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Songs of Childhood. By Walter Ramal.

DE LA MARE (Walter).

DE LA MARE (Walter).

Songs of Childhood. By Walter Ramal.

Frontispiece reproducing "Under the Dock Leaves" by Richard Doyle.

First Edition. 12mo. [175 x 109 x 19 mm]. [4]ff, 106, [2] pp. Bound in the publisher's quarter cream parchment, pale blue linen boards with a gilt roundel on the upper cover, spine lettered in gilt, plain endleaves, top edge gilt, the others untrimmed. (Spine sunned, slightly marked on rear cover).
London: Longman, Green & Co., 1902

A very good copy of Walter De La Mare's first book, issued pseudonymously. It is inscribed in ink on the front free endleaf: "To Miss King - a very small token of much gratitude and admiration. Norman Douglas". The donor was not the author of South Wind but the recipient was Jessie M. King (1875-1949), the artist and writer.

"His own output was prodigious: de la Mare published over a thousand poems and rhymes. The poems are marked by subtle and memorable rhythms, and often minor in key; many are masterly and haunting. His real career began late, when he was nearly thirty, with Songs of Childhood (1902), published under the pen-name Walter Ramal (discarded only in 1904). Some of these poems aim directly at child readers, others recreate the state of childhood itself - to him always life's summit - its pure wonder, intuitions, solitary fantasy, and above all its readiness to see the world as part of another, no less real for being magical and spiritual...." - Dictionary National Biography.

Stock no. ebc5471

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Price: £750