John Masefield

John Masefield (mās–), 1878–1967, English poet. He went to sea as a youth and later spent several years in the United States. In 1897 he returned to England and was on the staff of the Manchester Guardian. His first volumes of poetry, Salt-Water Ballads (1902), containing "Sea Fever" and "Cargoes," and Ballads (1903), earned him the title "Poet of the Sea." It was, however, for his realistic, long narrative poems—The Everlasting Mercy (1911), The Widow in the Bye Street (1912), Dauber (1913), and Reynard the Fox (1919)—that he won his greatest fame. He was also a playwright and novelist of some note. His plays, written in both verse and prose, include The Tragedy of Nan (1909), The Tragedy of Pompey the Great (1910), and The Coming of Christ (1928). Among his novels are Multitude and Solitude (1909), Sard Harker (1924), and The Bird of Dawning (1933). Masefield is the author of several literary studies, of which his William Shakespeare (1911) is the most notable. Other works include adventure stories for boys and two war sketches, Gallipoli (1916) and The Nine Days Wonder (1941), and the posthumous volume of poetry In Glad Thanksgiving (1968). He was poet laureate from 1930 until his death and was awarded the Order of Merit in 1935.

See his autobiographical works In the Mill (1941), So Long to Learn (1952), and Grace Before Ploughing (1966); see biographies by S. Sternlicht (1978) and J. Dwyer (1988); bibliography by G. Handley-Taylor (1960).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

John Masefield
L. A. G. Strong.
Longmans, Green, 1952
John Masefield
Gilbert Oliver Thomas.
Macmillan & Co., 1933
FREE! The Poems and Plays of John Masefield
John Masefield.
Macmillan, vol.1, 1918
FREE! The Poems and Plays of John Masefield
John Masefield.
Macmillan & Co., vol.2, 1918
FREE! Reynard the Fox: Or, The Ghost Heath Run
John Masefield.
Macmillan, 1919
FREE! Esther and Berenice: Two Plays
John Masefield.
Macmillan, 1922
Contemporary English Literature
Mark Longaker; Edwin C. Bolles.
Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1953
Librarian’s tip: "John Masefield (1878)" begins on p. 95
The Poets Laureate
Kenneth Hopkins.
Library Publishers, 1955
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 16 "John Masefield"
The Muse in Council: Being Essays on Poets and Poetry
John Drinkwater.
Houghton Mifflin Company, 1925
Librarian’s tip: "Mr. Masefield's 'Reynard' and 'Right and Royal'" begins on p. 263
Scrutinies by Various Writers
Edgell Rickword.
Wishart & Company, 1928
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Seven "John Masefield"
British Playwrights, 1880-1956: A Research and Production Sourcebook
William W. Demastes; Katherine E. Kelly.
Greenwood Press, 1996
Librarian’s tip: "John Masefield (1878-1967)" begins on p. 268
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