Symonds, John (1914– )
British novelist, writer of children’s books, and author of important
works on occultism. He met Aleister Crowley in 1945
and tried to assist publication of his writings in the last two
years of Crowley’s life. He became Crowley’s literary executor,
and he is the author of the standard biography of Crowley The
Great Beast (1951). He went on to write several books about
Crowley—the most recent appeared in 1989—and with Kenneth
Grant he edited The Confessions of Aleister Crowley and
Crowley’s own book Magick (1973). Symonds was a member of
the editorial board of Man, Myth, and Magic (1970) and wrote
other books on occult topics, the most notable being his biography
of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky Madame Blavatsky Medium
and Magician (1960).
Sources
Symonds, John. The Great Beast. London MacDonald, 1951.
Reprint, St. Albans, England Mayflower, 1973.
———. The King of the Shadow Realm. London Duckworth,
1989.
———. Light Over Water. London J. Baker for the Unicorn
Press, 1963.
———. The Magic of Aleister Crowley. London Frederick
Muller, 1958.
———. Thomas Brown and the Angels. London Hutchinson,
1961.

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