John Edward Masefield (1878 – 1967) was an English poet and writer, and Poet Laureate from 1930 until 1967. Masefield was born into a comfortable middle class family, lived in the country, went to boarding school, and was encouraged to read. But first his mother died and then his father became unwell and Jack (along with siblings) became the ward of paternal uncle, William Masefield. Jack was taken out of boarding school and sent off to sea which he did not enjoy. Among Masefield's best known works are the children's novels The Midnight Folk and The Box of Delights, and the poems The Everlasting Mercy and "Sea-Fever".