Collection RC0018 - John Masefield collection

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John Masefield collection

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  • 1955-1959 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

6.5 cm of textual records and graphic material

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Biographical history

John Masefield, poet, novelist and playwright, was born in Herefordshire, on 1 June 1878. In 1888 he was sent to Warwick School and then, in 1891, to Liverpool, to train in the merchant marine. He followed this training by work at sea and travel. He returned to England in 1897 to take up his vocation as a poet while also working as a clerk. Beginning in 1901 he devoted himself full time to writing. During World War I Masefield was sent to the United States to explain the British war effort. In 1917 he received honorary degrees from both Yale and Harvard universities, the first of many such awards. He was Poet Laureate from 1930 to 1967. In 1935 he was elected to the Order of Merit. He died on 12 May 1967 at his home near Abingdon.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The collection consists of 4 letters from Masefield to Kathleen Harper, 1955-[1956]; a poem “On the Occasion of Her Majesty’s Visit to Canada, 1959”, 8 pages typed and signed by Masefield “For Kathleen Harper, August the 1st 1959”, also a one-page manuscript abridged version of the poem. The collection also contains a b&w photograph of Masefield, signed and inscribed to Harper in 1959 and a copy of Masefield’s play, Good Friday, signed and inscribed to Harper in July 1955.

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Immediate source of acquisition

The collection (32-2006) was purchased from the Alexander Gallery in November 2006.


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There are no access restrictions.

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