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    Sale 5141

    Fine Printed Books & Manuscripts

    12 November 2007, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 147

    DE LA MARE, Walter (1873-1956). A collection of approximately 173 autograph and typed letters signed to Rowland Watson, Hill House, Taplow, The Old Park, Penn, Buckinghamshire and 4 South End House, Montpelier Row, Twickenham, 1926-1954, in pen and pencil on blue or cream paper, the majority of the typed letters with autograph additions and amendments, some with explanatory annotations by Watson in pencil together approx 232 pages, 4to, 8vo, and 12mo; and Patrick Abercrombie, 2 autograph letters signed and a typed letter signed from de la Mare's secretary, M. Tait. Provenance: Rowland Watson; thence by descent.

    Price Realised  

    DE LA MARE, Walter (1873-1956). A collection of approximately 173 autograph and typed letters signed to Rowland Watson, Hill House, Taplow, The Old Park, Penn, Buckinghamshire and 4 South End House, Montpelier Row, Twickenham, 1926-1954, in pen and pencil on blue or cream paper, the majority of the typed letters with autograph additions and amendments, some with explanatory annotations by Watson in pencil together approx 232 pages, 4to, 8vo, and 12mo; and Patrick Abercrombie, 2 autograph letters signed and a typed letter signed from de la Mare's secretary, M. Tait. Provenance: Rowland Watson; thence by descent.

    Walter de la Mare's lively and prolific correspondence with his friend, the editor Rowland Watson (1890-1968). Many of the letters concern the arrangements for the memorial to the poet Edward Thomas, involving a selection of his poetry and the sarsen stone set on the hillside above Steep. Watson was Secretary of the Memorial Committee, but missed the unveiling of the stone due to ill health; de la Mare therefore provides him with a full account of the occasion: 'there we all were: an amusing and interesting circle round the Stone -- boys with dogs, people of every description. [John] Masefield made by far the best speech for the occasion I have ever heard, and the only little mishap ... the signal to the trumpeters was given rather too early -- while Nevinson was still speaking'. Written through the war years ('the news has just come through that Mussolini has declared war') and beyond, De La Mare's letters are at times poetic and melancholy ('I wish it were snowdrop time now as well as cherry-blossom time. My joy at each new flower as it appears is always stupidly sicklied over with regret that it will be soon gone'); he writes at least five separate stanzas with Wilson as his subject and touches on literary matters and discussions, for example on Charles Morgan's play, 'The Flashing Stream' ('I tried with serpentine subtlety to involve you in the talk about the Play, but you merely smiled and smiled -- and remained an angel').


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