a curious invitation last tuesday society
a curious invitation the century club last tuesday society soho london
City of the Beast: The London of Aleister Crowley


The London of Aleister Crowley
with Phil Baker at The Century Club, Soho

Tuesday 25th October 2022
Doors open at 6:30 pm, Talk commences at 7:00 pm

Aleister Crowley (1875-1947), the self-styled “Great Beast” or “Beast 666”, was the notorious occultist, painter, and counter-cultural icon, who figures in the Peter Blake collage on the cover of the Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper. Crowley had a love-hate relationship with London, “dear, vile London”, but it was where he spent much of his adult life, and it was the capital of the culture that created him.

In this talk, Phil Baker will follow Crowley’s tracks through the metropolis to create a biography by sites, revealing a man, an era, and a city. Using a fusion of Crowley’s life-writing with psychogeography, steeped in London’s social history from late-Victorian decadence to the Blitz, Baker will draw extensively on unpublished material and offer an exceptionally intimate picture of the Beast and the women he knew.

While safely ensconced in Soho’s Century Club we will follow Crowley searching for prostitutes in Hyde Park and Pimlico, drinking absinthe in Dean Street’s French House, and finding himself badly down on his luck in bygone Paddington Green – but never quite losing sight of the illumination that drove him: “the abiding rapture,” he wrote in his diary, “which makes a ‘bus in the street sound like an angel choir!”

Tickets £12. Please click here to buy.

Phil Baker
Phil Baker is a writer based in London. His books include The Devil is a Gentleman: The Life and Times of Dennis Wheatley, and Austin Osman Spare: The Life and Legend of London’s Lost Artist, of which Alan Moore has said “Phil Baker has established himself as among the very best contemporary biographers… What Baker has accomplished here is little short of marvellous.” His book City of the Beast - the London of Aleister Crowley is published in July 2022.


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