Sonya Greene and Aleister Crowley?

144 views
Skip to first unread message

Al Smith

unread,
Jun 5, 2002, 11:43:07 AM6/5/02
to
There's a rumor that Lovecraft's wife, Sonya Greene, met Aleister
Crowley at some sort of lecture society, and she was the conduit
that transmitted the Necronomicon from Crowley to Lovecraft.
Leaving aside the obvious fact that the Necronomicon does not
exist, is there any truth that Lovecraft's wife ever met the Great
Beast? I found no mention of this in L. Sprague de Camp's bio of
Lovecraft, and I am 99.9% sure that Greene and Crowley never met.

Theo Paijmans

unread,
Jun 5, 2002, 12:44:56 PM6/5/02
to
and you are right; there's an interesting spoof to this effect on (I
think)the Necronomicon files.

Equally interesting would be a meeting between Fort, Crowley and HPL.
Which also never happened. Or did it?:)

Matt "TrollBoy" Wiseman

unread,
Jun 5, 2002, 2:37:58 PM6/5/02
to
ah spring when a young boys fancies turn to Crowley conspiracies..


Waiting for someone to post they've found the REAL necro,
--
Matt "TrollBoy" Wiseman
Webmaster: Shoggoth.net
Site Designer: phpslash.org
The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear,
and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.
-H.P. Lovecraft
---------------------------------------------------------
Please do not resell my e-mail address
to anyone or send me unsolicited e-mail
---------------------------------------------------------

"Theo Paijmans" <th.pa...@wxs.nl> wrote in message
news:3CFE4008...@wxs.nl...

Morgan70

unread,
Jun 5, 2002, 6:02:29 PM6/5/02
to
> >> > Al Smith wrote:> >> > > There's a rumor that Lovecraft's wife,
Sonya Greene, met Aleister> > > Crowley at some sort of lecture
society, and she was the conduit> > > that transmitted the
Necronomicon from Crowley to Lovecraft.> > > Leaving aside the obvious
fact that the Necronomicon does not> > > exist, is there any truth
that Lovecraft's wife ever met the Great> > > Beast? I found no
mention of this in L. Sprague de Camp's bio of> > > Lovecraft, and I
am 99.9% sure that Greene and Crowley never met.


Gentlemen, may I refer you to

http://www.hplovecraft.com/life/myths.htm

Sorry to disappoint you, but what a great idea for a story!

Regards

Morgan

Al Smith

unread,
Jun 5, 2002, 6:52:58 PM6/5/02
to
Thanks for the debunking Website link. This is obviously the
source of the rumor that interested me. We have Colin Low to thank
for it, apparently:

"In 1918 Crowley was in New York. As always, he was trying to
establish his literary reputation, and was contributing to The
International and Vanity Fair. Sonia Greene was an energetic and
ambitious Jewish emigre with literary ambitions, and she had
joined a dinner and lecture club called "Walker's Sunrise Club"
(?!); it was there that she first encountered Crowley, who had
been invited to give a talk on modern poetry.... Crowley did not
waste time as far as women were concerned; they met on an
irregular basis for some months."

I don't usually pay much attention to such things, but since
Crowley was in America at various times, it was not beyond the
bounds of possibility that he might have met Lovecraft's wife at
some social affair. Of course, even had such a meeting taken
place, its significance would have been zero as far as Lovecraft's
work was concerned.

So far as I know, Lovecraft never mentioned Crowley, and Crowley
never mentioned Lovecraft. Lovecraft very likely knew of Crowley,
but would have had the same kneejerk reaction of revulsion and
horror as the average reader of the popular press of the day, in
which Crowley was depicted as some sort of monster. I doubt very
much that Crowley would even have recognized Lovecraft's name.

-------------------------

Dan Clore

unread,
Jun 5, 2002, 7:21:30 PM6/5/02
to
Al Smith wrote:

> So far as I know, Lovecraft never mentioned Crowley, and Crowley
> never mentioned Lovecraft. Lovecraft very likely knew of Crowley,
> but would have had the same kneejerk reaction of revulsion and
> horror as the average reader of the popular press of the day, in
> which Crowley was depicted as some sort of monster. I doubt very
> much that Crowley would even have recognized Lovecraft's name.

Lovecraft mentions Crowley in a late letter, but it just
reveals that his knowledge comes from the scandal-sheet type
stories about him of the day. (Even the mainstream press
coverage on Crowley was crap of such sort that it would
embarrass tabloids like _The National Enquirer_ to publish
such fiction.) He also mentions that H.R. Wakefield's story
"He Cometh and He Passeth by!" is based on Crowley.

Crowley would surely have enjoyed Lovecraft's work if he had
read it, but I know of no indication that he ever did. He
admired the work of many weird fiction writers, and _Magick
in Theory and Practice_ gives required and suggested reading
lists that include very many works of fantasy and weird
fiction. He highly recommends Arthur Machen's work as of
great interest, for example. He had Lord Dunsany contribute
to his own publication, _The Equinox_.

Rocket-scientist Jack Parsons was a follower of Crowley and
heavily into science fiction, and knew a number of the
writers of the time, so he was surely aware of Lovecraft,
but as I recall Crowley sneered with disdain at his interest
in the "magazine trash" of the pulp magazines (not really an
unfair reaction, for most of it).

An article tracing all the connections between Crowley and
weird fiction would be very fascinating, and I wish someone
else would write one because I don't want to do the work.

--
Dan Clore
mailto:cl...@columbia-center.org

Now available: _The Unspeakable and Others_
Including all my fiction through 2001, and more.
http://www.wildsidepress.com/index2.htm
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1587154838/thedanclorenecro

Lord We˙rdgliffe:
http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/9879/
Necronomicon Page:
http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/9879/necpage.htm
News for Anarchists & Activists:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo

I've watched the dogs of war enjoying their feast
I've seen the western world go down in the east
The food of love became the greed of our time
But now we're living on the profits of crime
--Black Sabbath, "Hole in the Sky"

Dan Clore

unread,
Jun 5, 2002, 7:22:56 PM6/5/02
to
Theo Paijmans wrote:
>
> and you are right; there's an interesting spoof to this effect on (I
> think)the Necronomicon files.
>
> Equally interesting would be a meeting between Fort, Crowley and HPL.
> Which also never happened. Or did it?:)

Some magazine, I think it was _Fortean Times_, published a
photo of HPL and Fort together a while back. Alas, it was
just a picture of HPL and Frank Belknap Long with Fort's
head pasted onto Long's body.

--
Dan Clore
mailto:cl...@columbia-center.org

Now available: _The Unspeakable and Others_
Including all my fiction through 2001, and more.
http://www.wildsidepress.com/index2.htm
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1587154838/thedanclorenecro

Lord Weÿrdgliffe:

Al Smith

unread,
Jun 5, 2002, 8:44:36 PM6/5/02
to

You know, I bet Lovecraft would have found Crowley's novel
"Moonchild" interesting, although he would have given it poor
marks as entertaining fiction -- the novel drags quite a bit. He
probably would have preferred the novels of Dion Fortune, which
are a lot more readable. There's a thought -- imagine "Moonchild"
if Lovecraft had acted as Crowley's ghost-editor and co-writer, as
he so often did for other writers. The novel would undoubtedly
contain more references to "cosmic horror" than it presently does,
but would be lots more fun to read.

John Pelan

unread,
Jun 5, 2002, 11:59:51 PM6/5/02
to
On Wed, 05 Jun 2002 16:21:30 -0700, Dan Clore
<cl...@columbia-center.org> wrote:

>Al Smith wrote:
>
>> So far as I know, Lovecraft never mentioned Crowley, and Crowley
>> never mentioned Lovecraft. Lovecraft very likely knew of Crowley,
>> but would have had the same kneejerk reaction of revulsion and
>> horror as the average reader of the popular press of the day, in
>> which Crowley was depicted as some sort of monster. I doubt very
>> much that Crowley would even have recognized Lovecraft's name.
>
>Lovecraft mentions Crowley in a late letter, but it just
>reveals that his knowledge comes from the scandal-sheet type
>stories about him of the day. (Even the mainstream press
>coverage on Crowley was crap of such sort that it would
>embarrass tabloids like _The National Enquirer_ to publish
>such fiction.) He also mentions that H.R. Wakefield's story
>"He Cometh and He Passeth by!" is based on Crowley.
>
>Crowley would surely have enjoyed Lovecraft's work if he had
>read it, but I know of no indication that he ever did. He
>admired the work of many weird fiction writers, and _Magick
>in Theory and Practice_ gives required and suggested reading
>lists that include very many works of fantasy and weird
>fiction. He highly recommends Arthur Machen's work as of
>great interest, for example. He had Lord Dunsany contribute
>to his own publication, _The Equinox_.

He was also very enthusiastic (with good reason) about Edgar Jepson's
THE GARDEN AT #19, which by happy coincidence is scheduled for a new
edition from Midnight House this summer. No, the dj art isn't up on
the site yet, but soon, very soon...

Cheers,

John Pelan
www.darksidepress.com
>

Theo Paijmans

unread,
Jun 6, 2002, 2:38:17 AM6/6/02
to
That was in the excellent and now web only magazine Strange Magazine.

Best,

Theo

William Meikle

unread,
Jun 6, 2002, 6:00:28 AM6/6/02
to

Al Smith <inv...@address.com> wrote in article <3CFEB051...@address.com>...


> > Al Smith wrote:
> You know, I bet Lovecraft would have found Crowley's novel
> "Moonchild" interesting, although he would have given it poor
> marks as entertaining fiction -- the novel drags quite a bit. He
> probably would have preferred the novels of Dion Fortune, which
> are a lot more readable. There's a thought -- imagine "Moonchild"
> if Lovecraft had acted as Crowley's ghost-editor and co-writer, as
> he so often did for other writers. The novel would undoubtedly
> contain more references to "cosmic horror" than it presently does,
> but would be lots more fun to read.
>

If somebody gives me a huge bundle of money, I'll write it :)

....it would be great fun to try but I don't think it would be a huge seller these days unless you got the film rights, mixed in a
few nubile teenagers and a knowing wink to the audience to make them comfortable with the fact that all this "occult stuff" wasn't
meant to be taken seriously. "Scream if you like Magick" or "I know where you put your tentacles" anybody?

Willie
http://www.willie.meikle.btinternet.co.uk

Dan Clore

unread,
Jun 6, 2002, 5:13:59 PM6/6/02
to
Theo Paijmans wrote:
>
> That was in the excellent and now web only magazine Strange Magazine.

Ah, thanks. I knew it was one of those, just couldn't
remember which one. Did they present it as authentic? I've
only seen a scanned image of it, not whatever original story
it appeared with.

> > Some magazine, I think it was _Fortean Times_, published a
> > photo of HPL and Fort together a while back. Alas, it was
> > just a picture of HPL and Frank Belknap Long with Fort's
> > head pasted onto Long's body.

--
Dan Clore
mailto:cl...@columbia-center.org

Now available: _The Unspeakable and Others_
Including all my fiction through 2001, and more.
http://www.wildsidepress.com/index2.htm
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1587154838/thedanclorenecro

Lord We˙rdgliffe:

Theo Paijmans

unread,
Jun 9, 2002, 4:15:03 PM6/9/02
to
Hi Dan,

No they didn't. In fact, I knew the editor who was a scrupulous and
excellent Fortean researcher. The article stuck to the facts as we all know
them. You can still order that particular issue at www. strangemag.com

Kind regards,

Theo

Yassin Yassin

unread,
Oct 22, 2021, 1:58:23 PM10/22/21
to

I'm not a butcher
I'm not a Yid
Nor yet a foreign skipper
But I'm your own light-hearted friend
Yours truly
Jack the Ripper
Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages