THE SCENTED GARDEN OF ABDULLAH THE SATIRIST OF SHIRAZ. (Bagh-i-Muattar). Deluxe Edition, limited to 11 copies, Bound in Full White Vellum with Silk Ties.
Price: $1,500.00 USD
Place Published: Chicago, IL
Publisher: The Teitan Press.
Date Published: 1991.
Edition: Deluxe Vellum Edition
Book Id: 310757
Octavo. 137pp. The Rare Deluxe issue, bound in full vellum with green silk ties, yapp edges, the spine titled in gilt, top edges gilt. This deluxe edition was issued in an extremely limited edition of 11 unnumbered copies only. A fascimile of the original edition of 1910, with a new Introduction by Crowley scholar Martin P. Starr. A fine copy. For bibliographical details, see "The Aleister Crowley Desk Reference" by J. Edward Cornelius (Teitan Press, 2013).
¶ The 1910 edition was printed in an edition of only 200 copies (plus 10 on vellum), but many of these were destroyed in a customs seizure not long after publication. A second customs seizure in 1924 depleted the number of surviving copies yet further, and it is consequently one of Crowley's rarest works. Crowley wrote in his CONFESSIONS: I spent most of my time writing ghazals, purporting to be by a certain Abdullah al Haji (Haji, with a soft "h", satirist, as opposed to Haji with a hard "h", pilgrim) of Shiraz. I caused him to flourish about 1600 A.D., but gave to the collection of his ghazals the title Bagh-i-Muattar (The Scented Garden), which implies the date 1905, the value of the Arabic letters of the title adding up to the equivalent of that year of the Hegira. I also invented an Anglo Indian major to find, translate and annotate the manuscript, an editor to complete the work of that gallant soldier (killed in South Africa) and a Christian clergyman to discuss the matter of the poem from the peculiar point of view of high Anglicanism. The ghazals themselves are rendered sometimes in the supposed original monorime, sometimes in prose, and the annotations contain a great deal of the more esoteric information about the East, which I had picked up from time to time. It is especially to be noted that, although I have packed every kind of magical and mystical lore into the volume, there is nowhere any reference to The Book of the Law. I was setting my whole strength against the Secret Chiefs. I was trying to forget the whole business. The book itself is a complete treatise on mysticism, expressed in the symbolism prescribed by Persian piety. It describes the relations of God and man, explains how the latter falls from his essential innocence by allowing himself to be deceived by the illusion of matter. His religion cease to be real and become formal; he falls into sin and suffers the penalty thereof. God prepares the pathway of regeneration and brings him through shame and sorrow to repentance, thus preparing the mystical union which restores man to his original privileges, free will, immortality, the preception of truth and so on. I put the last ounce of myself into this book. My previous efforts in the same direction would have deceived nobody, but the Bagh-i-Muatar, despite my inability to produce the Persian original—my excuse was that it was rare and held the most sacred and most secret, but was being copied for me—persuaded even experienced scholars that it was genuine. It was issued by Probsthain & Co., by private subscription, in 1910. I have heard of a copy changing hands at fifty guineas." - The Confessions of Aleister Crowley. London: Jonathan Cape, 1969, Pages 451-452. Note: Crowley met Herbert Charles Jerome Pollitt in October 1897 and is said to have been involved with him in a homosexual relationship. Pollitt is memorialized by Crowley in Chapter XLI "The Riddle". By taking the first letter of each line of the poem, the name "Herbert Charles Jerome Pollitt" is spelled out. In the next chapter, "Bagh-i-Muattar", an acrostic spells out Crowley's name in reverse.
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- By This Author: CROWLEY, Aleister. Introduction by Martin P. Starr.