COLLECTION by Walter de la Mare
INTRODUCTION by Mark Valentine
PUBLICATION Tartarus Press
Jacketed Hard Cover - ISBN 978-1-905784-02-8 [£35]
'Walter de la Mare's stories have a claim to be the most subtle and strangely powerful depictions of the supernatural in English fiction of the twentieth century.' So says Mark Valentine in his introduction to these thirty-one uncanny tales. Amongst this selection are some of the best known of de la Mare's stories: 'Seaton's Aunt', 'Out of the Deep', 'All Hallows', and also some of the more obscure: 'Miss Jemima', 'A Game at Cards', Alice's Godmother'. All illustrate the writer's enigmatic relationship with alternative layers of existence and a sense of the unknown, conveyed in beautifully restrained prose.
There are few overt exterior forces encountered; de la Mare's characters 'do not have to face monstrosities of any sort: but they are haunted nevertheless; by loneliness, by lovelessness, by loss.' This concentration on 'queerness and quiet tragedy' is tempered by the writer's poetic powers of description, particularly his depiction of the English countryside. Strangers and Pilgrims is the definitive collection of de la Mare's supernatural and psychological stories.