MASEFIELD JOHN: (1878-1967) British Poet & Writer, Poet Laureate 1930-67. Series of five A.Ls.S., J. Masefield and John Masefield, eight pages (total), 8vo and one on a correspondence card, various places (Oxford, France, Connecticut etc.), 21st March 1916 - 26th January 1918, all to Miss. V. K. Spicer in Illinois. Masefield writes on a variety of subjects including his correspondent's poems and his own tour of America, in part, 'I daresay I shall avoid being knocked on the head (I have so far) & if I don't, it is all part of the game of life...Let us hope to meet some time after the war, & then, if we hope hard enough, it will no doubt happen' (at sea, 21st March 1916), 'So many thanks....for the kind things you say about Gallipoli. I am glad you liked the book. I much admire the lines of the schooner. I can't do those things myself, but can rig models fairly well when somebody will build them for
me. Alas, not much time for rigging models now, out here....I like your poems very much indeed, especially the one about Overseas' (with the British Expeditionary Force in France, 9th April 1917), 'I'm afraid you have long since decided that I never write letters. This is....to say that I hope I may be able to see you during my coming visit to America.' (22nd November 1917), 'I hope that it may be possible for me to see you while I am near Chicago, but I am much afraid that a glimpse will be as much as Mr. Pond & my schedule will permit' (26th January 1918). Three of the letters are accompanied by the original envelopes hand addressed (and one signed) by Masefield. Together with a hardback edition of The Story of a Round House and Other Poems by Masefield, published by The Macmillan Company, New York, 1912, with a further A.L.S., John Masefield, one page, 8vo, Chicago, 6th February 1916, to Miss. Spicer, pasted to the detached front free endpaper. Masefield thanks his correspondent for her kind thought and letters 'and for the charming & generous sonnet of welcome'. The volume also features various ink annotations and newspaper clippings and magazine images related to Masefield, all laid down to various pages. Also including a small selection of unsigned printed ephemera etc., relating to Masefield's first American Tour including programmes, tickets and other promotional material, a duplicate contract for Masefield to appear at The Woman's Club in Chicago, Illinois, on 5th February 1916 for a fee of $150 etc. Some worm holes and other faults to the printed ephemera etc. (G), the letters generally VG, 16
Although old enough to be exempt from military service during World War I, Masefield enlisted in the Reserves of the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) joining the staff of a British hospital for French soldiers and serving for six weeks as an orderly in 1915. On returning to England Masefield campaigned for better medical facilities in the field, subsequently publishing books on Gallipoli (controversially used for propaganda purposes in America), and two books on the Somme.