to Cervantes, Rabelais, Sade and Apollinaire than to the run-of-the-mill pulp pornography of the time. Writing a chapter a day, in the evenings Crowley read it aloud to the audience assembled in the household, with the exception of his Aunt Annie. Reportedly this had the intended effect of amusing Rose, and doubtless the rest of the party, especially since some of them, and old friends from Paris, were featured characters, even old Aunt Annie ended up having a role in the tale.