DE LA MARE, Walter.
A collection of rhymes and poems for the young of all ages. Embellished by Alec Buckels.
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 Sir Henry and Margaret Newbolt’s copy, with a signed and apparently unpublished holograph poem by De La Mare on a piece of card tipped in to p. , entitled “To a copy of Come Hither”, and reading “Happy art thou – to rest in that still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).
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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. . 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.