|Find Greenlight on:|
The Midnight Folk (Hardcover)
The Midnight Folk introduces readers to Kay Harker, the orphaned boy who is also the hero of John Masefield’s classic Christmas fantasy, The Box of Delights. Kay lives in a vast old country house, and is looked after by an unpleasant duo: the oily and egregious Sir Theopompous and the petulant and punitive Sylvia Daisy Pouncer. In her zeal to educate Kay on the finer points of Latin grammar, Sylvia Daisy has even taken away all of Kay’s toys. Life seems very dull, until out of an old family portrait steps Kay’s great-grandfather, a sea captain, who, if legend is to be believed, made off with a fabulous treasure.
Soon Kay is engaged in a thrilling quest that begins each night as the clock strikes twelve, taking him into the enchanted and dangerous world of the Midnight Folk: pirates, highwaymen, talking animals, and a gang of witches led by none other than Sylvia Daisy (in cahoots, as in The Box of Delights, with the arch-villain Abner Brown). In the end, it is that ragtag team of old toys that rallies to support Kay and save the day.
A book to set beside C.S. Lewis’s Narnia tales and Joan Aiken’s Wolves of Willoughby Chase—not to mention the Harry Potter series—The Midnight Folk is a wonderful and enthralling contribution to the great English tradition of children’s literature, beloved by adults and children alike.
About the Author
John Masefield was a well-known English poet and novelist. After boarding school, Masefield took to a life at sea where he picked up many stories, which influenced his decision to become a writer. Upon returning to England after finding work in New York City, Masefield began publishing his poetry in periodicals, and then eventually in collections. In 1915, Masefield joined the Allied forces in France and served in a British army hospital there, despite being old enough to be exempt from military service. After a brief service, Masefield returned to Britain and was sent overseas to the United States to research the American opinion on the war. This trip encouraged him to write his book Gallipoli, which dealt with the failed Allied attacks in the Dardanelles, as a means of negating German propaganda in the Americas. Masefield continued to publish throughout his life and was appointed as Poet Laureate in 1930. Masefield died in 1967 the age of 88.
Madeleine was born on November 29th, 1918, and spent her formative years in New York City. Instead of her school work, she found that she would much rather be writing stories, poems and journals for herself, which was reflected in her grades (not the best). However, she was not discouraged.
At age 12, she moved to the French Alps with her parents and went to an English boarding school where, thankfully, her passion for writing continued to grow. She flourished during her high school years back in the United States at Ashley Hall in Charleston, South Carolina, vacationing with her mother in a rambling old beach cottage on a beautiful stretch of Florida Beach
She went to Smith College and studied English with some wonderful teachers as she read the classics and continued her own creative writing. She graduated with honors and moved into a Greenwich Village apartment in New York. She worked in the theater, where Equity union pay and a flexible schedule afforded her the time to write! She published her first two novels during these yearsA Small Rain and Ilsabefore meeting Hugh Franklin, her futurehusband, when she was an understudy in Anton Chekovs The Cherry Orchard. They married during The Joyous Season.
She had a baby girl and kept on writing, eventually moving to Connecticut to raise the family away from the city in a small dairy farm village with more cows than people. They bought a dead general store, and brought it to life for 9 years. They moved back to the city with three children, and Hugh revitalized his professional acting career.
As the years passed and the children grew, Madeleine continued to write and Hugh to act, and they to enjoy each other and life. Madeleine began her association with the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, where she was the librarian and maintained an office for more than thirty years. After Hugh's death in 1986, it was her writing and lecturing that kept her going. She lived through the 20th century and into the 21st and wrote over 60 books. She enjoyed being with her friends, her children, her grandchildren, and her great grandchildren.
In its playful inventiveness and eventfulness, this fantasy is the grandparent of Mary Poppins, of Joan Aiken's Dido Twite books, and even of Eleanor Farjeon's short story collections...Names such as Brassy Cop, Pimply Whatto and young Roper Bilges - or Sir Hassle Gassle - can still amuse, even after 80 years, and there are only a few moments when attitudes grate on modern sensibilities. Hilder's black and white illustrations, from the 1930s, hark back to the era of 19th century boys' adventure stories. They also give the book added spice." --The Toronto Star
“Mr. Masefield has written the sort of book that grown-up people like to give a child for Christmas, and then enjoy reading for themselves. The Midnight Folk is a story to be read aloud in the traditional Winter fireside setting….The style is imaginative and glamorous…Children will like to hear their elders read the tale.” –The New York Times
“John Masefield's much-loved 1920s children's book about a boy who must fight dark magic to uncover his family's treasure. It won't be easy, but luckily he has an owl, a fox, a cat and a box of toys to help him on his way.” –The Guardian (London)
“An imaginative and adventurous tale.” –The New York Times
“Masefield the children’s writers is unbeatable… The Midnight Folk is a truly remarkable book.” –Daily Telegraph (London)
A “charming tale…Pirates and buried treasure, smugglers and witches, mermaids and an ancient wrong, all have parts in this story of the small boy who had friends among the animals, and lived a life of adventure when he was supposed to be asleep.” –The Bookman
“There is a little boy for hero, there are witches, a good deal of excellent magic, a hidden treasure, and a profusion of talking animals and toys come to life…It may be added that anyone who has, in infancy, greatly disliked his governess will derive a special gratification from The Midnight Folk.” –The Living Age (London)