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The poet's poets: collections and anthologies in Walter de la Mare's Working Library

Welsh, A; (2013) The poet's poets: collections and anthologies in Walter de la Mare's Working Library. Presented at: UNSPECIFIED.

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Abstract

Walter de la Mare’s Working Library (Senate House classmark [WdlM]) comprises over 650 books and pamphlets that he identified as important to him in his writing practice, and represents a wide range of subject interests – from Natural History through to folk tales. Over a third of the collection has been annotated, offering a rare opportunity to engage with a writer’s acts of reading and compare them with his own creative output of short stories and poems. In analysing the poetry collections and anthologies within the Working Library, it is apparent that de la Mare uses one of the annotation techniques Jackson has identified as most common – a simple list of page numbers on a fly-leaf, very occasionally with notes. This paper discusses the poems that de la Mare has highlighted in this way within the wider context of his poetry collection and his own poetic practice and considers the contribution that a knowledge of these annotations makes to our understanding of de la Mare’s own poems. It also touches briefly on the other annotation techniques he employed in other locations (marginalia, underscoring and the ink copy mark-up found in editions of his own publications (Senate House [WdlM T])). As well as being a main reviewer for the Times Literary Supplement, Walter de la Mare was a very successful poet in his lifetime, being awarded a Civil List pension to focus on his writing. Although his poetry for adults has fallen out of critical favour, he remains a mainstay of teaching for children, as one of the ten poets most regularly taught in primary school (OFSTED, Poetry in Schools: a Survey of Practice, 2006/7). This paper forms part of a wider investigation of the Working Library as a test-bed for methodologies for understanding twentieth century readers’ habits.

Type: Conference item (UNSPECIFIED)
Title: The poet's poets: collections and anthologies in Walter de la Mare's Working Library
Dates: 15 March 2013 - 16 March 2013
Keywords: Walter de la Mare, Senate House Library, Readers, Reading, Book collecting
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1414072
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