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New Crowley/Jones story in progress

Alex Roddie
Alex Roddie
2 min read
Wasdale Head: birthplace of English climbing.

The Only Genuine Jones is, in part, the story of a climbing rivalry between two prodigious talents of the mid 1890s: Aleister Crowley and O.G. Jones. For my story I took the facts of the case (presented by numerous biographies and works of climbing history) and went further, wrapping them in my own re-imagining of events. However, December 1896 – July 1897 can only give a glimpse of the complex relationship between Jones and his most vocal critic.

Several fans have recently contacted me to ask if I had any plans to write more stories about these characters. You’ll be glad to hear that I have already begun writing a short story, and the working title is Crowley’s Rival. It begins in 1893 when Aleister Crowley–or Alick, as he was known then–was a mere seventeen years old and was enjoying his first ever walking holiday in the Lake District. Young Alick was a disruptive child who blew up his school playground two years earlier. He went listlessly from school to school, tutor to tutor, causing chaos and havoc wherever he went–utterly bored by the educational system and repressed by his overbearing Plymouth Brethren parents.

He wanted an outlet, some way of expressing himself, and mountaineering was it. His earliest experiences of climbing on Scafell and Great Gable were formative in more ways than one: in the records that survive, we see that Crowley is headstrong, talented, and utterly scathing of those he considers unworthy of their reputation. He encountered Jones on one of his very first climbing excursions. That first impression was not favourable, and in January 1895 they clashed yet again. These interactions set the tone for their deteriorating relationship later on.

This story will stick far closer to documented historical fact than The Only Genuine Jones. I want to prove that, although my novel is fictitious, there is a foundation of truth and Crowley and Jones really did hate each other virtually from day one.

Crowley’s Rival will be released as a Kindle exclusive, hopefully before Christmas. Watch this space–and don’t worry, this won’t be the only short story I write!

The Wasdale Head inn

In other news, my book has received an absolutely stunning review from Nick Bramhall, hillwalker and outdoor blogger. You can read it here.

NotesCrowley's RivalmountainsThe Only Genuine Jones

Alex Roddie

Happiest on a mountain. Writer, story-wrangler, digital and film photographer. Editor of Sidetracked magazine (I make the words come out good).

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