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John Masefield (1878–1967)

Author of The Box of Delights

184+ Works 3,631 Members 57 Reviews 7 Favorited
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About the Author

Once one of the most popular English poets of the century, Masefield has fallen into undeserved neglect since his death. He was born in a Victorian house with rural vistas, which he later recalled as "living in Paradise." In childhood, he had a series of intense, visionary experiences inspired by show more both nature and literature, which gave him a habitual sense of participation in a greater life. These had weakened by 1891, when he entered training for the merchant naval service. An officer on the White Star Line's Adriatic, he jumped ship in New York in 1895 and roamed across America. He returned to England two years later when a recovery of his intense childhood visions convinced him he could succeed as a writer. Masefield excelled more at narrative than at symbolism. His first book, "Salt Water Poems and Ballads" (1902), displayed the allegiance to outcasts and wanderers that marks his subject matter. The musicality of that volume derives partly from the strong early influence of W. B. Yeats. Increasingly, Masefield experimented with colloquial diction, particularly from the lower classes. His "The Everlasting Mercy" (1911) recounted the conversion of a rural scoundrel in language that astonished many readers. Highly prolific, he produced more than 20 volumes of fiction, 17 plays, and other prose work besides his major volumes of poetry. Masefield still appeals particularly to the common reader. He was appointed poet laureate in 1930. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress)

Series

Works by John Masefield

The Box of Delights (1935) 832 copies, 16 reviews
The Midnight Folk (1984) 752 copies, 17 reviews
Jim Davis (1911) 147 copies, 1 review
The collected poems of John Masefield (2018) 104 copies, 2 reviews
The Bird of Dawning (1933) 80 copies, 3 reviews
Salt-Water Poems and Ballads (1953) 79 copies, 2 reviews
Gallipoli (1916) 63 copies, 1 review
Sard Harker (1986) 54 copies, 2 reviews
Sea Life in Nelson's Time (1905) 51 copies
William Shakespeare (1969) 48 copies
The Old Front Line (1917) 47 copies
Reynard the Fox (1919) 46 copies, 1 review
Poems of To-day: An Anthology (1915) — Contributor — 42 copies
Poems (1946) 41 copies, 1 review
Selected Poems (1922) 39 copies, 1 review
Dead Ned (1970) 35 copies
The Wanderer of Liverpool (1930) 30 copies
The Nine Days Wonder (1941) 30 copies
Sea-Fever: Selected Poems (2005) 29 copies
ODTAA (1926) 28 copies
A Mainsail Haul (1905) 28 copies
Martin Hyde (2000) 26 copies, 1 review
Live and Kicking Ned (1970) 23 copies
Captain Margaret (1972) 21 copies
Salt-Water Ballads (1902) 20 copies
The taking of the Gry (1957) 19 copies
The Everlasting Mercy (1912) 16 copies
Right Royal (2005) 16 copies
Enslaved (2011) 13 copies
Lost Endeavour (2016) 12 copies
Eggs and Baker (1936) 11 copies
A tale of Troy (1932) 11 copies
The Daffodil Fields (2009) 11 copies
Dauber (1913) 11 copies
A Sailor's Garland (1977) 11 copies
Ballads and Poems (2010) 10 copies
A Generation Risen (1943) 10 copies
The Hawbucks (1929) 9 copies
So long to learn (1952) 9 copies
Sea Poems (1978) 8 copies
Box of Delights (2001) 8 copies
The faithful : a tragedy in three acts (2015) 8 copies, 1 review
complete poems (1967) 8 copies
Chaucer (1931) 7 copies
New chum (1946) 7 copies
King Cole (2010) 7 copies, 1 review
The Conway (1953) 7 copies
The Tragedy of Nan (2015) 6 copies, 1 review
I want! I want! 6 copies
The Coming of Christ (1928) 6 copies
A Tarpaulin Muster (1977) 6 copies
The taking of Helen, (1923) 6 copies
In the mill (1941) 5 copies
Melloney Holtspur (1923) 5 copies
south and east (2005) 4 copies
Essays, moral and polite, 1660-1714 (1971) — Editor — 4 copies
Thanks Before Going (1947) 3 copies
On the Hill (1949) 3 copies
A Book of Discoveries (2008) 3 copies
Collected Plays 3 copies
Badon Parchments (1947) 3 copies
A Play of St. George (1948) 3 copies
The Nazi Kultur in Poland (1941) 2 copies
Sonnets and poems (2016) 2 copies
Shopping in Oxford (1941) 2 copies
Ballads 2 copies
Sea-Fever 1 copy
Par les moyens du bord (1994) 1 copy
Land Workers (1942) 1 copy
sonnets 1 copy
Prose plays (1925) 1 copy
Berenice, a Tragedy; (2015) 1 copy
Recent Prose 1 copy
Poems Volume II (1925) 1 copy
Rosas 1 copy
Easter 1 copy
Stormfuglen (1948) 1 copy
Esther. Tragedy (2015) 1 copy
A Poem and Two Plays (1919) 1 copy

Associated Works

The Travels of Marco Polo (1298) — Introduction, some editions — 5,147 copies, 55 reviews
One Hundred and One Famous Poems (1916) — Contributor, some editions — 1,974 copies, 18 reviews
Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama (1995) — Contributor, some editions — 937 copies, 7 reviews
The Nation's Favourite Poems (1996) — some editions — 628 copies, 7 reviews
The Best Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis (2001) — Contributor — 555 copies, 11 reviews
The Illustrated Treasury of Children's Literature, Volumes 1-2 (1955) — Contributor — 467 copies, 4 reviews
A Pocket Book of Modern Verse (1954) — Contributor, some editions — 451 copies, 2 reviews
Ghosts: A Treasury of Chilling Tales Old & New (1981) — Contributor — 341 copies, 1 review
Fantasy Stories (1994) — Contributor — 327 copies, 8 reviews
From the Tower Window (My Book House) (1932) — Contributor — 267 copies
Great Stories of the Sea & Ships (1940) — Contributor — 175 copies
Best Remembered Poems (1992) — Contributor — 159 copies, 3 reviews
A Decade of Fantasy and Science Fiction (1960) — Contributor — 146 copies
The Third Miss Symons (1913) — Preface — 140 copies, 7 reviews
The Standard Book of British and American Verse (1932) — Contributor — 115 copies, 1 review
More Stories to Remember, Volume II (1958) — Contributor — 97 copies, 1 review
A voyage round the world in the years MDCCXL, I, II, III, IV (1974) — Introduction, some editions — 93 copies, 1 review
Storytelling and Other Poems (1949) — Contributor — 91 copies, 2 reviews
The Everyman Anthology of Poetry for Children (1994) — Contributor — 73 copies
Traveller's Library (1933) — Contributor — 71 copies, 1 review
The Bedside Book of Famous British Stories (1940) — Contributor — 67 copies
A Book of Narrative Verse (1930) — Contributor — 64 copies, 1 review
The Oxford Book of Sea Stories (1994) — Contributor — 50 copies, 1 review
Prose and Poetry for Appreciation (1934) — Contributor — 44 copies
A Quarto of Modern Literature (1935) — Contributor — 40 copies
The Queen's Book of the Red Cross (1939) — Contributor — 37 copies, 1 review
The Book of the Sea (1954) — Contributor — 36 copies
The Best Crime Stories Ever Told (2012) — Contributor — 34 copies, 1 review
Modern Arthurian Literature (1992) — Contributor — 31 copies
A Skeleton At the Helm (2008) — Contributor — 30 copies, 1 review
Mysterious Sea Stories (1985) — Contributor — 30 copies
Short Stories of the Sea (1984) — Contributor — 28 copies
The Best Sea Stories (1986) — Contributor — 22 copies
A Treasury of Sea Stories (1948) — Contributor — 20 copies
Ellery Queen's Poetic Justice (1970) — Contributor, some editions — 18 copies
World's Great Tales of the Sea (1945) — Contributor — 16 copies
The Panorama of Modern Literature (1934) — Contributor — 14 copies, 1 review
Chronicles of the Pilgrim Fathers (1917) — Introduction, some editions — 13 copies
The Box of Delights [1984 TV series] (1984) — Screenplay — 11 copies
The Harrap Book of Modern Short Stories (1956) — Contributor — 7 copies
The Box of Delights (2017) — Original Author — 5 copies
The Fireside Treasury of Modern Humor (1963) — Contributor — 5 copies
War poems from the Yale review (1919) — Contributor — 5 copies, 1 review
Children's books of yesterday (1946) — Foreword — 3 copies
Stories for girls — Contributor — 1 copy
John Masefield - The Midnight Folk [radio play] (2006) — Original author — 1 copy

Tagged

13th century (131) adventure (92) anthology (426) Asia (197) autobiography (72) biography (138) children (87) children's (193) children's literature (89) China (294) Christmas (77) classic (97) classics (143) collection (57) exploration (142) fantasy (318) fiction (687) Folio Society (131) hardcover (71) history (678) Italian literature (73) Italy (82) literature (362) magic (82) Marco Polo (136) medieval (120) medieval history (70) memoir (81) Middle Ages (77) Mongols (56) non-fiction (350) novel (57) poetry (1,529) read (68) short stories (204) to-read (245) travel (602) travelogue (56) travels (62) unread (57)

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Replacement or spare slipcase for The Box of Delights in Folio Society Devotees (March 22)

Reviews

I'll admit I gave up, but it was on page 261. This just made no sense to me. Reading the last paragraph explained a lot. My Vintage Book Circle group read it and mostly had the same response. I like my fantasy to be a little more grounded. I like to think there is some possibility that the story is real. This had no internal logic for me to grab on to. We found some things really shocking, like Little Maria habitually carrying a pistol!?!? Other times when Kay was worried about all the kidnappings and when asked what he would like to see choosing to see a tournament versus trying to find his friends or learning more about the bad guys plans. I was startled by Rat, not knowing if it was a nickname for a person or an actual rat. I did figure that out, but it just confused me more. I find it curious that this is the Christmas story that every one in Great Britain remembers. Here in the US we love Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer which originated as department store advertising. (how very American!) It might be interesting to see how this was adapted for movies and television.… (more)
 
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njcur | 15 other reviews | Feb 28, 2023 |
My favorite version of the Arthurian legend. Flinty and ancient and so very beautiful.
 
Flagged
Rubygarnet | Jan 4, 2023 |
Yeah.
Couldn’t be bothered with this one either. Bit too dated and conservative for me.
 
Flagged
mjhunt | 15 other reviews | Jan 22, 2021 |
Pretty dated, it was published 1927 which seems to be a bit too old for a children’s book it’s just a bit too ‘old’ in style.

I couldn’t really get into it and gave up half way through. I did learn the word grimalkin though which was good.
1 vote
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mjhunt | 16 other reviews | Jan 22, 2021 |

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Works
184
Also by
53
Members
3,631
Popularity
#6,971
Rating
3.8
Reviews
57
ISBNs
339
Languages
8
Favorited
7

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