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Austin Osman Spare


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About the Author

PHIL BAKER is a London-based writer who has written books on absinthe, occult novelist Dennis Wheatley, Samuel Beckett, and William Burroughs, with two more books in preparation on London and opium. He also writes for several newspapers, including the Sunday Times and the Times Literary Supplement.


From the foreword: Phil Baker has established himself as among the very best contemporary biographers... What Baker has accomplished here is little short of marvellous.
--Alan Moore, author of Watchmen, V for Vendetta, and From Hell

[written with] zest and insight .... Ever determined to break down the barriers between reality and fantasy, Spare has finally achieved it--not by elaborate psychic exercises, but through biography.
--The Times Literary Supplement

Baker has a fine store of anecdotes... What emerges is a portrait of a marginal figure forever ahead of the curve: [Spare]'s cited as the precursor of surrealism, pop art and even psychoanalysis.
--The Guardian Baker is a wonderful writer, careful, intelligent, and dry. He also knows his London, and the Spare that emerges in his portrayal is very much an avatar of that unique and ancient town.
--Erik Davis, author of Techgnosis and Nomad Codes The time is over-ripe for a proper biography of this curious figure, and it is a pleasure to report that Phil Baker's study is a first-rate performance, scrupulously researched, judicious, and refreshingly sane .... By the end of this admirable book, Spare comes to seem a strangely attractive figure: talented, stoical, randy, cantankerous, gentle, and a magnificent English eccentric.
--The Literary Review I cannot recommend Austin Osman Spare too highly. Phil Baker has done a wonderful job of bringing the complexities and contradictions of Spare's life to the fore, and in making the London of Spare's time come to life vividly and richly.
--Phil Hine, author of Condensed Chaos

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