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The Times Deceas'd: The Rare Book Department of the Times Bookshop in The 1960s

The Times Deceas'd: The Rare Book Department of the Times Bookshop in The 1960s (New)

by Smith, Timothy d'Arch

Publisher: Teitan Press, Inc.

Binding: Hardcover with dust jacket

Book ID: 9780933429611, 0933429614

Price: $49.95

Description

Under Timothy d'Arch Smith's guidance the rare books department of The Times Bookshop became the place to go for unusual, eccentric, and censured books in 1960s London. In its cluttered shelves, the works of fin de siècle decadents and the poetry of their "Uranian" successors jostled for shelf-space with the literature of the occult and other yet more dubious tomes. Ancient texts on witch-hunting, manuscripts by Frederick Hockley, handsome quartos by that most peculiar Reverend gentleman Montague Summers, could be found alongside exquisite limited editions of works by the then-unmentionable Aleister Crowley. Predictably, d'Arch Smith's office became a required destination for enthusiasts and scholars from all walks of life, with visitors ranging from relatively private individuals like the bibliophile and self-proclaimed practitioner of "the spagyrical arts" Gerard Heym and former Crowley disciple and afterwards occult scholar, Gerald Yorke, to the famous and celebrated, such as the Beatles. The exotic "Countess" Tamara Bourkoun, who headed her own offshoot of the Golden Dawn magical fraternity, provided d'Arch Smith with a personal pathway into Hermetic practice.

In The Times Deceas'd Timothy d'Arch Smith writes engagingly and affectionately of all these characters, and the many others: customers and colleagues, literary luminaries and lowlifes and, of course, the often shady denizens of the occult fringe. These reminiscences and anecdotes are enlivened by fascinating snippets of bibliophilic and historical detail, for d'Arch Smith is well known as a bibliographer and scholar par excellence in his chosen fields. As the title suggests, The Times Bookshop is no longer with us, but it lives on, larger than ever, in this delightful memoir. The The Times Deceas'd was first published in England in a very small edition in 2003. The text of this new Teitan Press edition has been corrected by the author, and includes numerous previously-unpublished illustrations.

Octavo. (9" x 6") 124pp (+ plates). Beige cloth with black titling to spine, index. Black and white frontispiece and 16pp. of photographic illustrations. Edition limited to 500 numbered copies.

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