Wednesday, January 04, 2023

John Masefield: shedworker

Probably best known today for his marvellous Christmassy children's story The Box of Delights, the former Poet Laureate John Masefield (1878- 1967) was also a shedworker. No images of the garden office in which he worked at his home in Oxford exist and very few mentions are made of it anywhere. 

One person who does remember it well was the poet and memoirist Robert Graves. Masefield rented it to him to write in the 1920s and this is how Graves remembers it in probably his autobiography, Goodbye To All That:

He wrote in a hut in his garden, surrounded by tall gorse-bushes, and only appeared at meal-times. 

Graves mentioned it again in his memorial address for Masefield, a keen fan of the sea and all that sailed on it, in which he also pointed out that the garden office was not used entirely for writing...:

“I used to trudge up from my cottage and pass his garden work-shed half-hidden among gorse trees. Though assumed by his energetic Ulster wife to be working hard on Right Royal, for the family’s support, he was, as often as not, idly engrossed in a favourite fo’c’sle occupation: carving and rigging model sailing ships”. 


Wednesday’s posts are sponsored by Norwegian Log Buildings  - Log cabins and garden buildings for a better quality of life. Click here for more details.


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