The Magic of My Youth

Narrated by:
Tom Burke , Rupert Degas

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
May 2023
5 hours 40 minutes
A charming, quirky memoir from British author Arthur Calder-Marshall, recalling his youth in 1920s England. The title needs to be taken quite literally as much of the narrative revolves around the shadowy figure of occultist Aleister Crowley, at the height of his dubious powers during this era.

As boys growing up in a small country town Arthur and his brother befriend an eccentric poet, whom they dub Vicky Bird – in fact a fairly well-known literary figure called Victor Neuberg. He is haunted by some romantic tragedy in his past, in which Crowley may be implicated. When Arthur goes up to Oxford Vicky Bird connects him with circles who dabble in the supernatural.

In London, Arthur graduates towards the epicentre of Bohemian literary life in the pubs of Fitzrovia. Here he meets the femme fatale Betty May, who blames Crowley for the death of her husband, and tells fantastic tales of satanism in Sicily. At last Arthur encounters the man himself, in a dingy café…

This is a wonderful tale of English eccentrics, told with deadpan British humour. Calder-Marshall pokes fun at his own youthful preoccupations, but nonetheless a sinister, menacing edge lingers. Bizarre, droll, and threaded with the melancholia of a generation who only just escaped the devastation of World War I, it is sure to delight the modern reader.

'The delicate art of autobiography is one to which the English bring a particular talent. It's good to know The Magic of My Youth will be available once more, as it deserves to be' - Michael Holroyd, biographer -

‘His own memoir, The Magic of My Youth, does little to solve the mystery of Calder-Marshall, coded as it is in a dizzying and fantastical tale about a young Oxford student in search of occultist Aleister Crowley, a wanton influence on the writer's formative years. It is a lavish and delirious read for anyone interested in experiencing fashionable Bloomsbury in the 1920s, the perfect complement to Evelyn Waugh's Vile Bodies' – The Guardian

‘Absolutely charming - Arthur Calder-Marshall wrote lovely prose full of insight and wit' – Goodreads
Browse By Category
1 book added to cart
View Cart