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NZMS 1139 Masefield, John, 1878-1967
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ID: NZMS 1139

Record Information

Manuscript number: NZMS 1139
Author: Masefield, John, 1878-1967
Title: Nelly Scott's Masefield Collection
Subjects: Masefield, John, 1878-1967; English poetry; English literature
Time period: 1931 - 1964
Physical description: 4 folders, 30 books
Collection: New Zealand manuscripts
Finding aid: Inventory available. The books and printed cards are described individually on Auckland City Libraries' catalogue. (Call no. NZMS 1139 followed by number from the Inventory)


79 letters by the poet John Masefield to Miss Nell Scott (later Donaldson, then Climie) written between 1931 and 1964. The collection also includes books by Masefield, inscribed to Nell, and photographs of Masefield.


Inventory of John Masefield Collection NZMS 1139 Donald Kerr June 1999 This John Masefield collection was given to Auckland City Libraries by Mrs Fiegler, executor of Mrs N(Nell) S. Donaldson, nee Scott, who was the recipient of the letters, books and photographs. Noticeably, the letters pass from the formal address of Miss Scott to the informal Nen or Nellie. The inventory is organised by format, and within each, where possible, a chronological sequence: a) books, by imprint b) letters, in a numbered chronological sequence c) photographs, d) a miscellaneous category which also includes newspaper cuttings. The inventory does not contain other Masefield materials found in the Special Collection’s stack. Unless otherwise stated, William Heinemann, London, is the publisher. Unless in an inscription, John Masefield is abbreviated as JM. All bibliographical references are to Crocker Wright’s John Masefield : A bibliographical description of his first, limited, signed and special editions (Boston: Library of the Boston Athenaeum, 1986) and Geoffrey Handley-Taylor’s John Masefield, O.M. The Queen’s Poet Laureate : A Bibliography and Eighty-first Birthday Tribute (London: The Cranbrook Tower Press, 1960). Hereafter CW and GHT. (Special Collections, at 016.828 M42 and 016.821 M42 respectively). See also The New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature, Vol.4 1900-1950, pp.306-313 (CBEL) A. BOOKS 1921 Reynard the Fox or The Ghost Heath Run. First English illustrated edition published October 1921, in a regular edition of 5,000, and a limited issue of 380 copies. Illustrated by G.D Armour. Inscription: For Nellie Scott, from John Masefield, April 9, 1932. CW 44d; GHT, p.43. 1922 The Dream Four illustrations and one tail-piece by Judith Masefield. Published October 23, 1922, in an edition of 800 copies. No.131, signed on title-page by John Masefield and Judith Masefield. CW 54; GHT, p.52. Selected Poems. Published in a regular edition of 10,000 copies, November 23, 1922. Inscription pasted in: For Nellie Scott from John Masefield, May 13th 1932. CW 56; GHT, p.53. 1924 Shakespeare & Spiritual Life. Second impression. Oxford: Clarendon Press. The Romanes Lecture delivered in the Sheldonian Theatre 4 June 1924. Inscription: For Nellie Scott from John Masefield. April 20, 1932. Loosely inserted: Publicity brochure - “John Masefield will speak on Poetry”, dated October 15th [1931?] - and Queen’s Hall ticket for the balcony, at 3s. Also inserted is a letter to Ms Nell Scott, August 8th, [1956]. It reads: “Dearest Nell, It is hard to have you so far away. Often, one thinks what fun, if one could just telephone to Nell, & ask her to come along to tea” & then one realises what Shakespeare calls “injurious distance”. Now & then a note can skim the distance, so here I send one skimming, to wish you a happy season & to thank you for such happy memories. The place here is much as you saw it, though perhaps the weeds have a little encroached here & there. May all lovely & gracious blessings attend your steps & bring you happiness. John.” CW 62; GHT, p. 54. Dauber, A Poem. August 1924 reprint of poems originally published in 1913. Inscription: For Nellie Scott from John Masefield, August 27th 1932. First edition details, CW 23; GHT p.35. 1926 The Collected Poems. February 1926 reprint of original edition published October 1923. Loosely inserted: A book review by Denis Glover of JM’s Sea Life in Nelson’s Time; a sheet headed “Railroads - C.P.R. - National”; a sheet containing first four and ninth stanzas of JM’s “The Passing Strange”. First edition details, GHT, p.54. Right Royal. A 1926 reprinted issue of the 1922 edition illustrated by Cecil Aldin. Inscription: For Nellie Scott from John Masefield. April 9, 1932. First edition details, CW 48; GHT, p.51. 1930 Words spoken at the Music Room Boar’s Hill in the afternoon of November 5th, 1930 at a Festival designed in the honour of William Butler Yeats, Poet. No.52. Inscription: Nellie Scott [from] John Masefield, Jan.8. 1932. Loosely tipped in is a crushed flower. GHT, p.58. 1931 Minnie Maylow’s Story and Other Tales. Published October 19, 1931. Inscription: To N.S. from Isa L[ittle]. in memory of happy meetings in 1932. Loosely inserted: A letter from [Dr] Isabelle Little, [of Oxford] to Miss Scott, September 8, 1932. CW 80; GHT, p.59. Poetry. A lecture given at the Queen’s Hall, London, October 15, 1931. Published November 16, 1931. Limited to 275 copies (signed by author). Inscription: For Nellie Scott from John Masefield, January 14, 1931. CW 81; GHT, p.59. 1932 The Midnight Folk. Illustrated by Rowland Hilder New York: Macmillan Reprint of the American illustrated edition, published March 22, 1932; first illustrated edition published in London in 1931. Inscription: For Nellie Scott from John Masefield. June 5 1932. Loosely inserted: Torn dust-wrapper of The Midnight Folk. First edition details, CW 69; GHT, p.56. A Tale of Troy. Published September 19, 1932. Inscription: For Nellie Scott, from John Masefield. Nov. 1932. Second copy: New York: Macmillan. Inscription: To Nen from Zac[?] A Memory of that night in June 1932 when we first heard this tale. CW 82; GHT, p.59. 1933 Words and Verses spoken in the Garden of Bemerton Rectory, near Salisbury , in the afternoon of Tuesday, June 6th, 1933. Inscription: For Nellie from Jan. New Year, 1934. Not in GHT. Words spoken at the opening of the Gateway set up at Hawksmoor Nature Reserve near Cheadle, Staffs., in memory of John Richard Beech Masefield, on Saturday, October 21st, 1933. Not in GHT. 1935 The Box of Delights or When the Wolves were Running. Published August 30, 1935. Inscription: For Nell from John Masefield, Christmas, 1935. CW 87; GHT, p.61. Victorious Troy or The Hurrying Angel. Published October 31, 1935. Inscription: For Nell from John Masefield, Christmas 1935. Loosely inserted: A battered, torn dust-wrapper of Victorious Troy, and a printed programme headed “The Music Room, Boars Hill, Tuesday June 21st, 1932, 8.00 pm.”. CW 88; GHT, p.61. 1936 A Letter from Pontus & Other Verse. Published May 25, 1936. Inscription: For Nellie from Jan, June 1936. CW 89; GHT, p.61. Eggs and Baker or The days of Trial. Published October 26, 1936. Inscription pasted in: For Nell from Jan. April 2nd, 1938. CW 90; GHT, p.61. 1937 The Square Peg or The Gun Fella. Published October 18, 1937. Inscription pasted in: For Nell from Jan. April 2nd 1938. CW 93; GHT, p.61. 1938 Selected Poems. New and revised edition of the original 1922 publication. Inscription pasted in: For Nell from Jan, April 2nd, 1938. First edition details, GHT, p.53. 1944 New Chum. Recollections of life on the Conway. Published December 4, 1944. Inscription: For Nell from Jan. March 14, 1946. CW 111; GHT, p.63. 1945 A Christmas Thought. Printed card. Inscription: For Nell with grateful memories. 1947 A Book of Both Sorts. Selections from the Verse and Prose of John Masefield. Second copy. Inscription: For Nell, from Constance and Jan. Christmas, 1947. CW 114; GHT, p.65. In the Mill A reprint of reminiscences of JM’s early life in America, first published June 23, 1941. First edition details, CW 103; GHT, p.62. 1948 A Play of St. George. New York: Macmillan. Written to celebrate the 600th anniversary of the Order of the Garter. First published by Heinemann July 12, 1948. American issue, published October 11, 1948. Inscription: For Nell from Jan. CW 116a; GHT, p.65. 1949 On the Hill. Collection of previously unpublished poems. Published August 22, 1949. Inscription: For Nell from Con & Jan. Octr. 10, 1949. CW 117; GHT, p.65. 1950 In Praise of Nurses. Envelope present. Inscription: John Masefield. CW 118; CBEL 4, 308. 1952 So Long to Learn. Chapters of an Autobiography. Published March 17, 1952. Loosely inserted: A news cutting headed “Altars of Remembrance” by Ichthus, and a promotional card from the firm Basil Blackwell. CW 120; GHT, p.66. 1954 The Bird of Dawning March 1945 reprint of original edition first published November 1933. First edition details, CW 85; GHT, p.59. The Everlasting Mercy and The Widow in the Bye Street. New revised Edition. New York: Bridgehead Books. First edition details, CW 18; GHT, p.33. Others The Song of Gaspar. The Youngest of the Three Kings. Printed card, n.d. Inscription: Nell. King Edward the Confessor and His Ring. Printed card, n.d. Inscription: Nell. B. LETTERS B.1 JM to Miss Nell Scott (later Donaldson, then Climie). 1.To Miss Scott, from JM, Hill Crest, Boar’s Hill, Oxford, [1931]. 2. To Miss Scott, [1931]. 3. To Miss Scott, 14 January 1932. 4. To Miss Scott, Invitation to Poetry Festival [printed card], [1932]. 5. To Miss Scott, 1932 6. To Miss Scott, 1932 7. To Miss Scott, 1932. 8. To Miss Scott, 1932. 9. To Miss Scott, 1932. 10. To Miss Scott, 11 May 1932. 11. To Miss Scott, 9 June 1932. 12. To Miss Scott, [June 1932]. 13. To Miss Scott, 1932. 14. To Nen [i.e. Miss Scott], 1932. 15. To Nellie [i.e. Miss Scott], 1932. 16. To Nellie, 1932. 17. To Nellie, 1932. 18. To Nen, 1932. 19. To Nonnie Nonnie [i.e. Miss Scott], 1932. 20. To Nell, 1932. 21. To Nellie, 27 August 1932 22. To Nellie, 28 August 1932. 23. To Nellie from JM, Pinbury, Cirencester, 1933. 24. To Nellie, 1933 25. To Nellie, 28 April 1933. 26. To Nellie, [September] 1933. 27. To Nellie, [January] 1934. 28. To Nellie, [April] 1934. 29. To Nellie, [August] 1934. 30. To Nellie from JM, Trinity College, Carlton, Melbourne, Australia, 11 October 1934. 31. To Nell, 1935 32. To Nell, 1935. 33. To Nell, May 1935. 34. To Nell, 28 August 1935. 35. To Nell, 25 November 1935. 36. To Nellie [Donaldson], 5 September 1936. 37. To Mr and Mrs [Nell] Donaldson, Xmas 1936. 38. To Nell, January 1938. 39. To Nell, 2 April 1938. 40. To Nell, from Burcote Brook, Abingdon, [January]1939 41. To Nell, 5 January 1940. 42. To Nell, 30 August 1940. 43. To Nell, 3 December 1944. 44. To Nell, 20 January 1945. 45 To Nell, 29 October 1945. 46. To Nell, 17 December 1945. 47. To Nell, 31 December 1945. 48. To Nell, 13 January 1946. 49. To Nell, 13 March 1946. 50. To Nell, 18 May 1946. 51. To Nell, 1 July 1946. 52. To Nell, 2 October 1946. 53. To Nell, 20 November 1946. 54. To Nell, 13 February 1947. 55. To Nell, 9 May 1947. 56 To Nell, 5 January 1948. 57. To Nell, [January 1948]. 58. To Nell, 23 January 1949. 59. To Nell, 11 July [1949]. 60. To Nell, 24 September [1949]. 61. To Nell, 28 October [1949]. 62. To Nell, 6 December [1949.] 63. To Nell, n.d. 64. To Nell, n.d. 65. To Nell, n.d. 66. To Nell, n.d. 67. To Nell, n.d. 68. To Nell, 11 June [n.d]. 69. To Nell, n.d. 70. To Nell, October 1950. 71. To Nell, 14 December 1953. 72. To Nell, 4 August 1954. 73. To Nell, 1955. 74. To Nell, 27 May 1957. 75. To Nell, 16 June 1958. 76. To Nell, 1 June 1959. 77. To Nell, 4 August 1959. 78. To Nell [Climie], 13 February 1962. 79. To Nell, 4 June 1964. B.2 Letters to Miss Nell Scott (later Donaldson, then Climie) from Constance Masefield. 80.To Mrs [Nell] Donaldson, from CM, Burcote Brook, Abingdon, 19 May 1946. 81. To Nellie, 5 January 1947. 82. To Nellie, 8 May 1947. 83. To Nell, 22 January 1948. 84. To Nell, 24 May 1948. 85. To Nell, 2 May [1949]. 86. To Nell, 9 December [1950]. B.3 Letters to Mrs Nell Climie from Judith Masefield. 87. To Nell Climie, remembrance card from Masefield’s daughter, received July 1967. Envelope also contains brief biographical data by Mrs Climie on JM. B.4 Miscellaneous Letters. 88. To Mrs Nell Donaldson from Alison Drummond, 20 July n.d. 89 To Nell Donaldson from E. Pratt, Krishnamurti Writings, Inc., 10 October 1949. C. PHOTOGRAPHS 1. Framed photograph of JM, c1930. 2. JM in Gillman and Soame (Oxford) folder with letter loosely tipped in. It begins: “Dear Nell, I am told that the Christmas mail to New of good wishes to you both for 1939” It is signed by JM, Pinbury Park, Cirencester. 3. JM, with inscription: For Nell from Jan, June 11th 1955. 4. JM in garden. No.6. n.d. 5. JM on rock wall. No.10. n.d. 6. JM and Constance Masefield, (also one negative) n.d. 7.National Portrait Gallery postcard with pencil drawing by H.Lamb of JM. 8.Front of JM’s house, looking west, [n.d]. 9.Front of JM’s house, looking east, [n.d]. 10. Garden scene, No.4. no date. 11. In envelope titled “John Masefield at Boar’s Hill/ Dr Isobel Little” a) Garden and portion of house b) Dr Isobel Little, Oxford. c) Dr Little, Oxford. d) JM, two women and a horse (3 prints and one negative) e) A house f) 2 Holywell, Dr Little’s house. g) The Masefield cat, 1932. h) JM outside Boar’s Hill. 12. The Cromdale, postcard photograph with inscription on back “Received from J.M. 10.6.32”. D. MISCELLANEOUS 1. Captain Cook’s The Endeavour, a watercolour painted by JM. Also included is a black and white print of Masefield’s sketch and a colour print of Endeavour from Sanitarium’s “Famous Ships in History” series, no.3. 2. Printed programme at The Music Room Boars Hill, 21 June 1932. 3. Handwritten speech by Nell Scott, n.d. 2 pages. 4. Hand-list of important dates to NS re: JM. Headed “John Masefield OM”. 5. A quote by Krishnamurti written by Nell Scott, n.d. 6. Large envelope with “John Masefield’s Letters” on it. 7. Envelope dated 14 November 1933, with JM’s seal. 8. Envelope dated 19 November 1954, with seal. 9. Norman R. Collins, “John Masefield Poet Laureate”, Supplement to John O’London’s Weekly, 3 December 1932. 10. Two newspaper cuttings: Review headed “Recent Publications in London” with Muriel Spark’s John Masefield, [1953]; J.C.Trewin’s review of Masefield’s So Long to Learn. In unmarked envelope. 11. “John Masefield, Master of Written Word”, The Daily Telegraph, 15 October 1955 (plus photocopy). 12. “Return to the Sea”, [12 May 1967]. 13 J.H.B.Peel, “Masefield’s Unfashionable Virtues”, Daily Telegraph, 13 May 1967. 14. Obituary of JM, Daily Telegraph, 13 May 1967. 15. Grammaticus, “Salute to Masefield”, New Zealand Weekly News, 3 July 1967. 16. Thought for the Day by JM, n.d. 17. Jack Leigh, “The Poet Laureate and the Kiwi Teacher”, New Zealand Herald, 21 September 1995 (three copies) plus press release and covering letter.

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