(CROWLEY, Aleister) FULLER, Capt. J. F. C. The Star in the West. A Critical Essay Upon the Works of Aleister Crowley. London: Neptune Press, 1976. Second edition. Facsimile of the 1907 edition. Limited to 500 numbered copies. This is copy #449. Hardcover. 8vo. Bound in red cloth with white titles and an elaborate seal (lamen) to front; white titles and devices to spine. Black and white frontispiece. 327pp. Corners are sharp, text is clean and unmarked. A Fine copy.
J. F. C. Fuller originally wrote this as an entry in a competition Crowley held for the best essay on his own literary work. Fuller won the competition. It is believed that he was the only one to enter. It was written based on Crowley’s poems and mystical verse from his Collected Works. Fuller rewrote the essay with Crowley’s assistance. Crowley said: “The style of The Star in the West is trenchant and picturesque. Its only fault is a tendency to overloading. I could have wished a more critical and less adoring study of my work; but his enthusiasm was genuine, and guaranteed our personal relations in such sort that my friendship with him is one of the dearest memories of my life. I dedicated The Winged Beetle to him” – The Confessions of Aleister Crowley.’ Of course, the two had a falling out several years later. The work was also reviewed in New Age by Florence Farr: “It is a hydra-headed monster, this London Opinion, but we should not be at all surprised to see an almost unparalleled event, namely, everyone of those hydra-heads moving with a single purpose, and that the denunciation of Mr. Aleister Crowley and all his works. Now this would be a remarkable achievement for a young gentleman who only left Cambridge quite a few years ago. It requires a certain amount of serious purpose to stir Public Opinion into active opposition, and the only question is, has Mr. Crowley a serious purpose? … Such are some of the sensations described by Aleister Crowley in his quest for the discovery of his Relation with the Absolute. His power of expression is extraordinary; his kite flies, but he never fails to jerk it back to earth with some touch of ridicule or pathos which makes it still an open question whether he will excite that life-giving animosity on the part of Public Opinion which, as we have hinted, is only accorded to the most dangerous thinkers.”