period add to the value of the book. This was followed by On the Spanish Main or Some English Forays on the Isthmus of Darien, which tells of stirring exploits of British seamen under Drake. For some years these books were not available in the United States, but recently a supply was imported, and the books were warmly welcomed by the reviewers and the collectors of Masefield's writings. He spent many months of intensive research in British maritime history before writing these books.
Captain Margaret (1908), Masefield's first novel, found wide favor. The poetical quality which distinguishes his prose gives a sustained magnificence throughout this book. The story tells of Charles Margaret, a gallant English gentleman and poet, owner of the sloop Broken Heart so named from his disappointment in love and the thrilling adventures encountered after sheltering his lost love and her criminal husband on board his boat.
In 1909 came Multitude and Solitude, another novel of rich and beautiful prose. "London was about to take its hour of quiet. Only the poets, the scholars, and the idlers were awake now. In a little while the May dawn would begin. Even now it was tingeing the cherry blossoms of Aleppo. The roses of Sarvistan were spilling in the heat, the blades of green corn by Troy gleamed above the river as the wind shook them." And again "Pink cranes stood in the shallows. Slowly one of them rose aloft, heartily flagging. Another arose, then another, till they made a pinkish ribbon against the forest." From London to Africa we follow the hero in his search for a cure for sleeping sickness. Weird experiences are encountered. Masefield's description in this book of a tropical storm has been acclaimed as one of the most thrilling in all literature.
Several tales of adventure followed, among them Lost Endeavor (1909), which recounts romantic deeds in far-away lands, of the sea and buccaneers along the Spanish Main.
At this time he was also experimenting with the drama, and in 1909 The Tragedy of Nan, a poignant, powerful play