The Stratagem and other Stories

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The Stratagem and other Stories
Stratagem and other stories.jpg
dust-jacket of The Stratagem and Other Stories
AuthorAleister Crowley
CountryUnited Kingdom
PublisherMandrake Press
Publication date
Media typePrint (hardback)
Pages140 pp

The Stratagem and other Stories is a small book of short stories written by Aleister Crowley (1875–1947), occult magician, poet and self-proclaimed prophet of a new Æon.


Page Title Read online
9 The Stratagem [1]
47 The Testament of Magdalen Blair [2]
121 His Secret Sin [3]

The book was originally published in 1929 and one of a series of Crowley's works to be published by Mandrake Press after a difficult period in which Crowley found it difficult to publish due both to his lack of funds, and his notoriety. Mandrake Press also published The Confessions of Aleister Crowley volumes I and II, and Moonchild.

Crowley hardly ever published collections of short stories, but the title story received such a good review from British novelist Joseph Conrad when he published it in The English Review that he thought it was a possible calling to conventional fame.

The second story, "The Testament of Magdalen Blair," is the longest of the three and was originally published in The Equinox volume I, no.9 in 1913. It tells the haunting story of a psychic woman who delves into the dying, subconscious psyche of her husband and bears resemblance to Edgar Allan Poe's "Mesmeric Revelation" and "The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar".

The third short story, "His Secret Sin", was first published in The Equinox volume I, no.8 in 1912 and has a pervert absconding with a photograph of the Venus de Milo.

The inscription at the front of the book read:

To the Memories of Three Dead Friends: Joseph Conrad, who applauded the first story; Allan Bennett, Bhikku Ananda Metteya, who suggested the second, and Eugene John Weiland, who bowled me out over the third.


  • Mandrake Press, UK, 1929
  • Temple Press, UK, 1990, ISBN 1-871744-10-5


See also[edit]