Quotable: The Box Of Delights, “Christmas Ought To Be…”


From John Masefield’s classic children’s novel, a memorable quote from the book’s unsung star character.


Book Cover _ Book Cover _ Book Cover _ Book Cover

* * * * *

“Christmas ought to be brought up to date,” Maria said. “It ought to have gangsters, and aeroplanes and a lot of automatic pistols.”

John Masefield
The Box Of Delights


For whatever reason, I am one of those readers who invariably finds secondary characters of a book a lot more interesting than the protagonist. In this case the hero of the story, Kay Harker, is often overshadowed by his friend—the irrepressible Maria Jones—on account of some wonderfully funny dialogue, including the gem above.

The Box Of Delights was first published in 1935, and was made into a six part mini-series by the BBC in 1984. It is also the sequel to the book The Midnight Folk, though it’s not essential for prospective readers to have read it first.



Dedicated to the unforgettable quotes of fantasy and science fiction literature. Whether long or brief; funny or serious; whimsical or dramatic. May they provide incentive to discover the originating books.


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