Robert Lund’s Research Materials on the Prophet of the Lovely Star

Dr. Richard Kaczynski recently reported a wonderful addition to his personal library on his FB page:

“I am delighted to add to my modest “Detroit collection” Robert Lund’s personal research materials on Aleister Crowley.

“When the Universal Book Stores in Detroit agreed to publish the blue Equinox in 1919 and also to stock Crowley’s other titles, he shipped them two cases of rariora (manuscripts and one-of-a-kind bindings). Charles Stansfeld Jones, who was working there at the time, was in charge of selling these. However, when Jones moved to Chicago in the early 1920s to start the Collegium ad Spiritum Sanctum and publish his own books, he put the cases into storage and lost track of them. Crowley wrongly assumed that Jones had pilfered the books and pocketed the proceeds; at one point he even sent Karl Germer to Detroit to get to the bottom of it, to no avail.

“There ended this bad-blood story until 1958, when two forgotten cases were found in Detroit’s Leonard Warehouses. Because they contained books about magic, the warehouse contacted local stage magic expert Robert Lund, who recognized Crowey’s name and bought the entire lot of 125 books.

“To bone up on the details of Crowley’s life, Lund struck up a correspondence with Gerald Yorke, among others, and acquired the three then-available biographies: Charles Richard Cammell’s “Aleister Crowley: The Man, The Mage, The Poet” (1951), John Symonds’ “The Great Beast” (1952), and Symonds’ newest, “The Magic of Aleister Crowley” (1958). This copy of “The Great Beast” has an envelope attached to the front free end-paper, which contains two letters to Lund from Gerald Yorke, along with a letter from Symonds to Yorke. “The Magic of Aleister Crowley” bears a full-page inscription to Lund from Yorke. In addition, this collection includes a copy of “An Open Letter to Lord Beaverbrook” with a hand-written presentation note from Yorke, and a 1967 article from “The Detroit News” recalling Crowley’s visits in the late 1910s and the recovery of his rariora in the late 1950s.

“Fortunately for the rest of us, the rariora found its way into the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin.

“As a native Detroiter, I’ve had a long-standing interest in this aspect of Crowley’s life. I interviewed Lund in the late 1980s as part of my initial research for “Perdurabo.” I’ve written much about this period inPerdurabo, “Panic in Detroit: The Magician and the Motor City,” and the article “A Street Guide to Aleister Crowey’s Detroit” for the National OTO Conference proceedings volume “Manifest Thy Glory.” I was honored to deliver the opening remarks for NOTOCON VIII in Detroit in 2011 (the 93rd anniversary of Crowley coming to Detroit to try to set up the first US Supreme Grand Council), for which I put together this montage: …”


Lund papers

Frater Lux Ad Mundi

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