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The Taking of the Gry

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Title:The Taking of the Gry
Masefield, John   
(14 of 15 for author by title)
The Widow in the Bye Street
The Story of a Round-House and Other Poems
Published:   1934
Publisher:The Macmillan Company
Tags:adventure, fiction, nautical

The Taking of the Gry is an adventure story by John Masefield about the taking of a ship called the ‘Gry’. Set in the fictional Central or South American state of Santa Barbara, it is the setting for two other Masefield novels, Odtaa and Sard Harker; all three are collectively known as the Santa Barbara novels.

The story tells of a revolution in the tiny republic of Santa Ana on the Spanish Main, and details the foolhardy, desperate attempt of two men to kidnap an ammunition ship, the ‘Gry’, from a harbor held by their enemies. How they manage this feat and how they elude their pursuers make this a fast-paced, thrilling tale of adventure on the high seas that builds to a breathtaking climax.—Goodreads.com. [Suggest a different description.]

Pages:72 Info

Author Bio for Masefield, John

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John Masefield (June 1, 1878—May 12, 1967) was an English poet, writer and the Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom from 1930 until 1967.

He is best known for his poems of the sea, Salt-Water Ballads (1902, including "Sea Fever" and "Cargoes"), and for his long narrative poems, such as The Everlasting Mercy (1911), which shocked literary orthodoxy with its phrases of a colloquial coarseness hitherto unknown in 20th-century English verse.

Masefield was born in Ledbury, Herefordshire, England. After his father's death he was looked after by an uncle. Young Masefield wanted to be a merchant marine officer. At 13 he boarded the training ship Conway moored in the river Mersey. After two and a half years on the school ship he was apprenticed aboard a sailing ship that was bound for Chile by way of Cape Horn. In Chile he became ill and had to return to England by steamer. He left the sea and spent several years living in the United States, working chiefly in a carpet factory. At one time, in 1895, he worked for a few months as a sort of third assistant bar-keeper and dish-washer in Luke O'Connor's saloon, the Columbia Hotel, in New York City. He later wrote about that period of his life in an autobiographical work, 'In the Mill', published in 1941.

In 1897 he returned to England determined to succeed as a writer. He worked on newspapers at first. But he never forgot his days at sea. He returned to them again and again in his poems and stories. He wrote about the land too, about typically English things like fox hunting, racing, and outdoor life. In 1902 Masefield published his first volume of poems, 'Salt-Water Ballads'. After that he wrote steadily poems, stories, and plays.

After his appointment as Poet Laureate, Masefield was awarded the Order of Merit by King George V and many honorary degrees from British universities, in 1937 being elected as President of the Society of Authors. Masefield encouraged the continued development of English literature and poetry, and began the annual awarding of the Royal Medals for Poetry for a first or second published edition of poetry by a poet under the age of 35.

Among his best-known children's novels are The Midnight Folk and The Box of Delights. Other writings include Masefield's long narrative poem Dauber (1913), which concerns the eternal struggle of the visionary against ignorance and materialism, and Reynard the Fox (1919), which deals with many aspects of rural life in England. He also wrote novels of adventure—Sard Harker (1924), Odtaa (1926), The Taking of the Gry (1934) and Basilissa (1940). His other works include the poetic dramas The Tragedy of Nan (1909) and The Tragedy of Pompey the Great (1910), as well as a further autobiographical volume, So Long to Learn (1952).

Sources: Britannica.com and famouspoetsandpoems.com

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