The Poet Laureate from 1930 to his death in 1967, and also a novelist. His best known poems are 'Cargoes' ("Quinquireme of Nineveh...") and 'Sea Fever' ("I must go down to the sea again..."), and his best known novel is the children's story The Midnight Folk.

He was born in Herefordshire in 1878, and at the age of 13 joined the Merchant Navy, and sailed the world till the age of 17, when he deserted and became a vagrant in the USA, returning to England to become a writer. His first volume was Salt-Water Ballads in 1902, containing 'Sea Fever', and his 1910 volume Ballads and Poems contained 'Cargoes'. He then wrote a number of long narrative poems, including 'Reynard the Fox' (1919).

Masefield's novels include Sard Harker (1924), Odtaa (1926 - it stands for One Damned Thing After Another), The Midnight Folk (1927), The Bird of Dawning (1933), and Dead Ned (1938). There are others including autobiography and semi-autobiography.

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