John Masefield: The Homesick Edwardian

Kenneth Millard

in Edwardian Poetry

Published in print November 1991 | ISBN: 9780198122258
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191671395 | DOI:

Series: Oxford English Monographs

John Masefield: The Homesick Edwardian

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John Masefield's first published work was Salt-Water Ballads, a book of poems which portray the events of life at sea from the perspective of an ordinary seaman. It draws on oral tradition of folklore and practical wisdom, those kinds of poetry which might be called non-literary. The book's prevailing mood is one of romantic adventure. Meanwhile, Dauber revealed Masefield was still worried by the relationship between artistic sensibility and the physical world, but here he found a solution. Although Masefield continued to write until his death in 1967, interest centred on his early career because it shows how his pragmatic commitment to literature, designed to curb the excesses of imaginative indulgence, governed his development and because his theme is an indication of the pressures inherent in Edwardian literature.

Keywords: Salt-Water Ballads; John Masefield; Dauber; Edwardian literature

Chapter.  8552 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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