"Landed Gentry" A typescript with manuscript additions in Crowley's hand. Aleister CROWLEY.

"Landed Gentry" A typescript with manuscript additions in Crowley's hand.

ND (ca 1942 ). A single 8 3/4 x 7 inch sheet of notepaper, typed on the recto only, with manuscript corrections and insertions. An early typescript of Crowley's inflamatory anti-establishment poem, "Landed Gentry." The poem is a dig at the complacency, entitlement, and incompetence of the British upper-classes, who Crowley suggested were incapable of standing up to the threats of Nazism and Communism. He tried to have it published in his 1942 volume "The Fun of the Fair" but was rebuffed by several printers who feared that they would be prosecuted for publishing anything that might be considered anti-government propaganda under the strict wartime censorship laws. Eventually Crowley hit upon the ploy of having a mainstream printer - his old favourite the Chiswick Press - produce the actual volume, but employing a jobbing printer (the 1940's equivalent of a copy-shop) to reproduce the poem "Landed Gentry" (and another dubious work "Political Vote. B----y Secret") by duplicating them from a typescript. He then had the extra poems tipped into the rear of some copies of "The Fun of the Fair", as well as distributing some separately as loose sheets. Interestingly this is obviously an early typescript that predates the actual publication, as Crowley has added one word, and two two-word lines to the text of the poem, as well as making various corrections in manuscript, which have been picked up in the printed text of the published form. There is also a (typed) snide dedication to his friend Gerald Yorke and (in manuscript) "Edition of 1942" next to (typed) "Burke - and Hare." This is obviously a joke at the expense of the famous directory of the British upper classes, Burke's Peerage, by confusing it with two famous nineteenth century murderers and grave-robbers, Burke and Hare! Crowley obviously thought better of this and omitted it from the published form. A few light spots, but VG+ condition. "The Beast" as class warrior! Item #68308

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