Tartarus Press


Strangers and Pilgrims is published as two sewn hardbacks of 304+xiv and 288 pages, printed lithographically, with head and tailbands, and d/w. In a slipcase.


New, revised Tartarus Press printing. "First thus."


ISBN 978-1-912586-38-7


Two volume hardback edition in slipcase: £80.


If you would like to receive your order by way of a tracked postal service please contact us directly at ray@tartaruspress.com



Strangers and Pilgrims

Tales by

Walter de la Mare


Introduction by Mark Valentine


'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.


Contents: Introduction, A:B:O., The Moon's Miracle, The Riddle, The Giant, The Quincunx, The Pear-Tree, The Bird of Travel, Seaton's Aunt, The Vats, Promise at Dusk, The Creatures, Miss Jemima, The Looking-Glass, Out of the Deep, Winter, The Green Room, The Scarecrow, Alice's Godmother, Mr Kempe, A Recluse, All Hallows, The Game At Cards, Crewe, The House, 'What Dreams May Come', Strangers and Pilgrims, A Revenant, The Guardian, An Anniversary, Music, Bad Company, Bibliographical Information.


Cover artwork from Walter de la Mare's personal bookplate.



'This is a fantastic (in every sense) book of tales.' Ian McMillan, The Times, 14th July, 2007


'A beautiful edition of supernatural English fiction, subtle and disquieting rather than out and out frightening.' Stuart Maconie, The Guardian, 13th February 2008


'Best known as a poet and a writer of children’s fiction, Walter de la Mare can also deservedly take his place amongst the ranks of early twentieth-century writers of supernatural fiction.' Jenny McDonnell, The Irish Journal of Gothic and Horror Studies


'Strangers and Pilgrims is a rewarding selection of tales, not a few of which are masterpieces, by an unduly neglected writer whose work will never be out of date. I envy readers who are coming to Walter de la Mare’s writing for the first time.' Paul Kane, The Compulsive Reader

Copyright Tartarus Press 2023