Very interesting biographies of two influential occultists.
A review of Austin Osman Spare: The Life and Legend of London’s Lost Artist (Phil Baker, Strange Attractor Press, 2012) and Madeline Montalban: The Magus of St Giles (Julia Phillips, Neptune Press, 2015)
The chances are, you are more likely to have heard of Austin Spare than you have of Madeline Montalban.
Saying you’re into the work of Austin Osman Spare these days is like saying you’re into the work of Throbbing Gristle, or Nico’s solo work, or Scott Walker’s late era: sure, it’s not a household name, but he’s not exactly unfamous either, and if you have even a passing interest in the occult these days the chances are you’ve heard of him. And that’s OK! His posthumous reputation, although largely mythologised, is deserved.
For my part, Madeline Montalban was part of the furniture of my life since childhood. I could have told you who Madeline Montalban was…
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