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DE LA MARE, Walter.

Come Hither.

A collection of rhymes and poems for the young of all ages. Embellished by Alec Buckels.

Published: London: Constable & Co 1923

Stock code: 107777

Price: £150

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This item is on show at 100 Fulham Road (map)

First edition, first impression. Sir Henry and Margaret Newbolt’s copy, with a signed and apparently unpublished holograph poem by De La Mare on a piece of card tipped in to p. [3], entitled “To a copy of Come Hither”, and reading “Happy art thou – to rest in that still room, / Under those thick-thatched ears in / Aisholt Combe, / Where sings the nightingale, where blooms / the broom. Walter de la Mare, April ?44”. It was after eighteen years working in the statistics department at Anglo-American Oil that De La Mare’s verse finally attracted the “eager championship” of Sir Henry, who secured him a royal bounty grant of £200 which allowing allowed him to leave his day-job and devote himself to writing full-time (ODNB): a superb association. The Newbolts moved to the the Old School House in the Somerset village of Aisholt around 1927; Henry died in 1938, with Margaret fulfilling a role as his literary executor with her Later Life and Letters of Sir Henry Newbolt, published in 1942. A significantly provenanced copy of one of De La Mare’s best-loved works; “De la Mare’s originality stamped his anthologies, notably Come Hither (1923), framed by one of his most beautiful symbolic stories. The anthology juxtaposes official poetry with Tom O’Bedlam and counting-out rhymes, as if to prove that poetry’s essence counts for everything, its categories for little” (idem).

Octavo. Original green cloth, titles to spine within single fillet border gilt, covers panel-stamped with four-line border and strapwork cornerpieces, top edge gilt. Woodcut vignettes and full-page illustrations by Alec Buckels. Holograph poem by De La Mare on small (60 115 mm) oblong piece of card tipped in to p. [3]. Extremities and joints rubbed, pale mottling to cloth (heavier on rear board), spotting to prelims, surface-splitting to joint between quires G and H, contents slightly toned. A good copy.

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