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John Masefield

John Masefield


John Edward Mayfield (June 1, 1878 - May 12, 1967) was an English poet and writer, as well as a poet and laureate of the United Kingdom from 1930 to 1967. Among his most famous works are the children's novels Midnight People and The Box of Delights, and the poems Eternal Grace and Sea-Fever. Maysfield was born in Herefordshire in Ledbury, from lawyer George Maysfield and his wife Caroline. His mother died giving birth to his sister when Masefield was six years old and he went to live with his aunt. His father died shortly after a mental illness. After a miserable education at the Royal School in Warwick (now known as the Warwick School), where he was on the border between 1888 and 1891, he went aboard the HMS Conway to prepare for life at sea and get rid of his penchant for reading. about which his aunt thought little. He spent several years on this ship and found that he could spend most of his time reading and writing. It was on board the Conway that Maysfield's love of storytelling grew. While on the ship, he listened to stories about marine knowledge, continued to read, and decided that he himself should become a writer and storyteller. In 1894, Mayfield sat on the Gilcruix, destined for Chile. This first trip brought him seasickness, but the records of his experience while swimming in extreme weather conditions indicate that he is pleased to see flying fish, porpoises, and birds. He was delighted with the beauty of nature, including the rare observation of a night rainbow, on this journey. Upon reaching Chile, he suffered from sunstroke and was hospitalized. He eventually returned home to England as a passenger on a boat.