Occultist, poet, playwright, social critic, chess-player, habitual drug user, ceremonial magician and one of the leading mountaineers of his generation, Aleister Crowley ranks among the most controversial figures of 20th century English literary history. Known for his philosophy of personal freedom, but perhaps more for the reputation he acquired at the hands of the British tabloid press during the 1920s and 30s, Crowley was a prolific writer, diarist and epistolarian whose literary output ranged in subject matter from mysticism and magic to politics, social criticism, culture and philosophy. He remains an influential figure in Western esoterica and, thanks largely to his appropriation by a new generation of adherents in the 1960s, an enduring presence in popular subculture.


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Citation: Horrox, James. "Aleister Crowley". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 13 July 2011 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=1083, accessed 03 March 2024.]

1083 Aleister Crowley 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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