NP, ND (Circa 1920s - 1930s). Two typescript copies of Crowley's "The Ship" (AKA The Ship, A Mystery Play, Liber DCCC), both copies printed on 15 sheets of 11 x 8 1/4 inch paper, the top copy printed on thick, cream paper, the carbon copy printed on thin paper with a greenish tint. The top copy was originally secured in the top left corner with paper clips, which have left rust marks, but a now secured by a single staple, the pages of the lower copy still secured in the upper left corner by a single paper-clip. As almost always the typescript is undated, but paper type and size are typical of some produced for Crowley in the 1920s and 1930s.
"The Ship" is a lyrical mystery play that was very dear to Crowley. He wrote it in the final years of the first decade of the twentieth century, during a time of profound inspiration: "During this period the full interpretation of the central mystery of freemasonry became clear in consciousness, and I expressed it in dramatic form in The Ship. The lyrical climax is in some respect my supreme achievement in invocation." He subsequently dedicated it to Theodor Reuss, and gave it the "Liber number DCCC" - indicating that he considered it a work of considerable magical inspiration. Richard Kaczynski has noted that "The Ship" "had alway been a poem of great import to Crowley, and he worked it into many rituals, including the Gnostic Mass and the Paris Working." Crowley also read sections of it during the funeral ceremony for Raoul Loveday that followed his death in Cefalu in February 1923, and the anthem from "The Ship" was one of the pieces that Crowley chose to read when making sound recordings in London in 1936. "The Ship" was published in "The Equinox" Vol. I, No. 10. (1913) but was not republished during Crowley's lifetime - indeed it remained out-of-print until "The Equinox" series was reprinted by Weiser in 1972. Given the importance that "The Ship" had to Crowley it is not in the least surprising that he would have commissioned typescripts to be made of it, either for personal use in rituals or other ceremonies, to circulate amongst his followers at a time when copies of "The Equinox" were unavailable, or perhaps with the intention of including it in some publication that never came to see the light of day. Pages lightly toned, rust marks from a paper clip to top corner of top copy, the final page of which is detached and has some creasing and chipping. Bottom left corner of carbon copy pages somewhat creased - could be carefully flattened - still VG+. Obviously rare. Item #72036