The Atlantis Bookshop was set up by magicians for magicians and we have kept it that way. It was founded in 1922 by Michael Houghton, a young Jewish lad full of drive, poetry, Theosophy and Magic and his great friend Paul Brunton.
Ross Nichols' day job was to run a "Crammer", a business to provide extra tutoring for teenage boys. He edited the prestigious Isis magazine and later produced collections of poetry and wrote many Druid rituals. Always a Sun worshipper, he used the same Nudist colony as the post-war witches. He was always charming, slightly aloof and deeply tanned. His year round tan made his skin look quite gnarled and Geraldine called him Old Tree - which he rather enjoyed.
Austin Osman Spare
Austin Spare was lovely according to the people who knew him. Crazy as crazy but still contactable in conversation. Very poor, very ill, as a cartographer of the Unknown, driven by his Genius, he was entitled to be a bit Out There socially really. Our collections of his art and personal artefacts began in the late 1970's when Geraldine 'had a feeling' and went into a murky storeroom and found two pastels by him. Michael Houghton had stocks of first editions that gathered dust for decades impossible as that now seems. Geraldine curated a 1986 exhibition to celebrate 100 years since his birth and the catalogue, The Divine Draughtsman, has the first full-colour images outside part-works like Man, Myth and Magic.
The Beskins have now staged 5 big exhibitions and have had the honour of the Spare family lending to them as well as work from other significant private collections.
The grandfather of modern witchcraft was a great friend of our founder, Michael Houghton and of Geraldine's Dad. She will tell anyone who stands still long enough about the time she saw him and her father coming up from the basement laughing together one afternoon when she was a girl. She wasn't introduced but was - and is - thrilled to have seen the King of the Witches.
Could anyone really call themselves a friend of Crowley, the most capricious of Beasts? Michael Houghton did. Michael was also massively useful to Crowley as a 'crowd funder' of sorts to get The Book of Thoth published - despite there being a war on for some of the time. He also published 777 very handsomely. He must have had a very forbearing nature as he 'lent' Crowley beautiful copies of his books that he knew he'd never see again as they would be sold at exorbitant prices to the latest potential acolyte. Crowley worked closely with Frieda, Lady Harris and also Gerald Yorke in later years.
Doreen was a chum of Geraldine's Mother and they spent many an afternoon together. She was tallish, a bit gawky, used to wear a Welsh wool cape and was essentially sweet natured. She was an encourager by nature too. She gave grace and elegance to the Book of Shadow and thousands of people hold her words dear to their hearts.