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Reynard the Fox [Paperback]

John Masefield , Dr. Philip W. Errington
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

27 Dec 2008
Former Poet Laureate, John Masefield (1878-1967) was one of the best-selling poets of the twentieth-century: his "Collected Poems" sold over 100,000 copies in the first seven years after publication in 1923. Widely known as a poet of the sea, Masefield's two poems "Sea-Fever" and "Cargoes" were, in Betjeman's opinion, two lyrics 'which will be remembered as long as the language lasts'. Masefield also wrote of the English countryside, however, as in "Reynard the Fox", his classic narrative poem of a fox-hunt, English countryside and community. The work has been seen by many as the author's finest poetic response to the First World War.Despite being a phenomenal best-seller after publication in 1919, "Reynard the Fox" has been latterly out-of-print. For the first time, the poem has been corrected from the original manuscript and presented alongside other pastoral writing by Masefield, including his essay "Fox-Hunting", which was praised by Muriel Spark. The edition also includes an introduction setting the poem in its historical context and detailed notes.

Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Carcanet Press Ltd (27 Dec 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857549139
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857549133
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 13.5 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 910,599 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'a classic of its kind' Muriel Spark (1953)'probably the greatest of all hunting poems and a classic of English narrative verse' Daily Mail --Daily Mail

About the Author

John Masefield was born in Ledbury, Herefordshire, in 1878. He was orphaned at an early age and, after a brief period at the King's School, Warwick, was educated aboard the Liverpool school-ship Conway. As an apprentice, Masefield sailed round Cape Horn in 1894; as a result of sickness, he was classified a Distressed British Sailor upon arrival in Chile. After convalescence in England he secured a new position in New York. Although he crossed the Atlantic, he never reported for duty. He later noted, "I was going to be a writer, come what might." After a period of homelessness and vagrancy, bar and factory work in America, Masefield returned to England in 1897. His first published poem appeared in a periodical in 1899. The friendship of W.B. Yeats provided encouragement, and in 1902 Salt-Water Ballads was published. A distinguished literary career followed, with work across a broad range of genres. Masefield was appointed poet laureate in 1930, and awarded the Order of Merit in 1935. He died in 1967; his ashes are buried in Poet's Corner, Westminster Abbey.Philip Errington is an antiquarian book expert within the Department of Printed Books and Manuscripts at Sotheby's in London. A graduate of the University of London, he read for his BA, MA and PhD at University College. In 2000 he was appointed a visiting research fellow of the University of London, Institute of English Studies. He was appointed editor of The Journal of the John Masefield Society in 1997. He was responsible for, and introduced, facsimile centenary editions of Masefield's Salt-Water Ballads in 2002 and Ballads in 2003. His bibliography, John Masefield, The 'Great Auk' of English Literature, is published by the British Library.

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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
3.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PC or not....? 13 Oct 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Brought back to this poem by BBC R4. Had done it for 'O' level. Great writing and total understanding of the plight of the fox and his instincts. Masefield understood rural life and it's countryside.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bad Reynard 4 Nov 2013
By DaveP
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This Kindle edition is all but useless as the lines are laid out as sentences within paragraphs and not separate rhyming couplets as they should be. The words and rhymes are there but the layout makes it virtually impossible to read and totally destroys any enjoyment of Masefield's masterpiece.
An absolute disgrace!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Needs reformatting - do not buy 18 Sep 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a prose version with many repeated phrases that do not appear in Masefield's poem. Very bad formatting compared to the poem and difficult to read. Not enjoyable and I recommend not buying this.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reynard 25 Aug 2009
The fox was strong, he was full of running,
He could run for an hour and then be cunning,
But the cry behind him made him chill,
They were nearer now and they meant to kill.
They meant to run him until his blood
Clogged on his heart as his brush with mud,
Till his back bent up and his tongue hung flagging,
And his belly and brush were filthed from dragging ...

The words speak for themselves! No review can better them.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars 13 July 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An old favorite and it has withstood the test of time.
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