Book Chapter

Aleister Crowley and the Black Magic Story



Jones T (2020) Aleister Crowley and the Black Magic Story. In: Bloom C (ed.) The Palgrave Handbook of Contemporary Gothic. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 337-353.

Aleister Crowley (1875-1947), the wickedest man in the world, the Great Beast 666, was the foremost magician of the twentieth century. Exactly what that means, however, is not immediately clear, for it depends on a complicated set of beliefs and disbeliefs that vary widely between individuals within Western cultures. Magic no longer holds the official or legal weight it once did, but there remain substantial numbers of readers who believe in any number of unofficial ideas, including various occult powers. The issue is particularly vexed in relation to Crowley, who sought publicity while making any number of contrary, obfuscating moves, that there is a sense that he did not want to be seen, at least not straight on. He certainly spent enough time mastering the art of invisibility. In his ‘autohagiography’, he writes of his success in this endeavour.

Publication date31/12/2020
Publication date online11/07/2020
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Place of publicationCham, Switzerland

People (1)


Dr Timothy Jones

Dr Timothy Jones

Lecturer in Gothic Studies, English Studies