Snowdrops from a Curate’s Garden

Aleister Crowley

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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.

Published 2013. 208 pages, 148×210 mm, hardbound with dustjacket. Limited to 418 hand-numbered copies (Standard Edition). The first 43 copies are hardbound in a Half French binding and come in a slipcase together with a signed silkscreen print by Fredrik Söderberg (Limited Edition).


ContributorsVere Chappell, Fredrik Söderberg, Aleister Crowley
Filed under Drawing, Fiction
Dimensions 148 × 210 mm
Edited byVere Chappell
Edition418
DesignerCarl Abrahamsson
Pages208
BindingDustjacketHardbound
LanguageEnglish
Year2013

Edda

Edda

Edda is a publisher based in Stockholm, Sweden, founded by artist Fredrik Söderberg and writer Carl Abrahamsson.