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Re: Watkins Bookshop

Sep 18, 1996 05:28 PM
by Dr. A.M.Bain

In message <>,
>Alan's reminiscenses brought back a flood of memories!
>I think that Watkins played from the beginning of the century a vital part
>in bringing together people with spiritual interests. I thought that John
>Watkins was a Theosophist. I recall seeing a portrait of HPB there.

It was in the shop when I took the picture.

>According to the Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology Geoffrey
>Watkins was next to organizer of the bookshop publisher of occult and
>metaphysical books.

And he was very selective in his choice.  It had to be serious and
worthwhile material.

>"The bookshop has long been a meeting place for leading personalities in
>occult sciences. Mr. Watkins father started in 1894 and was a close friend
>of Madame Blavatsky, c.G.Jung, Aldous Huxley, W.B.Yeats and Aleister Crowley."

Indeed he was, and many others of the day.
>I remember myself fondly the long lists of second hand books they sent out
>in the fifties (and may be later). One could order books for a few
>shillings. Gone are these times. See what prices are now being asked there
>for the same books -almost a hundredfold.
>I liked the photo on your page and wonder what books might have been
>expected in the window at that time.

I will check he origian photo under a glass and list what I can!

>Atlantis Bookshop in Museum Street retained a bit of the atmosphere of olden
>Michael Rogge
 ... including some of the "not-so nice" atmospheres.  Geraldine Beskin,
who had the Altlantis Bookshop until a couple of years back told me that
she always found one corner of it quite oppressive.  The 1958 edition of
Crowley's "777" was published from there.  Three pounds in a limited
edition of 1,000.  Wish I still had my copy - it would fetch a good
price now!

THEOSOPHY INTERNATIONAL: Ancient Wisdom for a New Age
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