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John Masefield (1878-1967) - British poet and author
John Edward Masefield rose to prominence during the first two decades of the 20th century. He is best known for his narrative poems, particularly his poems of the sea, such as Salt-Water Ballads, and for his long narrative poems, such as The Everlasting Mercy, which shocked the literary establishment with its phrases of a colloquial coarseness previously unknown in 20th-century English verse.

Educated at King's School, Warwick, Masefield was apprenticed aboard a windjammer that sailed around Cape Horn. He left the sea after that voyage and spent several years living precariously in the United States working at odd jobs. His work there in a carpet factory is described in his autobiography, In the Mill. In the summer of 1897 he returned to Egngland were he became friendly with John Millington Synge and William Butler Yeats, who would have a profound influence on Masefield. Masefield's writing career really took off with a job as a journalist for the Manchester Guardian and with the encouragement of Yeats, he began publishing his poems and ballads. In 1930 he was appointed Poet Laureate of England, and was awarded the Order of Merit in 1935. He continued to write prolifically, producing plays, poems, essays, autobiographical works, etc. Masefield died at his home, Burcote Brook, on 12 May 1967. His ashes were deposited in the Poet's Corner at Westminster Abbey.

Collections of Masefield's papers include those at the Bodleian Library, Oxford; Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin; Houghton Library, Harvard University; Berg Collection, New York Public Library; and Yale University Library.
Find available items by: John Masefield
Books by John Masefield

POETRY
  • Salt-Water Ballads (1902), revised edition published as Ballads and Poems (1910)
  • The Story of a Round-House (1912)
  • The Widow in the Bye Street (1912)
  • The Daffodil Fields (1913)
  • Dauber: A Poem (1913)
  • Philip the King, and Other Poems (1914)
  • Good Friday: A Dramatic Poem (1915), published with additional poems as Good Friday, and Other Poems (1916)
  • Salt-Water Poems and Ballads (1916), published as Salt-Water Ballads and Poems, (1923)
  • Lollingdon Downs, and Other Poems (1917)
  • The Cold Cotswolds, Express Printing Works (1917)
  • Rosas (1918)
  • Reynard the Fox (1919)
  • Enslaved (1920), published with additional poems as Enslaved, and Other Poems, (1923)
  • Right Royal (1920)
  • Animula (1920)
  • King Cole (1921)
  • The Dream (1922), published with additional poems as The Dream, and Other Poems (1923)
  • Sonnets of Good Cheer to the Lena Ashwell Players, From Their Well-Wisher, John Masefield (1926)
  • Midsummer Night, and Other Tales in Verse (1928)
  • South and East (1929)
  • The Wanderer of Liverpool (1930)
  • Minnie Maylow's Story, and Other Tales and Scenes (1931)
  • A Tale of Troy (1932)
  • A Letter from Pontus, and Other Verse (1936)
  • Lines on the Tercentenary of Harvard University (1936)
  • The Country Scene in Poems, (1937)
  • Tribute to Ballet in Poems (1938)
  • Some Verses to Some Germans (1939)
  • Shopping in Oxford (1941)
  • Gautama the Enlightened, and Other Verse (1941)
  • Natalie Maisie and Pavilastukay (1942)
  • Generation Risen (1942)
  • Land Workers (1942)
  • Wonderings (1943)
  • On the Hill (1949)
  • The Bluebells, and Other Verses (1961)
  • Old Raiger, and Other Verse (1964)
  • In Glad Thanksgiving (1967)
FICTION
  • The Mainsail Haul (1905) - short stories
  • A Tarpaulin Muster (1908) - short stories
  • Captain Margaret: A Romance (1908)
  • Multitude and Solitude (1909)
  • The Street of To-Day (1911)
  • Sard Harker (1924)
  • Odtaa (1926)
  • The Hawbucks (1929)
  • The Bird of Dawning (1933)
  • The Taking of the Gry (1934)
  • Victorious Troy; or, The Hurrying 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 Theodore, (1930) fictional biography
  • Conquer: A Tale of the Nika Rebellion in Byzantium (1941)
  • Badon Parchments (1947)
PLAYS
  • The Campden Wonder (1907), produced in Court Theater, London
  • The Tragedy of Nan (1908), produced in New Royalty Theater, London
  • The Tragedy of Pompey the Great (1910) produced in London
  • Philip the King (1914), produced in Royal opera House, London
  • The Faithful (1915), a three-act tragedy; produced in Birmingham
  • The Sweeps of Ninety-Eight (1916), produced in Birmingham Repertory Theater
  • Good Friday: A Play in Verse (1917), produced in Garrick Theater, London
  • Melloney Holtspur (1923), produced in London
  • A King's Daughter (1923), a verse play; produced in Oxford
  • Tristan and Isolt (1923), a verse play; produced in Oxford
  • The Trial of Jesus (1925), produced in Oxford
  • The Coming of Christ (1928), produced in Canterbury Cathedral
  • Easter: A Play for Singers (1929)
  • End and Beginning (1933)
  • A Play of Saint George (1948)
JUVENILE
  • A Book of Discoveries (1910)
  • Lost Endeavor (1910)
  • Martin Hyde: The Duke's Messenger (1910)
  • Jim Davis (1912), published as The Captive of the Smugglers (1918)
  • The Midnight Folk (1927)
  • The Box of Delights (1935)
ESSAYS AND STUDIES
  • Sea Life in Nelson's Time (1905)
  • On the Spanish Main; or, Some English Forays on the Isthmus of Darien (1906)
  • My Faith in Woman Suffrage (1910)
  • William Shakespear (1911)
  • Gallipoli (1916)
  • The Old Front Line; or, The Beginning of the Battle of the Somme (1917), published as The Battle of the Somme (1919)
  • The War and the Future (1918), published in England as St George and the Dragon (1919)
  • John Ruskin (1920)
  • Shakespeare and Spiritual Life, (1924)
  • With the Living Voice: An Address (1925)
  • Chaucer (1931)
  • Poetry (1931)
  • The Conway: From Her Foundation to the Present Day (1933)
  • The Nine Days Wonder (1941) story of the Dunkirk rettreat
  • Thanks Before Going: Notes on Some of the Original Poems of Dante Gabriel Rosetti (1946), revised as Thanks Before Going, With Other Gratitude for Old Delight (1947)
  • St. Katherine of Ledbury, and Other Ledbury Papers (1951)
  • An Elizabethan Theatre in London, (1954)
  • The Western Hudson Shore, (1962)
  • The Twenty-five Days (1972)
MEMOIRS AND AUTOBIOGRAPHIES
  • John M. Synge (1915)
  • Some Memories of W. B. Yeats (1940)
  • In the Mill (1941) - autobiography
  • New Chum (1945) - autobiography
  • So Long to Learn: Chapters of an Autobiography (1952)
  • Grace before Ploughing (1966) autobiographical sketches
CORRESPONDENCE
    The Letters of John Masefield to Florence Lamont, edited by Corliss and Lansing Lamont (1979)
  • John Masefield: Letters to Reyna, edited by William Buchan (1984)
  • John Masefield's Letters From the Front (1915-1917), edited by Peter Vansittart (1984)
  • John Masefield: Letters to Margaret Bridges (1915-1919), edited by Donald Stanford (1984)
  • Brangwen: The Poet and the Dancer; A Story Based on Letters from the Poet Laureate John Masefield, edited by John Gregory (1988)
COLLECTIONS
  • The Everlasting Mercy [and] The Widow in the Bye Street (1912)
  • Poems of John Masefield (1917)
  • The Poems and Plays of John Masefield (1918)
  • A Poem and Two Plays (1919)
  • Dauber [and] The Daffodil Fields (1923)
  • Selected Poems (1922)
  • The Collected Poems of John Masefield (1923), revised edition published as Poems (1946)
  • The Taking of Helen (1923)
  • Recent Prose (1924)
  • Poems, two volumes (1925)
  • Prose Plays (1925)
  • Verse Plays (1925)
  • Collected Works, 5 volumes (1935-37)
  • Plays (1937)
  • Dead Ned [and] Live and Kicking Ned (1941)
  • Book of Both Sorts (1947) verse and prose selections
  • A Book of Prose Selections (1950)
OTHER
  • Oxford Recitations (1928)
  • Any Dead to Any Living (1928)
  • A Masque of Liverpool (1930)
  • I Want! I Want! (1944)
  • Macbeth Production (1945)
  • In Praise of Nurses (1950)
  • The Ledbury Scene as I Have Used It in My Verse (1951)
  • The Story of Ossian (1959)
Works About JOHN MASEFIELD
  • Berry, Francis (1967). John Masefield: The Narrative Poet
  • Drew, Fraser B. (1973). John Masefield's England: A Study of the National Themes in His Work
  • Fisher, Margery (1963), John Masefield
  • Handley-Taylor, Geoffrey (compiler), (1960). John Masefield, O.M.: The Queen's Poet Laureate, a Bibliography and Eighty-First Birthday Tribute
  • Lamont, Corliss (1971), Remembering John Masefield
  • Mason, John Edward (1938), John Masefield
  • Simmons, Charles Herbert (1971). A Bibliography of John Masefield
  • Smith, Constance Babington (1978). John Masefield: A Life
  • Spark, Muriel (1953), John Masefield
  • Sternlicht, Sanford (1977), John Masefield
  • Strong, Leonard Alfred George (1952), John Masefield

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