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Creator / John Masefield

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John Edward Masefield OM (1 June 1878 – 12 May 1967) was an English poet and novelist, known for the prominence of seafaring themes in his work. He went to sea as a boy, but gave it up before he was twenty; according to one account because he was ironically a martyr to seasickness. He was Poet Laureate from 1930 until his death.

His best-known poem is indubitably "Sea-Fever", which begins:

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by
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As a novelist, he is probably most widely known for his children's fantasy novels, The Midnight Folk and The Box Of Delights. The Box of Delights was adapted into a six-part TV miniseries.


Works by John Masefield with their own trope page include:

John Masefield's other works provide examples of:

  • All Just a Dream: One of his best-known novels ends this way.
  • Direct Line to the Author: Several of his novels imply that their events actually happened. Some (including The Midnight Folk and Odtaa) include references to the author being personally acquainted with their protagonists.
  • Double-Meaning Title: Dead Ned is about the life and near-death of a man named Ned, but "Dead Ned" is also the name of a geographical feature that plays a key role in the plot.
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  • Dressing as the Enemy: A key part of the plot in The Taking of the Gry.
  • The Man They Couldn't Hang: The protagonist of Dead Ned and Live and Kicking Ned is convicted of a murder he didn't commit and hanged, but he narrowly survives the experience and goes into hiding until he can clear his name.
  • Latin Land: Santa Barbara, briefly mentioned in The Midnight Folk, and shown in more detail in his adult novels Sard Harker, Odtaa, and The Taking of the Gry.
  • Pirates: The subject of several of his poems
  • Walk the Plank: In "A Ballad of John Silver"
  • The Wild Hunt: In the poem "The Hounds of Hell"

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