{ Pdf } The Midnight Folk author John Masefield

summary The Midnight Folk

‘Don’t you have any fear Kay We’re the guards we are We hear that the house has gone all to sixes and sevens since we left it but that’s going to be remedied now’Young Kay Harker lives in an old house in the country filled with portraits of his ancestors His only companions are his unpleasant guardian Sir Theopompus and his governess Sylvia Daisy Pouncer who Kay suspects has stolen all his toys Life is lonely and dull until one night Kay’s great grandpapa Harker a sea captain steps out of his portrait to tell him about a stolen treasure that. A really great childrens book I can see that some readers might find this inaccessible It s a book that reuires attention to be paid and some parts of conversation just like the box of delights could be fairly described as going on a bit But if you persevere you are rewarded with a very special and important story I am in no doubt this story had lots that inspired JKRowling and if anyone has read both this and the voyage of the dawn treador they will know that inspiration is far too polite a way of putting it but vast chunks of the storyline have been taken and used by CSLewis in places it feels almost word for word This story has all the ingredients of the perfect childrens book cats that can speak animal costumes that you can slip on and become the animal secret passages codes witches paintings that come alive buried treasure evil guardians mermaids pirates talking otters and foxes and toys that are alive and can come to your aid We loved the characters of Nibbins and Bitem If you re reading this book aloud it will be fun doing all the different characters voices although I found Nibbin s voice hurt after a while high pitched cattish voice Beautiful illustrations too

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The Midnight Folk

Ective from the terrors of tigers under the bed to the horrors of declining a Latin adjective Yet there is also plenty of humour that adults will appreciate from Miss Piney Trigger who swigs champagne in bed and prides herself on having backed a host of Derby winners to Kay’s lessons ‘Divinity was easy as it was about Noah’s Ark French was fairly easy as it was about the cats of the daughter of the gardener’ This mingling of past and present reality and fantasy has made this one of the most rewarding and influential children’s books ever writte. What a frustrating muddle of a book I picked it up with the excited interest of one reared on the lauded BBC adaptation of The Box of Delights and many of the same elements are here magical journeys and dips into the past a gang of villains and talking animals a dreamlike fantasy woven into a uaint world of governesses and gamekeepers What it doesn t have is any hint of a structure in fact Masefield takes his cue from the dreamlike feel of the episodes and gives us an exhausting stream of consciousness eschewing chapter headings and running one event into another introducing ideas and characters as they occur to him then dropping them as uickly We re vaguely on the uest of some buried treasure but such clues as young Kay Harker stumbles upon are both repetitive and inconsistent and somewhere along the line Masefield must have got bored of that treasure because a man comes along that s right just a man and casually mentions to young Kay there s another load of treasure knocking about in the vicinity and maybe he d like to have a go at finding that It s as if he s making it up as he s going alongDon t expect Kay to act on any of the information he gathers with any urgency either because he has schoolwork to attend to and won t he just catch it if he s not back in time for breakfast Two of his friends are trapped in a cave but oh dear it s nearly sunrise you d better be off home Oh and don t hold your breath about Kay playing any part in the happy denouement either when a deus ex machina will do the job just as wellI know The Box of Delights is eually bonkers and arguably just as much a series of episodes strung together but surely it has of a sense of plot I haven t read it perhaps the BBC adaptation is of a rescue job that it is given credit for I can see the potential for adaptation in this one with its imaginative and visual sensibility and many a vivid character to enjoy though the fact that several of them speak with an idiom as incoherent as the overall storyline doesn t help What I can t imagine is reading this to a child less still a child reading it for themselvesI notice that The Box of Delights has chapter headings which is something to look forward to at least But when I eventually summon enough patience to embark on reading it it will be with a great deal of trepidation

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Belongs to Kay’s family The evil Abner Brown is searching for it too but Kay is helped by the midnight folk creatures like Nibbins the cat and Rollicum Bitem Lightfoot the fox and even his lost toys who will join him on his dangerous uestThe Midnight Folk is a feast of imaginative story telling a glorious cornucopia of pirates and witches lost treasure and talking animals Although it was published in 1927 it evokes an older world houses are lit by oil lamps and travel is by horse carriage – or broomstick Masefield perfectly captures a child’s persp. I m being a little silly in characterizing this book as magical realism but it does seem to fit it best Like Alice in Wonderland it depicts fluid physical laws Unlike Alice it draws no really meaningful lines between the world where the rules apply and that where they do not The magical happenings that befall Kay Harker partake both of the logic of the dream world and the concerns of the waking oneKay is a young boy living in his familial country house but overseen by unrelated and seemingly uncaring adults He begins to find out the world is stranger than he had thought when he begins to dig into the mystery surrounding his great grandfather a sea captain who lost or stole a great treasure The other characters include cats Blackmalkin and Graymalkin otters foxes witches


10 thoughts on “The Midnight Folk

  1. says:

    This was one of my favourite books when I was a child It was creepy and real I suspected Parents may deny it but things are different in the dark and the goings on at midnight in the book might be real only a child knows for certain and only in the darkIt's kind of the antithesis of Disney Dark with horror and fear Parents themselves grown up on than a spoonful of sugar themselves love the cheeky chappies and happy sparkly endings

  2. says:

    Funny little cat takes funny little boy on all sorts of funny adventures This is a funny dream of book And this is a funny dreamy cat named Digsy She doesn't look very dreamy there But I promise you that she's spends most of her life dreamingOK THANKS FOR YOUR PATIENCEThis book has a great cat character named Nibbins a

  3. says:

    A really great childrens book I can see that some readers might find this inaccessible It's a book that reuires attention to be paid and some parts of conversation just like the box of delights could be fairly described as going on a bit But if you persevere you are rewarded with a very special and important story I am in no doubt this story had lots that inspired JKRowling and if anyone has read both this and the voyage of the dawn tread

  4. says:

    An amazing dream of a book that unfolds with surreal logic as cats talk witches fly foxes plot against gamekeepers model ships sail away with a water rat captains and a hundred other odd and wonderful things while Kay tries to disc

  5. says:

    Published first in the 1920s The Midnight Folk is a middle grade book and the first in the Kay Harker series featuring Kay who is on a mission to locate the missing treasure left behind by his great grandfather

  6. says:

    I'm being a little silly in characterizing this book as magical realism but it does seem to fit it best Like Alice in Wonderland it depicts fluid physical laws Unlike Alice it draws no really meaningful lines between the world where the rules apply and that where they do not The magical happenings that befall Kay Harker partake both of the logic of the dream world and the concerns of the waking oneKay is a young boy living in his familia

  7. says:

    What a frustrating muddle of a book I picked it up with the excited interest of one reared on the lauded BBC adaptation of 'The Box of Delights' and many of the same elements are here magical journeys and dips into the past a gang of villains and talking animals a dreamlike fantasy woven into a uaint world of governesses and gamek

  8. says:

    I remember my mum reading some of this to me when I was about 8 or 9 and being mightily confused and not overly impressed I presume I finished reading it for myself being an insatiable bookworm who kept a torch under the pillow for emergency

  9. says:

    Absolute classic I place this and its seuel The Box of Delights right beside The Chronicles of Narnia and The Children of Green Knowe series T

  10. says:

    With the annual rewatch of The Box of Delights tomorrow it was time to get around to Kay Harker's earlier adventures Though I've seen the BBC adaptation plenty of times I don't think I ever read either of Masefield's books when young and though this is charming I'm glad the BBC version of the Box stands alone For if Kay has already had all these adventures these tangles with Abner Brown and Pouncer then the Box itself c