Walter De La Mare’s imaginative work in poetry, short fiction, and novels made him one of the 20th century’s most celebrated and influential authors. His delightful and often frightening children’s stories are a nostalgic journey through a child’s mind as it explores and imagines a world rich with the possibility adventure, supernatural creatures, and beauty.
As a writer known for his work for children, many of De La Mare’s books were illustrated. Although he himself disagreed with illustrated novels—he saw illustration as a crutch for weak writers who could not adequately communicate with their words alone, we can enjoy some of the beautiful illustrated editions available. For instance, a first edition of De La Mare’s poetry anthology Songs for Childhood (Longman Green and Co: London 1902) with a frontispiece of dancing fairies by Robert Doyle is available for two to three thousand dollars; a 1923 edition illustrated by Estella Canziani sells for about one-tenth of that. De La Mare also signed several copies of this latter edition, which command a slightly higher value.
For those who would prefer to collect De La Mare’s horror stories, which were a major influence on some of the most prolific horror writers of the 20th century including H.P. Lovecraft, they are also available at a range of pricepoints. De La Mare’s possession story The Return (Edward Arnold: London, 1910) is valued from five hundred dollars to almost thirty-five hundred dollars depending on the quality and edition (a 1940 edition by Ayer Books fetches top price).
de la Mare, Walter. Songs of Childhood. Longmans Green and Co, London (1902). With a frontispiece illustration of dancing fairies by Richard Doyle, titled Under the Dock Leaves. De La Mare's first collection of poetry.
de la Mare, Walter. The Three Mulla-Mulgars. Duckworth, London (1910). With a frontispiece and one plate, in color, by J. R. Monsell.
de la Mare, Walter. The Sunken Garden and Other Poems. Beaumont Press, London (1917). 250 numbered copies on hand-made paper.
de la Mare, Walter. Down-Adown-Derry. Constable, London (1922). Illustrated by Dorothy Lathrop with frontispiece and two other coloured plates. Many illustrations of faries, witches and dreams in the text. 325 numbered and signed copies.
de la Mare, Walter. Songs of Childhood. Longmans Green and Co, London (1923). 310 numbered copies signed by de la Mare on a special limitation page. Eight color plates by Estella Canziani
de la Mare, Walter. The Riddle and Other Stories. Selwyn and Blount, London (1923). 310 numbered copies signed by de la Mare.
de la Mare, Walter. Come Hither: A collection of rhymes and poems for the young of all ages.. Constable, London (1923). Woodcut vignettes and full-page illustrations by Alec Buckels.
de la Mare, Walter. Two Tales. Bookman's Journal Office, London (1925). Contains 'The Green Room' and 'The Connoisseur'. 250 signed copies on hand-made paper.
de la Mare, Walter. Broomsticks and Other Tales. Constable, London (1925). Black and white woodcut illustrations by Bold, handmade paper. 278 numbered and signed copies.
de la Mare, Walter. Stuff and Nonsense. Constable, London (1927). 42 woodcuts to the text by Bold.
de la Mare, Walter. Stories From the Bible. Faber and Gwyer, London (1929). 300 signed copies.
de la Mare, Walter. Poems for Children. Constable, London (1930). 125 numbered and signed copies.
de la Mare, Walter. On the Edge Short Stories. Faber and Faber, London (1930). 300 numbered copies. With wood-engravings by Elizabeth Rivers.
de la Mare, Walter. Desert Islands and Robinson Crusoe. Faber and Faber, London (1930). Engraved half-title and decorations by Rex Whistler. 650 signed copies. Printed at the Westminster Press.
de la Mare, Walter. Seven Short Stories Chosen from 'The Connoisseur and Other Stories', 'Broomsticks and Other Tales' and 'The Riddle and Other Stories'.. Faber and Faber, London (1931). 150 copies signed by the author. Frontispiece plus 7 further full colour lithographs and two black and white illustrations by John Nash.
de la Mare, Walter. The Lord Fish. Faber and Faber, London (1933). 60 signed copies. Five colour plates and seven black-and-white head-pieces by Rex Whistler.
de la Mare, Walter. Early One Morning in the Spring. Faber and Faber, London (1935). 50 copies. Lithographic frontis by Barnett Freedman and black and white plates.
de la Mare, Walter. These Things the Poets Said. Pear Tree Press, Sussex (1935). First UK printing. Preface by Robert P Eckert Jr. Poems in memory of the poet Edward Thomas by De la Mare, W H Davies, James Guthrie, Gordon Bottomley, Vivian Locke-Ellis, Robert Frost, John Gawsworth et al. 150 copies. Illustrated.
de la Mare, Walter. This Year: Next Year.. Faber and Faber, London (1937). Illustrated throughout with colourful borders and chromolithograph plates by Harold Jones. 100 numbered copies signed by both author and illustrator.