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 Harker lives in a vast old country house where he’s looked after by an unpleasant duo: the oily and egregious Sir Theopompous and the petulant Sylvia Daisy Pouncer. Sylvia Daisy has taken away all of Kay’s toys and life seems very dull – until out of an old family portrait steps Kay’s great-grandfather, a sea captain who made off with a fabulous treasure. Soon Kay is engaged in a 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. This edition is illustrated by Quentin Blake.
John Masefield was in his last year as Poet Laureate when I was born in 1966. I remember copying out his poem ‘Cargoes’ in primary school – ‘Quinquireme of Nineveh from distant Ophir . . .’...Read more