The dawning twentieth century is not big enough for eccentric genius Aleister Crowley. He is an acclaimed poet, chess master, world-class mountaineer, and probably the most passionately liberated man in Victorian London. His real devotion, however, is magic…and the search for his own soul.
An infamous fourteenth century Arabic book of magic survives the centuries to spawn the formation of a hidden society of magicians in London. The Order is led by occult scholar MacGregor Mathers and his wife Moina, who claim to be in touch with secret masters that give them ever-increasing magical knowledge and power. For several years the Order grows, drawing on new members from the giants of British commerce, art, and literature.
Suddenly, at the height of the Order’s influence, MacGregor and Moina appear to lose contact with the secret masters. They move to Paris and ignore the Order’s plea for more teachings and higher initiations. The London lodge threatens to sever ties with them and make magical contact with the secret masters themselves. Five very famous members lead the revolt:
•the poet William Butler Yeats
•the playwright Maude Gonne
•Bram Stoker, author of Dracula
•Florence Farr, the most acclaimed actress of her day
•and one of the wealthiest women in the world, tea heiress Annie Horniman.
Crowley naively joins the Order at the beginning of the revolt. Blinded by his intense spiritual aspirations, he is not only drawn into the conflict, but unwittingly becomes the catalyst that brings about their destruction.