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Documenting the quest to track down everything written by (and written about) the poet, translator, critic, and radio dramatist, Henry Reed.

An obsessive, armchair attempt to assemble a comprehensive bibliography, not just for the work of a poet, but for his entire life.

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Henry Reed, ca. 1960


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I Capture the Castle: A girl and her family struggle to make ends meet in an old English castle.
Dusty Answer: Young, privileged, earnest Judith falls in love with the family next door.
The Heat of the Day: In wartime London, a woman finds herself caught between two men.


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«  Posts from 03 March 2011  »

Reeding Lessons: the Henry Reed research blog

15.12.2017


A critique of the design of the 1947 American edition of Reed's poems, from Bookbinding and Book Production, 1948 (p. 85):

Book cover Page
A Map of Verona
    By Henry Reed. 5¼ x 8½. $2.50.
Publisher: Reynal & Hitchcock, Inc.
Manufacturer: Cornwall Press
Type: Lino. Electra 10/13: 24x38
Stock: Perkins & Squier 60, 2R
Binding: Athol Teralin, light green
Stamping: dark brown ink
Designer: Gerald Gross

The format for this collection of poems is without stimulation. The case is stamped only on the length of the spine in brown ink and the pattern and color of the cloth is uninspired. The book is rough trimmed; my own inclinations are always to trim, unless hand made paper or a deckle edged sheet is used. The presswork-lineup and binding are poor. There is little correlation between the front matter pages and the tenor of the text, and it would seem that the designer didn't have enough time to pay the necessary attention to details. The poetry is nicely set in Electra 10/13 with with heads in 12pt. Roman caps in Bodoni Book. The folios could have been larger than the 8pt. italic: this way they look as though they were trying to hide. The author is a man of considerable verbiage and very often there are one word runovers and where these occur, they are flushed right, directly under the end of the preceding line, it may make for easier carry-over of thought, but I'm not sure that the effect is pleasing when looking at the page. I didn't waste time sending my eye back to the beginning of a new line, but I did fumble at first until I was able to adjust to it.
'[A] man of considerable verbiage.' There's an understatement. If there is a British analogue of this publication, I'd love to see the entry for the 1946 London edition, published by Jonathan Cape.

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What is Henry Reed's first name?

1513. Hodge, Alan. "Thunder on the Right." Tribune (London), 14 June 1946, 15.
Hodge finds 'dry charm as well as quiet wit' in "Judging Distances," but overall feels Reed is 'diffuse and not sufficiently accomplished.'


Well, what have we here? In the pages of Italy Writes: A Review for Those Who Read (L'Italia che scrive; rassegna per coloro che leggono), the journal of the Leonardo Foundation of Italian Culture, Rome (Fondazione Leonardo per la cultura italiana), an announcement from a 1947 Italian writers' festival (Settimana degli scrittori):

Dal 24 al 26 settembre si è svolta, sempre in Perugia una Settimana degli scrittori, con relazione di Giacomo Debenedetti sul Teatro e romanzo della realtà e teatro e romanzo dell'esistenza. Erano presenti il poeta inglese Henry Reed, il prof. Kardos, studioso dell'umanesimo in Ungheria, nostri letterati, critici, scrittori e filosofi come Bellona, Toschi, Della Volpe, Tecchi, Banfi, Contini, Capitini, Bigiaretti, Mila, Ronga, Vigorelli, Cantoni, D'Amico, Pandolfi, Guerrieri.

Which roughly translates as: "From September 24 to 26 took place, again in Perugia a Week of the writers, with relation of Giacomo Debenedetti on the theatre and novel of truth, and the theatre and novel of life. Those present included the English poet Henry Reed, Professor Kardos, a scholar of humanism in Hungary, our writers, critics, and philosophers such as Bellona, Toschi, Della Volpe, Tecchi, Banfi, Contini, Capitini, Bigiaretti, Mila, Ronga, Vigorelli, Cantoni, D'Amico, Pandolfi, Guerrieri."

Emphasis mine, of course. If anyone has a better grasp of Italian, I'd encourage you to leave a comment or drop me an e-mail!

We had previously found Reed talking about having attended the Festival of Sacred Music in Umbria, held at about the same time, from September 21 through October 5, 1947. I believe the concurring writers' festival in question has evolved into the Umbria Libri, an annual book festival in Perugia.

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1512. Reed, Henry. "The Case for Maigret." Reviews of Maigret Hesitates and The Man on the Bench in the Barn, by Georges Simenon. Sunday Times (London), 2 August 1970: 22.
Reed reviews two translations of George Simenon's fiction.



1st lesson:

Reed, Henry (1914-1986). Born: Birmingham, England, 22 February 1914; died: London, 8 December 1986.

Education: MA, University of Birmingham, 1936. Served: RAOC, 1941-42; Foreign Office, Bletchley Park, 1942-1945. Freelance writer: BBC Features Department, 1945-1980.

Author of: A Map of Verona: Poems (1946)
The Novel Since 1939 (1946)
Moby Dick: A Play for Radio from Herman Melville's Novel (1947)
Lessons of the War (1970)
Hilda Tablet and Others: Four Pieces for Radio (1971)
The Streets of Pompeii and Other Plays for Radio (1971)
Collected Poems (1991, 2007)
The Auction Sale (2006)


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