Jerusalem Press announces Eily: Austin Osman Spare’s Muse

Jerusalem Press has announced the September publication of Dr. William Wallace’s new book, Eily: Austin Osman Spare’s Muse, with a deluxe edition to follow in December. According to the publisher’s website,

In this multi-faceted book, Dr Wallace analyses Spare’s debt to Theatre, Shakespeare, the Classics, Lewis Carroll and Nietzsche. At the centre of this literary and philosophical orbit we find the artist’s wife.

 

From The Arcadians chorus line to Spare’s life-model, Eily Shaw is brought out of the shadows for the first time and her influence upon Spare’s art and life is measured. There is no doubt that for a very short time she became his muse; during which he produced The Book of Pleasure.

 

We reproduce for the first time a drawing intended for The Book of Pleasure, and a key section revolves around notions the irrational and laughter implicit to Spare’s magnum opus.

 

There is also assessment of Spare’s Tarot deck, revealing his early awareness of Alchemical symbolism.

 

And the influence of Hogarth’s satires upon Earth:Inferno and A Book of Satyrs.

 

This publication also Features:

  • A biographical sketch by Alison Henry (Eily’s granddaughter), revealing key details for the first time.
  • A fascinating survey of Muses and Oracles of the Greek myths by Caroline Wise. This features a beautiful Delphic Oracle painted by Spare, reproduced here in colour for the first time.
  • Afterword by Stephen Pochin, examining Spare’s appropriation of depictions of actresses from Edwardian theatre postcards. Several key stars of the period ending up in A Book of Satyrs. He also offers the solution to a mystery; the identification of the model who replaced Eily in his drawings of nudes from 1919-22, some of which appear in The Golden Hind.

The standard hardback edition (£30.00 plus p&p) consists of 800 numbered litho printed copies with sewn, illustrated endpapers, tailbands, illustrated dust jacket, two color plate sections, and over 50 black and white images in the text; 250 pages, 156×234 mm.

The deluxe hardback edition (£150.00 plus p&p), limited to 100 copies, upgrades you to marbled endpapers, foil-blocked and quarter leather binding, slipcase, and a ‘Turkish Map-fold’ color print of an AOS lithograph.

To (pre-)order, visit the Jerusalem Press website.

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Richard Kaczynski

Richard Kaczynski is the author of the biography Perdurabo: The Life of Aleister Crowley (2002; rev exp ed 2010), the history Forgotten Templars: The Untold Origins of Ordo Templi Orientis (2012), and the novel The Billionth Monkey (2015), along with a bunch of other books, articles, and chapters that you can read about at his website, www.richard-kaczynski.com.

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