Walter de la Mare was born in 1873 and brought up in an affluent family in Kent. He attended St Paul's School in London. His mother was related to the famous Victorian poet Robert Browning. At the age of sixteen, he left St Paul's to take up a career in accountancy with the Anglo-American Oil Company. During the years he spent in the service of that company (1880-1908), he began to write and continued to do so prolifically throughout his life. He is well known for his poetry, but also wrote prose fiction and non-fiction. Many of his works were written for children.
His first publication outside contributions to magazines, Songs of Childhood (1902), was published under the name Walter Ramal to little acclaim. It was only under his real name and in 1912 with The Listeners that he found success. However, in 1908, de la Mare was awarded a government pension of Ðˆ100 per year and so took up writing full time at Taplow in Buckinghamshire.
His distinctive prose works include the prose romance Henry Brocken (1904) where his hero encounters writers from the past, and the ghostly story The Return (1910). Successful children's stories include The Three Mulla Mulgars (1910, later re-titled The Three Royal Monkeys). Memoirs of a Midget (1921) is also relatively famous. De la Mare was also responsible for a very large number of popular short stories and a number of anthologies including the well regarded Come Hither (1923). He is remembered as a versatile and technically skilled writer whose use of the fantastic and imaginative transformed the ordinary and entertained readers of all ages.