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John Masefield

John Masefield

Overview
John Edward Masefield, OM
Order of Merit
The Order of Merit is a British dynastic order recognising distinguished service in the armed forces, science, art, literature, or for the promotion of culture...

, (1 June 1878 – 12 May 1967) was an English poet and writer, and Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom
Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom
The Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom, also referred to as the Poet Laureate, is the Poet Laureate appointed by the monarch of the United Kingdom on the advice of the Prime Minister...

 from 1930 until his death in 1967. He is remembered as the author of the classic children's novels The Midnight Folk
The Midnight Folk
The Midnight Folk is a children's fantasy novel by John Masefield first published in 1927. It is about a boy, Kay Harker, who sets out to discover what became of a fortune stolen from his sea-faring great grandfather Aston Tirrold Harker...

 and The Box of Delights
The Box of Delights
The Box of Delights is a children's fantasy novel by John Masefield. It is a sequel to The Midnight Folk, and was first published in 1935.-Plot summary :...

, and poems, including "The Everlasting Mercy" and "Sea-Fever".

Masefield was born in Ledbury
Ledbury
Ledbury is a town in Herefordshire, England, lying east of Hereford, and south of the Malvern Hills.Today, Ledbury is a thriving market town in rural England. The town has a large number of timber framed buildings, in particular along Church Lane and High Street. One of Ledbury's most outstanding...

 in Herefordshire
Herefordshire
Herefordshire is a historic and ceremonial county in the West Midlands region of England. For Eurostat purposes it is a NUTS 3 region and is one of three counties that comprise the "Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire" NUTS 2 region. It also forms a unitary district known as the...

, to Caroline and George Masefield, a solicitor. His mother died giving birth to his sister when Masefield was only six, and he went to live with his aunt.
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Quotations

Quinquireme of Nineveh from distant Ophir,Rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine,With a cargo of ivory,And apes and peacocks,Sandalwood, cedarwood, and sweet white wine. Out beyond the sunset, could I but find the way,Is a sleepy blue laguna which widens to a bay,And there's the Blessed City -- so the sailors say --The Golden City of St. Mary.

It's a warm wind, the west wind, full of birds' cries;I never hear the west wind but tears are in my eyes.For it comes from the west lands, the old brown hills,And April's in the west wind, and daffodils.

Will you not come home, brother? you have been long away,It's April, and blossom time, and white is the spray;And bright is the sun, brother, and warm is the rain, -Will you not come home, brother, home to us again?

Oh some are fond of Spanish wine, and some are fond of French,And some’ll swallow tay and stuff fit only for a wench;But I’m for right Jamaica till I roll beneath the bench,Says the old bold mate of Henry Morgan.

In the dark womb where I beganMy mother's life made me a man.Through all the months of human birthHer beauty fed my common earth.I cannot see, nor breathe, nor stir,But through the death of some of her.

What have I done, or tried, or saidIn thanks to that dear woman dead?Men triumph over women still,Men trample women's rights at will,And man's lust roves the world untamed. O grave, keep shut lest I be shamed.

From '41 to '51I was my folk's contrary son;I bit my father's hand right throughAnd broke my mother's heart in two.

Opening lines

My blood did leap, my flesh did revel,Saul Kane was tokened to the devil.

I, who am dead, have ways of knowingOf the crop of death that the quick are sowing.I, who was Pompey, cry it aloudFrom the dark of death, from the wind blowing.I, who was Pompey, once was proud,Now I lie in the sand without a shroud;I cry to Caesar out of my pain,"Caesar beware, your death is vowed."

What is this creature, Music, save the Art,The Rhythm that the planets journey by?The living Sun-Ray entering the heart,Touching the Life with that which cannot die?

Encyclopedia
John Edward Masefield, OM
Order of Merit
The Order of Merit is a British dynastic order recognising distinguished service in the armed forces, science, art, literature, or for the promotion of culture...

, (1 June 1878 – 12 May 1967) was an English poet and writer, and Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom
Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom
The Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom, also referred to as the Poet Laureate, is the Poet Laureate appointed by the monarch of the United Kingdom on the advice of the Prime Minister...

 from 1930 until his death in 1967. He is remembered as the author of the classic children's novels The Midnight Folk
The Midnight Folk
The Midnight Folk is a children's fantasy novel by John Masefield first published in 1927. It is about a boy, Kay Harker, who sets out to discover what became of a fortune stolen from his sea-faring great grandfather Aston Tirrold Harker...

 and The Box of Delights
The Box of Delights
The Box of Delights is a children's fantasy novel by John Masefield. It is a sequel to The Midnight Folk, and was first published in 1935.-Plot summary :...

, and poems, including "The Everlasting Mercy" and "Sea-Fever".

Early life


Masefield was born in Ledbury
Ledbury
Ledbury is a town in Herefordshire, England, lying east of Hereford, and south of the Malvern Hills.Today, Ledbury is a thriving market town in rural England. The town has a large number of timber framed buildings, in particular along Church Lane and High Street. One of Ledbury's most outstanding...

 in Herefordshire
Herefordshire
Herefordshire is a historic and ceremonial county in the West Midlands region of England. For Eurostat purposes it is a NUTS 3 region and is one of three counties that comprise the "Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire" NUTS 2 region. It also forms a unitary district known as the...

, to Caroline and George Masefield, a solicitor. His mother died giving birth to his sister when Masefield was only six, and he went to live with his aunt. His father died soon after following a mental breakdown. After an unhappy education at the King's School
Warwick School
Warwick School is an independent school with boarding facilities for boys in Warwick, England, and is reputed to be the third-oldest surviving school in the country after King's School, Canterbury and St Peter's School, York; and the oldest boy's school in England...

 in Warwick
Warwick
Warwick is the county town of Warwickshire, England. The town lies upon the River Avon, south of Coventry and just west of Leamington Spa and Whitnash with which it is conjoined. As of the 2001 United Kingdom census, it had a population of 23,350...

 (now known as Warwick School), where he was a boarder between 1888 and 1891, he left to board the , both to train for a life at sea, and to break his addiction to reading, of which his aunt thought little. He spent several years aboard this ship and found that he could spend much of his time reading and writing. It was aboard the Conway that Masefield's love for story-telling grew. While on the ship, he listened to the stories told about sea lore. He continued to read, and felt that he was to become a writer and story teller himself.

In 1894, Masefield boarded the Gilcruix, destined for Chile - this first voyage bringing him the experience of sea sickness. He recorded his experiences while sailing through the extreme weather, his journal entries reflecting a delight in seeing flying fish, porpoises, and birds, and was awed by the beauty of nature, including a rare sighting of a nocturnal rainbow on his voyage. On reaching Chile, Masefield suffered from sunstroke and was hospitalized. He eventually returned home to England as a passenger aboard a steam ship. In 1895, Masefield returned to sea on a windjammer
Windjammer
A windjammer is the ultimate type of large sailing ship with an iron or for the most part steel hull, built to carry cargo in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century...

 destined for New York City. However, the urge to become a writer and the hopelessness of life as a sailor overtook him, and in New York, he deserted ship. He lived as a vagrant for several months, before returning to New York City, he did many odd jobs, finding work as an assistant to a bar keeper.

Sometime around Christmas in 1895, Masefield read the December 1895 edition of Truth, a New York periodical, which contained the poem "The Piper of Arll" by Duncan Campbell Scott
Duncan Campbell Scott
Duncan Campbell Scott was a Canadian poet and prose writer. With Charles G.D. Roberts, Bliss Carman, and Archibald Lampman, he is classed as one of Canada's Confederation Poets....

. Ten years later, Masefield wrote to Scott to tell him what reading that poem had meant to him: "I had never (till that time) cared very much for poetry, but your poem impressed me deeply, and set me on fire. Since then poetry has been the one deep influence in my life, and to my love of poetry I owe all my friends, and the position I now hold."
For the next two years, Masefield was employed in a carpet factory, where long hours were expected and conditions were far from ideal. He purchased up to 20 books a week, and devoured both modern and classical literature. His interests at this time were diverse and his reading included works by George du Maurier
George du Maurier
George Louis Palmella Busson du Maurier was a French-born British cartoonist and author, known for his cartoons in Punch and also for his novel Trilby. He was the father of actor Gerald du Maurier and grandfather of the writers Angela du Maurier and Dame Daphne du Maurier...

, Dumas
Alexandre Dumas, père
Alexandre Dumas, , born Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie was a French writer, best known for his historical novels of high adventure which have made him one of the most widely read French authors in the world...

, Thomas Browne
Thomas Browne
Sir Thomas Browne was an English author of varied works which reveal his wide learning in diverse fields including medicine, religion, science and the esoteric....

, Hazlitt
William Hazlitt
William Hazlitt was an English writer, remembered for his humanistic essays and literary criticism, and as a grammarian and philosopher. He is now considered one of the great critics and essayists of the English language, placed in the company of Samuel Johnson and George Orwell. Yet his work is...

, Dickens
Charles Dickens
Charles John Huffam Dickens was an English novelist, generally considered the greatest of the Victorian period. Dickens enjoyed a wider popularity and fame than had any previous author during his lifetime, and he remains popular, having been responsible for some of English literature's most iconic...

, Kipling
Rudyard Kipling
Joseph Rudyard Kipling was an English poet, short-story writer, and novelist chiefly remembered for his celebration of British imperialism, tales and poems of British soldiers in India, and his tales for children. Kipling received the 1907 Nobel Prize for Literature...

, and R. L. Stevenson
Robert Louis Stevenson
Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson was a Scottish novelist, poet, essayist and travel writer. His best-known books include Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde....

. Chaucer
Geoffrey Chaucer
Geoffrey Chaucer , known as the Father of English literature, is widely considered the greatest English poet of the Middle Ages and was the first poet to have been buried in Poet's Corner of Westminster Abbey...

 also became very important to him during this time, as well as poetry by Keats
John Keats
John Keats was an English Romantic poet. Along with Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley, he was one of the key figures in the second generation of the Romantic movement, despite the fact that his work had been in publication for only four years before his death.Although his poems were not...

 and Shelley
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Percy Bysshe Shelley was one of the major English Romantic poets and is critically regarded as among the finest lyric poets in the English language. Shelley was famous for his association with John Keats and Lord Byron...

. He eventually returned home to England in 1897 as a passenger aboard a steam ship. When Masefield was 23, he met his future wife, Constance Crommelin, who was 35. Educated in classics and English Literature
English literature
English literature is the literature written in the English language, including literature composed in English by writers not necessarily from England; for example, Robert Burns was Scottish, James Joyce was Irish, Joseph Conrad was Polish, Dylan Thomas was Welsh, Edgar Allan Poe was American, J....

, and a mathematics teacher, Constance was a match for Masefield despite the difference in age. The couple had two children (Judith, born in 1904, and Lewis, in 1910).

By 24, Masefield's poems were being published in periodicals and his first collected works, Salt-Water Ballads (1902) was published, the poem "Sea-Fever" appearing in this book. Masefield then wrote the novels, Captain Margaret (1908) and Multitude and Solitude (1909). In 1911, after a long drought of poem writing, he composed "The Everlasting Mercy", the first of his narrative poems
Narrative poetry
Narrative poetry is poetry that has a plot. The poems that make up this genre may be short or long, and the story it relates to may be simple or complex. It is usually nondramatic, with objective regular scheme and meter. Narrative poems include epics, ballads, idylls and lays.Some narrative...

, and within the next year, Masefield had produced two more, "The Widow in the Bye Street" and "Dauber". As a result, Masefield became widely known to the public and was praised by critics, and in 1912, he was awarded the annual Edmund de Polignac prize.

World War I to appointment as Poet Laureate


When World War I began, though old enough to be exempted from military service, Masefield joined the staff of a British hospital for French soldiers, Hôpital Temporaire d'Arc-en-Barrois, Haute-Marne
Haute-Marne
Haute-Marne is a department in the northeast of France named after the Marne River.-History:Haute-Marne is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790...

, France, serving briefly in 1915 as a hospital orderly, later publishing his own account of his experiences.

After returning home, Masefield was invited to the United States on a three month lecture tour. Although Masefield's primary purpose was to lecture on English Literature, a secondary purpose was to collect information on the mood and views of Americans regarding the war in Europe. When he returned to England, he submitted a report to the British Foreign Office, and suggested that he be allowed to write a book about the failure of the allied efforts in the Dardanelles
Battle of Gallipoli
The Gallipoli Campaign, also known as the Dardanelles Campaign or the Battle of Gallipoli, took place at the peninsula of Gallipoli in the Ottoman Empire between 25 April 1915 and 9 January 1916, during the First World War...

, which possibly could be used in the US in order to counter what he thought was German propaganda there. As a result, Masefield wrote Gallipoli. This work was a success, encouraging the British people, and lifting them somewhat from the disappointment they had felt as a result of the Allied losses in the Dardanelles. Due to the success of his wartime writings, Masefield met with the head of British Military Intelligence
Directorate of Military Intelligence
The Directorate of Military Intelligence was a department of the British War Office.Over its lifetime the Directorate underwent a number of organisational changes, absorbing and shedding sections over time.- History :...

 in France and was asked to write an account of the Battle of the Somme. Although Masefield had grand ideas for his book, he was denied access to the official records, and therefore, what was to be his preface to the book was published as "The Old Front Line", a description of the geography of the Somme area.

In 1918, Masefield returned to America on his second lecture tour. Masefield spent much of his time speaking and lecturing to American soldiers waiting to be sent to Europe. These speaking engagements were very successful, and on one occasion, a battalion of all black soldiers danced and sang for him after his talk. During this tour, he matured as a public speaker and realized his ability to touch the emotions of his audience with his style of speaking, learning to speak publicly with his own heart, rather than from dry scripted speeches. Towards the end of his trip, both Yale
YALE
RapidMiner, formerly YALE , is an environment for machine learning, data mining, text mining, predictive analytics, and business analytics. It is used for research, education, training, rapid prototyping, application development, and industrial applications...

 and Harvard Universities conferred honorary Doctorates of Letters on him.

Masefield entered the 1920s as an accomplished and respected writer. His family was able to settle in a somewhat rural setting, not far from Oxford, and Masefield took up beekeeping
Beekeeping
Beekeeping is the maintenance of honey bee colonies, commonly in hives, by humans. A beekeeper keeps bees in order to collect honey and other products of the hive , to pollinate crops, or to produce bees for sale to other beekeepers...

, goat-herding and poultry-keeping. He continued to meet with success, the 1923 edition of "Collected Poems" selling approximately 80,000 copies. He produced three poems early in this decade. The first was Reynard The Fox, a poem that has been critically compared with works of Geoffrey Chaucer
Geoffrey Chaucer
Geoffrey Chaucer , known as the Father of English literature, is widely considered the greatest English poet of the Middle Ages and was the first poet to have been buried in Poet's Corner of Westminster Abbey...

. This was followed by Right Royal and King Cole
King Cole
King Cole is a figure of British folklore.King Cole may also refer to:*"Old King Cole", nursery rhyme* Old King Cole , a 1933 Disney cartoon about Old King Cole*King Cole , Major League Baseball pitcher...

, poems where the relationship of humanity and nature emphasized. While Reynard is the best known of these, all met with acclaim.

After King Cole Masefield turned away from the long poem and back to the novel, and from 1924 till the Second World War published twelve novels, which vary from stories of the sea (The Bird of Dawning, Victorious Troy) to social novels about modern England (The Hawbucks, The Square Peg), and from tales of an imaginary land in Central America (Hard Sarker, Odtaa) to fantasies for children (The Midnight Folk, The Box of Delights). This variety in genre testifies most impressively to the breadth of his imagination, though it probably reduced his sales (which remained very respectable, however), since most readers of novels like knowing what to expect from their favourite authors. In this same period he wrote a large number of dramatic pieces. Most of these were based on Christian themes, and Masefield, to his amazement, encountered a ban on the performance of plays on biblical subjects that went back to the Reformation and had been revived a generation earlier to prevent production of Oscar Wilde's Salome. However, a compromise was reached, and in 1928 his "The Coming of Christ" was the first play to be performed in an English Cathedral since the Middle Ages.

In 1921, Masefield received an Honorary Doctorate of Literature from Oxford University, and in 1923, organized the Oxford Recitations, an annual contest whose purpose was "to discover good speakers of verse and to encourage ‘the beautiful speaking of poetry.’" The Recitations were seen as a success given the numbers of contest applicants, the promotion of natural speech in poetical recitations, and the number of people learning how to listen to poetry. Masefield began to question however, whether the Recitations should continue as a contest, believing that the event should become more of a festival. In 1929, Masefield broke with the contest concept, and the Recitations came to an end.

Later years and death


In 1930, on the death of Robert Bridges
Robert Bridges
Robert Seymour Bridges, OM, was a British poet, and poet laureate from 1913 to 1930.-Personal and professional life:...

, a new Poet Laureate
Poet Laureate
A poet laureate is a poet officially appointed by a government and is often expected to compose poems for state occasions and other government events...

 was needed. Many felt that Rudyard Kipling
Rudyard Kipling
Joseph Rudyard Kipling was an English poet, short-story writer, and novelist chiefly remembered for his celebration of British imperialism, tales and poems of British soldiers in India, and his tales for children. Kipling received the 1907 Nobel Prize for Literature...

 was a likely choice, however, upon the recommendation of Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald
Ramsay MacDonald
James Ramsay MacDonald, PC, FRS was a British politician who was the first ever Labour Prime Minister, leading a minority government for two terms....

, King George V
George V of the United Kingdom
George V was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 through the First World War until his death in 1936....

 appointed Masefield, who remained in office until his death in 1967. The only person to remain in the office for a longer period was Tennyson. In 1932, Masefield was commissioned to write a poem to be set to music by the Master of the King's Musick, Sir Edward Elgar and performed by choir and orchestra at the unveiling of the Queen Alexandra
Alexandra of Denmark
Alexandra of Denmark was the wife of Edward VII of the United Kingdom...

 Memorial by the King on 8 June 1932. For this he wrote this the ode "So many true Princesses who have gone"
Queen Alexandra's Memorial Ode
Queen Alexandra's Memorial Ode is an ode "So many true Princesses who have gone" written by John Masefield and set to music for choir and orchestra by Sir Edward Elgar for the occasion of the unveiling of Sir Alfred Gilbert's memorial to Queen Alexandra on 8 June 1932 outside Marlborough House in...

. Although the requirements of Poet Laureate had changed, and those in the office were rarely required to write verse for special occasions, Masefield took his appointment seriously and produced a large quantity of verse. Poems composed in his official capacity were sent to The Times
The Times
The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

. Masefield's humility was shown by his inclusion of a stamped envelope with each submission so that his composition could be returned if it were found unacceptable for publication.
After his appointment, Masefield received the Order of Merit
Order of Merit
The Order of Merit is a British dynastic order recognising distinguished service in the armed forces, science, art, literature, or for the promotion of culture...

 by King George V and many honorary degrees from British universities, in 1937 being elected as President of the Society of Authors
Society of Authors
The Society of Authors is a trade union for professional writers that was founded in 1884 to protect the rights of writers and fight to retain those rights .It has counted amongst its members and presidents numerous notable writers and poets including Tennyson The Society of Authors (UK) is a...

. Masefield encouraged the continued development of English literature and poetry, and began the annual awarding of the Royal Medals for Poetry for a first or second published edition of poetry by a poet under the age of 35. Additionally, his speaking engagements were calling him further away, often on much longer tours, yet he still produced significant amounts of work in a wide variety of genres. To those he had already used he now added autobiography, producing New Chum, In the Mill, and So Long to Learn. Some critics judged Masefield to be an even finer writer of prose than of verse.

It was not until about the age of 70, that Masefield slowed his pace due to illness. In 1960, Constance died at 93, after long illness. Although her death was heartrending, he had spent a tiring year watching the woman he loved die. He continued his duties as Poet Laureate; In Glad Thanksgiving, his last book, was published when he was 88 years old. In late 1966, Masefield developed gangrene in his ankle. This spread to his leg, and he died of the infection on 12 May 1967. According to his wishes, he was cremated and his ashes placed in Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

. Later, the following verse was discovered, written by Masefield, addressed to his "Heirs, Administrators, and Assigns":


Let no religious rite be done or read
In any place for me when I am dead,
But burn my body into ash, and scatter
The ash in secret into running water,
Or on the windy down, and let none see;
And then thank God that there's an end of me.


The Masefield Centre at Warwick School
Warwick School
Warwick School is an independent school with boarding facilities for boys in Warwick, England, and is reputed to be the third-oldest surviving school in the country after King's School, Canterbury and St Peter's School, York; and the oldest boy's school in England...

, which Masefield attended, and a high school in Ledbury, Herefordshire have been named in his honour. In 1977, Folkways Records
Folkways Records
Folkways Records was a record label founded by Moses Asch that documented folk, world, and children's music. It was acquired by the Smithsonian Institution in 1987, and is now part of Smithsonian Folkways.-History:...

 released an album of his poetry, including some read by Masefield himself.

Art song settings


Many of Masefield's short poems were set as art song
Art song
An art song is a vocal music composition, usually written for one voice with piano or orchestral accompaniment. By extension, the term "art song" is used to refer to the genre of such songs....

s by British composers of the time. Best known by far is John Ireland
John Ireland (composer)
John Nicholson Ireland was an English composer.- Life :John Ireland was born in Bowdon, near Altrincham, Manchester, into a family of Scottish descent and some cultural distinction. His father, Alexander Ireland, a publisher and newspaper proprietor, was aged 70 at John's birth...

's "Sea Fever", the lasting popularity of which belies any mismatch between the urgency of the language and the slow, swung melody. Frederick Keel
Frederick Keel
James Frederick Keel was an English composer of art songs, baritone singer and academic. Keel was a successful recitalist and a professor of singing at the Royal Academy of Music. He combined scholarly and artistic interest in English songs and their history. His free settings of Elizabethan and...

 crafted several songs drawn from the Salt-Water Ballads and elsewhere. Of these, "Trade Winds" was particularly popular in its day, despite the tongue-twisting challenges the text presents to the singer. Keel's defiant setting of "Tomorrow", written while interned at Ruhleben during World War I, was frequently programmed at the BBC Proms after the war.'Frederick Keel — Tomorrow' at the BBC Proms archive. Retrieved 2011-11-04. Another memorable wartime composition is Ivor Gurney
Ivor Gurney
Ivor Bertie Gurney was an English composer and poet.-Life:Born at 3 Queen Street, Gloucester in 1890, the second of four children of David Gurney, a tailor, and his wife Florence, a seamstress, Gurney showed musical ability early...

's climactic declamation of "By a bierside", a setting quickly set down in 1916 during a brief spell behind the lines.

Poetry collections

  • Salt-Water Ballads (1902)
  • Ballads (1903)
  • Ballads and Poems (1910)
  • The Story of a Round House and Other Poems (1915)
  • Salt-Water Poems and Ballads
    Salt-Water Poems and Ballads
    Salt-Water Poems and Ballads is a book of poetry on themes of seafaring and maritime history by John Masefield. It was first published in 1916 by Macmillan, with illustrations by Charles Pears....

     (1916)
  • Philip the King and Other Poems (1916)
  • Lollingdon Downs and Other Poems with Sonnets (1917)
  • Enslaved and Other Poems (1920)
  • Selected Poems (1922)
  • King Cole and Other Poems (1923)
  • The Dream and Other Poems (1923)
  • The Collected Poems of John Masefield (1923)
  • Poems (1925)
  • Midsummer Night and Other Tales in Verse (1928)
  • A Letter from Pontus and Other Verse (1936)
  • The Country Scene (1937)
  • Some Verses to Some Germans (1939)
  • The Bluebells and Other Verses (1961)
  • Old Raiger and Other Verses (1964)

Novels

  • A Tarpaulin Muster (1907)
  • Captain Margaret (1908)
  • Multitude and Solitude (1909)
  • Martin Hyde: The Duke's Messenger (1910)
  • Lost Endeavour (Nelson
    Thomas Nelson (publisher)
    Thomas Nelson is a publishing firm that began in Scotland in 1798 as the namesake of its founder. Its former US division is currently the sixth largest American trade publisher and the world's largest Christian publisher. It is owned by the private equity firm Kohlberg & Company...

    , 1910).
  • The Street of Today (1911)
  • Jim Davis (Wells Gardner, 1911).
  • The Dream (MacMillan, 1922) Illustrated by Judith Masefield.
  • Sard Harker
    Sard Harker
    Sard Harker by John Masefield is an adventure novel first published in October 1924. It is the earlier of three novels by Masefield set in the fictional nation of Santa Barbara in South America...

     (Heinemann, 1924)
  • ODTAA
    ODTAA
    ODTAA by John Masefield . It is an adventure novel first published in February 1926. Its title stands for One Damn Thing After Another...

      (1926)
  • The Midnight Folk
    The Midnight Folk
    The Midnight Folk is a children's fantasy novel by John Masefield first published in 1927. It is about a boy, Kay Harker, who sets out to discover what became of a fortune stolen from his sea-faring great grandfather Aston Tirrold Harker...

     (1927)
  • The Hawbucks (1929)
  • The Bird of Dawning (Heinemann, 1933).
  • The Taking of the Gry (1934)
  • The Box of Delights
    The Box of Delights
    The Box of Delights is a children's fantasy novel by John Masefield. It is a sequel to The Midnight Folk, and was first published in 1935.-Plot summary :...

    : or When the Wolves Were Running (1935)
  • Victorious Troy: or The Harrying Angel (1935)
  • Eggs and Baker (1936)
  • The Square Peg: or The Gun Fella (1937)
  • Dead Ned (1938)
  • Live and Kicking Ned (1939)
  • Basilissa: A Tale of the Empress Theodora (1940)
  • Conquer: A Tale of the Nika Rebellion in Byzantium (1941)
  • Badon Parchments (1947)

Plays

  • The Campden Wonder
    The Campden Wonder
    The Campden Wonder is the name given to events surrounding the return of a man-thought-murdered from the town of Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire in the 17th century. A servant, his mother and brother were hanged for killing their master. But following the man's return, it became clear that no...

     (1907)
  • The Tragedy of Pompey the Great
    The Tragedy of Pompey the Great
    The Tragedy of Pompey the Great is a play by John Masefield, based on the career of the Roman general and politician Pompey the Great.The play premiered at the Aldwych Theatre on 4 December 1910 and was first published in 1914. The play was later filmed for television in 1950 for the BBC Sunday...

     (1910)
  • Good Friday: A Play in Verse (1916)
  • The Tragedy of Nan (Originally known as 'Nan)
  • "The Coming of Christ" (1928)

Non-fiction and autobiographical

  • Sea Life in Nelson's Time (1905)
  • The Conway: From her Foundation to the Present Day (1933)
  • Gallipoli
  • The Old Front Line
  • The Nine Days Wonder (The Operation Dynamo) (1941)
  • New Chum (1944)
  • So Long to Learn (1952)
  • Grace Before Ploughing (Heinemann, 1966)


Further reading

  • Babington Smith, Constance
    Constance Babington Smith
    Constance Babington Smith MBE Legion of Merit FRSL was a journalist and writer.Babington Smith was the daughter of the senior Civil Servant Henry Babington Smith. She was educated at home at Chinthurst, England and in France, before moving to London in adult life...

     (1978). John Masefield: A Life. Oxford University Press.
  • Spark, Muriel
    Muriel Spark
    Dame Muriel Spark, DBE was an award-winning Scottish novelist. In 2008 The Times newspaper named Spark in its list of "the 50 greatest British writers since 1945".-Early life:...

     (1953). John Masefield.
  • Lurie, Alison
    Alison Lurie
    Alison Lurie is an American novelist and academic. She won the Pulitzer Prize for her 1984 novel Foreign Affairs. Although better known as a novelist, she has also written numerous non-fiction books and articles, particularly on children's literature and the semiotics of dress.-Personal...

     (2003) "John Masefield's Boxes of Delight", in "Boys and Girls Together". Penguin Books.

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