Tag Archives: Vere Chappell

Snowdrops from a Curate’s Garden

Snowdrops from a Curate’s Garden by Aleister Crowley has been published by Edda Publications, Sweden, recently in a new edition, edited and with an introduction by Vere Chappell, illustrated by Fredrik Söderberg, and available directly or, in the US, from Weiser Antiquarian and J D Holmes. The first 43 copies of 418 total is a limited edition slipcased volume, with a separate signed silkscreen print by the artist.

Aleister Crowley Vere Chappell Fredrik Soderberg Snowdrops from a Curate's Garden from Edda Publications

“While at his Scottish retreat Boleskine in 1903, Aleister Crowley decided to amuse his wife Rose and their friends by writing pornography – one new section each day. He concocted a tale that managed to be marvelously creative and utterly repugnant at the same time. No taboo escaped unviolated – sodomy, pederasty, bestiality, necrophilia, urolagnia, and coprophagia all figure prominently in the text. The protagonist is no less than an Archbishop, incorporating the grand tradition of anti-clericalism which had been a feature of popular pornography for centuries. 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 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 their old friends from Paris were featured characters. Poor old Aunt Annie even ended up having a role in the tale.

Lavishly illustrated in 38 images by Fredrik Söderberg. The book also contains an in-depth introduction by its editor, American sexologist Vere Chappell.” [via]

Sexual Outlaw, Erotic Mystic

Sexual Outlaw, Erotic Mystic: The Essential Ida Craddock by Vere Chappell, with an foreword by Mary K Greer, the 2010 softcover edition from Weiser Books, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Vere Chappell and Ida Craddock's Sexual Outlaw, Erotic Mystic from Weiser Books

“Sex, Magick, Aleister Crowley, Orgasms, Erotic Dances, Angelic Beings, Revolutionary Activism, Liberation, Persecution, Defiance, and Suicide. Persecuted by Anthony Comstock and his Society for the Suppression of Vice, this turn-of-the-century heroine was also a spiritualist who learned many secrets of high magick through her claimed wedlock to an angelic being. Born in Philadelphia in 1857, Ida Craddock became involved in occultism around the age of thirty. She attended classes at the Theosophical Society and began studying a tremendous amount of materials on various occult subjects. She taught correspondence courses to women and newly married couples to educate them on the sacred nature of sex, maintaining that her explicit knowledge came from her nightly experiences with an angel named Soph. In 1902, she was arrested under New York’s anti-obscenity laws and committed suicide to avoid life in an asylum. Now for the first time, scholar Vere Chappell has compiled the most extensive collection of Craddock’s work including original essays, diary excerpts, and suicide letters—one to her mother and one to the public.”

 

The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.

Lunar and Sex Worship

Lunar and Sex Worship [also] by Ida Craddock, edited and with an introduction by Vere Chappell, the 2010 hardcover limited edition of 650 from Teitan Press, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Ida Craddock with Vere Chappell's Lunar and Sex Worship from Teitan Press

“Philadelphia-born Ida Craddock (1857–1902) was a forceful public exponent of women’s rights and sexual freedom whose interest in Theosophy and Spiritualism led her into a profound involvement with the occult. Attacked by conservatives as promoting obscenity and immorality on account of her reforming activities, Craddock became the focus of an organised campaign of persecution. Facing a lengthy prison sentence that she did not expect to survive, she instead took her own life, at age forty-five.

After her death, Craddock’s work on sexuality and occultism attracted the interest of a small number of well-known figures, including Aleister Crowley, who wrote that she possessed ‘…initiated knowledge of extraordinary depth. She seems to have had access to certain most concealed sanctuaries… She has put down statements in plain English which are positively staggering.”

Amongst her papers, Craddock left two manuscripts, ‘Lunar and Sex Worship’ and ‘Sex Worship (Continued)’ that had been commissioned by her patron, the Spiritualist W. T. Stead. They are effectively studies of sexuality in religion and mythology, as viewed through the prism of Craddock’s own experiences and beliefs.

This Teitan Press edition of Lunar and Sex Worship is the first ever publication of ‘Lunar and Sex Worship’ and ‘Sex Worship (Continued).”‘ It comprises the complete text of both works, edited and introduced by Vere Chappell, an expert on the life and work of Craddock.” [via]

 

The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.