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Walter De La Mare, Short Stories 1895-1926 : Vol 1 [Hardcover]

Walter de la Mare , Giles de la Mare
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

18 Nov 1996
The publication of "Short Stories 1895-1926" celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of Walter de la Mare's death. It is also the culmination of a major literary enterprise. For many people Walter de la Mare (1873-1956) is as great a writer of fiction as of poetry. But the majority of his short stories, of which there are a hundred, have long been unavailable. "Short Stories" brings them all together in three volumes in the first comprehensive collection to be published. The first volume, "Short Stories 1895-1926", starts with "Broomsticks and Other Tales of 1925", with its twelve stories, and continues with "The Lord Fish of 1933" with seven stories. The famous story called 'The Riddle' is also included as it is a story that appeals equally to adults and children. De la Mare's earliest published works were stories, and he continued writing and rewriting stories throughout the rest of his life. There was always a creative counterpoint between the themes and imagery of his prose and his poetry - such as the dream, childhood, the house, night, love lost and regained, solitude and the traveller. A full understanding of either is impossible without knowledge of both.

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Walter De La Mare, Short Stories 1895-1926 : Vol 1 + Walter de la Mare, Short Stories 1927-1956: v. 2 + Walter de la Mare, Short Stories for Children: v. 3
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 508 pages
  • Publisher: Giles de la Mare Publishers; 1st Edition edition (18 Nov 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1900357038
  • ISBN-13: 978-1900357036
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 24.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 561,331 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

"'What strikes one most about [them] is how truly peculiar they are... it is good to see these dark and disquieting stories back in print.' TLS on Short Stories 1895-1926 and Short Stories 1927-1956 'He was so... "great" that, like all the greatest, his greatness functions as an assumption that goes hardly even recognized...the chief emotion is, as it should be, one of immense gratitude.' Martin Seymour-Smith in Scotland on Sunday on Short Stories 1895-1926 'Beautiful, enigmatic and disquieting stories.' Lord David Cecil 'De la Mare is a master of mise-en-scene...Prose with the most vivid and unsettling intensity, which resembles some of what the surrealists were producing in France...' Angela Carter"

About the Author

Walter de la Mare (1873-1956) was one of the leading poets and novelists of the twentieth century. His writings are known throughout the world, and have been translated into numerous languages. He wrote poetry and fiction for both adults and children. He is loved and admired equally by the young and the old. Together with the Complete Poems, published in 1969 and shortly to be brought back into print -- and also edited by Giles de la Mare -- Short Stories I, II and III provide the definitive text of Walter de la Mare's creative writings. De la Mare was in addition an anthologist of genius and an outstanding literary critic, serving as the main critic on the TLS for many years.

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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Writing. 5 May 2006
By S. Hapgood VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Walter de la Mare's writing was of an astonishingly rich texture, and all his stories are multi-layered, and many quite satisfyingly ambiguous. I like supernatural/horror tales which leave me to make up my own mind as to what it was all about, I'm not overly-fond of tales that tie all the mysteries up very neatly. The ambiguity is at its very best in probably his best known work "Seaton's Aunt", a work which bears several readings (just who or what is this monstrous, domineering old lady, and what is the power that she has over her weak nephew?). Equally as good to my mind is "Out Of The Deep", about an eccentric, lonely young man who inherits his uncle's house. He finds that tugging on the bell-pulls at night causes ghostly servants (amongst others) to appear. Put like that it sounds like a straightforward ghost story, but I can assure you it's not. You can read a very dark message in this one, (just how evil was Old Soames the butler?) and I personally rank it as one of DLM's most memorable pieces. "All Hallows" is also exceptional, about a traveller who comes across a church by the seaside at dusk. On talking to the verger he discovers that some unnamed evil has taken up residence there. There are some genuinely very eerie moments in this, and it all feels gloriously M R James-ish. There is something very Jamesian too about the character of the old recluse in "Mr Kempe", and others have drawn comparisons with H P Lovecraft in this story.

There is very much a feel of the post-WW1 Britain in many of the stories. Of a country traumatised by 4 years of war. In "The Nap" we have Mr Thripp, who is to all outward appearances an affable working-class family man, the very picture of normality.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the ideal short story 13 Feb 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Before reading this collection I had only come across his novel " Memoirs of a Midget "( which I'd imagined to be some kind of Diane Arbus number ! ) Fascinated by this very unique and (nowadays ) obscure author I was delighted to find this recently published collection, containing some of his previously unpublished stories.

I think he is a master of the short story ; he creates so vivdly and evocatively an atmosphere and moment in time that the reader feels like it is a shared memory. The story reveberates in the readers mind long after , so that you end up thinking about the characters and revising your views as if their existence went beyond the boundaries of the book.

One word of caution : the fading light of edwardian gardens, summer nights in forgotten country grave yards, not to mention the lonely hours of odd only children, can all get beyond pleasant melancholy and in to the realms of the desolate. So to appreciate De La Mare's art......one story at a time.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Overpriced. 17 July 2013
By Wallis
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The fact that I gave this four stars is no reflection on the work - everyone should read everything Walter de la Mare ever wrote, but the collection is over-priced for an ebook.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great storyteller and stylist 10 May 2003
By L. Stearns Newburg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I'm very high on this book and its companion volume, because it gives us something that for many years has been difficult to come by: a feast of De la Mare's elegant fictional prose in the short story form.

De la Mare's fiction has been available in mere piecemeal form for decades now, despite his considerable distinction as a writer of stories. In part, I think, it's because he was bucking the prevalent trends of his time in the writing of prose, as well as approach. He seems almost to come from an earlier generation.

That's not to say he's outmoded. His thinking and construction are every bit as sophisticated as his use of language; but the angle of attack is more poetic than realistic or naturalistic. He has something of a reputation as a writer of supernatural fiction, but that's a bit misleading. He wrote distinguished supernatural fiction, of course, but it might be more accurate to call him the poet of the unseen. There are dramatic scenes in his work, but it's interesting to consider how much happens offstage, and how much is implied rather than shown. It's a highly nuanced method, and understandably adaptable to the story of the supernatural, when it suited the author's purposes.

This particular volume contains several of his best stories. I'll single out for particular praise "Miss Duveen," "Seaton's Aunt" (one of the most harrowing stories of its length in English), and an especial favorite, the long story "The Almond Tree."

The rest of the book is worth one's time, too. The companion volume is every bit as high in quality. With two large volumes of stories in this series, all I can say is I regret there aren't any more. (There's a book of stories for children to follow, but that's a different category, with different rules.)

If you like de la Mare, you might find A. E. Coppard to your taste, also.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best--the very best! 20 Jan 2012
By Brent Carleton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Thank you Mr. de la Mare:

Weaver of mysterioso, macabre, and numinous dreamscapes, peopled with intriguing children and even more intriguing elderly recluses, your work demonstrates as you once remarked: the best is always at the edges of things. With you as tourguide--may I always remain at the edges, where I may more readily espy Alice's Godmother rattling by in her ghostly stagecoach, or Seaton's Aunt staring down at me from her second story window.

That's where I want to be!!!

Brent C.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Literary Collection 16 Feb 2011
By whiterabbit - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This collection of rare Walter de la Mare prose stories is a real gem and a treasure, if you can get your hands on a copy! It is always a real challenge finding his prose works, especially at a reasonable price. But once you do, it is well worth the search. His writings are absolutely beautiful, both in style and content. The language is sublime and poetic, yet flows effortlessly, carrying you along with it into a magical world of mysterious beauty. This collection is just wonderful, containing many works previously impossible to find. It really is a treasure of a book.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Graham Greene's favorite authors, English prose at its best 13 Aug 2013
By Karl T. Straub - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Brilliant prose style. Rich like poetry. This book, although it's certainly not exclusively macabre or "weird," has enough
stuff in that vein to qualify as one of the best arguments for including that corner of the fiction world as literature.

No better writer ever wrote creepy, unsettling short fiction, as far as I know, and I've read a lot of that stuff. Walter de la Mare is absolutely due for a resurgence.

He was one of Graham Greene's favorite authors, which is perhaps all I need say.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent collection 31 Jan 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This volume collects a few volumes of de la Mare's short stories, as well as gathering together previously uncollected stories. If you're at all interested in de la Mare's gloomy, poetic prose, there's much material here to sink your teeth into.
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