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Rare Aleister Crowley book could raise £1,000 for Shrewsbury charity shop

Shrewsbury | News | Published:

A Shrewsbury charity bookshop is set for a windfall after receiving a rare work by legendary English occultist Aleister Crowley.

The town's Oxfam Book Shop has decided to put the book, which was limited to a print run of 200, on eBay with a hope of raising £1,000.

The book, Tannhauser, is unusual in that it is based on an opera by Wagner, and was confined to such a limited print run.

Store manager, Tom Coton, explained how the shop came into possession of the rare copy.

He said: "It came from a donation from a member of the public. We have got an ongoing donor whose family have a link to Crowley or are collectors of his books.

"A volunteer spotted it and as soon as we saw 'Alisteir Crowley' we thought 'another one!'.

"It is just an oddity; the previous books we have had were about magic. This is quite strange. We suspect this is a small project to make a statement against someone he did not like.

"They only printed 200 copies and it even has bad reviews in the back. Maybe it was used to attack someone in society or it was a complete vanity project; we are not sure."

Mr Coton said that they hope the book will attract considerable interest.

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He said: "It has a £1,000 auction listing and if it sells for that then that's fantastic.

"If it goes for more then even better. There were only 200 copies of this book in the first place and how many of those are surviving we have no idea.

"We have only found one other copy on the internet from a specialist book seller in London."

Crowley is an influential figure in British culture and features on the cover of the Beatles' Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

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