THE MAGICIAN. New York: Duffield & Company, 1909. Octavo, pp. [1-6] [1-3] 4-310 [311-314: blank] [note: first and last two leaves are blanks], original pictorial slate blue cloth, front panel stamped in orange, green and black, spine panel stamped in orange and green. First U.S. edition. Maugham made revisions in the text of the American edition, in some instances considerably expanding it. Generally regarded as occult fantasy, this novel is actually science fiction. The villain, Oliver Haddo, modeled upon Aleister Crowley, studies the occult, ancient alchemy and modern biological science, and successfully creates life. Remains a very readable science fiction horror novel. "THE MAGICIAN (1908) presents a savage portrait of Aleister Crowley, easily recognized as Haddo, a student of occultism who forces a young woman to marry him by casting a glamour upon her, and who eventually sacrifices her in order to create a homunculus." - Clute and Grant (eds), The Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997), p. 634. Crowley, with whom Maugham once roomed in Paris, elected to be perversely flattered by the grotesque characterization, calling it "an amusing hotchpot of stolen goods." Barron (ed), Fantasy and Horror 4-111. Barron (ed), Horror Literature 3-144. Bleiler, The Guide to Supernatural Fiction 1135. Wilson, Shadows in the Attic, p. 359. Bleiler (1978), p. 136 (coding "Magic & Witchcraft"). Reginald 09831. Stott A11c. Small attractive private owner's book label affixed to the front paste-down. Slight spine lean, cloth rubbed at spine ends and corner tips, mild foxing to endpapers, edges of text block darkened, a clean, tight, very good copy with bright cover stamping. An above average copy of a book seldom found in nice condition. (#151713).
No statement of printing.