Aleister Crowley favorably reviewed the novel Bracken in The Equinox Vol.1 No. 5

Included here are Crowley's review under the pseudonym O.H., a review from the New York Times published in March of 1912, and a scanned copy of the novel.


New York Times Review March 1912

NYT Review

Full PDF scan of the novel

Title Pageof Bracken


Bracken by John Trevenna

This is a very fine study of west country life. Jaspar Ramridge is a schoolmaster, and can see nothing but discipline.

Cuthbert Orton is a schoolboy, and can see nothing but revolt against that discipline.

Neither grows up. So when they start to create, the boy produces a creature of naked emotion and no more; the man a creature of naked intellect and no more. The first is an animal, the second a devil.

This is our own doctrine; but never have I seen it better expressed.

It is not the province of man to create, but to beget. The father of the girl who is in turn obsessed by Orton and Ramridge is a perfect ass; but he made a very good job once in his life.

Let this admirable book be a warning to all those who seek magical power, or to teach pupils.

If you obtain magical powers, as is easy, you can only use it to destroy both yourself and your victims, unless by a greater miracle than the magic itself. If you seek to teach, your pupils are almost sure to misunderstand.

The alternative is to initiate; and this can only be done by those who are no longer men or magicians.

Let me congratulate Mr Trevena upon a most enthralling and instructive book.

O. H.


Print on demand (POD) versions of Bracken can be found under the author's real name Ernest George Henham at There are no downloadable versions available via Google Books, but two scans formatted for online reading are available in the Hathi Trust Digital Library.