A previously unpublished manuscript from the notorious Timothy Leary will star in a Bonhams auction on October 10 in San Francisco.
Leary began his career as a psychologist at Harvard in the 1950s, but was soon dismissed due to his research into the uses of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) in treating mental conditions. He was then propelled to the forefront of the 1960s counterculture movement, where he forged strong relationships with other leading figures such as Allen Ginsberg, William S Burroughs and Aldous Huxley - establishing a rivalry with One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest author Ken Kesey in the process.
During his controversial time in the limelight, he urged America's youth to "turn on, tune in, drop out" and advocated the regular use of LSD for both spiritual and recreational purposes, causing President Richard Nixon to brand him "the most dangerous man in America". Leary was later arrested in 1970 and, when faced with a long prison sentence, managed a daring escape with the help of the student protest group The Weather Underground.
It was after his capture in 1973 that Leary wrote the manuscript at auction. It was written at the California Medical Facility, where he was temporarily incarcerated before being moved to the notorious Folsom Prison. The 203-page work explores the relationships between the Periodic Table of Elements, the Neutrogenetic Theory of Evolution as well as the Tarot, I Ching and Zodiac. It will sell with a £30,000-50,000 estimate.
Manuscripts of Leary's work rarely appear at auction, although his personal sensory deprivation tank sold for $6,700 on eBay in May this year. A first edition signed copy of his most famous work, The Psychedelic Experience, sold for just $288 in February.
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