The Book of Pleasure (Self-Love). The Psychology of Ecstasy. Austin Osman Spare.

The Book of Pleasure (Self-Love). The Psychology of Ecstasy

London: Published by the author, 1913. First edition. Folio, [iv], 60 pp, bound in limp black boards with titles embossed in white on cover (thus Ansell's state B). One of approximately 380 copies produced.

The first edition of Spare's third, and most fully realized work, one of the most unique visual works of magic published in book form in the 20th century. The book was first proposed by Spare as early as 1908, when he mentioned it in a letter to the publisher John Lane. Spare signed a contract with Lane in 1910 to publish the book, but after later negotiations in 1913 fell apart Spare issued the book himself, anticipating that there would soon be a second edition which he could expand - yet none would appear in his lifetime, and the handful of copies produced were still available from Spare as late as the 1930's, when the occult bookseller Derek Rogers bought what was likely the last 11 copies directly from Spare. See Ansell's biography in Zos Speaks, p. 287.

Some light creasing to boards, and the occasional small area of lift, but a clean, very good or better example, and scarce thus - the fragile construction of the book, and Spare's low profile in his own lifetime seems to have ensured that copies are often found worn. Item #27839

See all items by