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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.

Read "Naming of Parts."

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Henry Reed, ca. 1960


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Reeding:

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 06 June 2005  »

Reeding Lessons: the Henry Reed research blog

18.12.2017


I walked downtown yesterday, chiefly for exercise, but also to while away a few hours at the campus bookstore. It's finally warming up here, after a cool, wet spring. It was a pleasant walk, if a little on the hot side: there's honeysuckle in the woods along the road into town, and the Beds and Breakfasts have all kinds of fragrant, flowering shrubs which are coming into bloom. There are even some late flowers still punctuating the magnolias. (Or are they early?)

I'm trying to put detailed, relevant descriptions with each entry in the bibliography, making searches easier, and references to my hardcopy less necessary. At the bookstore, hogging wireless bandwidth and surping at a giant latte, I spotted a mention, in the Introduction to the Collected Poems, of Reed staying at the Antelope Hotel while he was researching his biography of Thomas Hardy (which he never finished), in 1945 or '46, after his release from the Service. Turns out, there are several Antelope Hotels in the UK.

At first, I thought it was this Antelope Hotel, in Sherbourne, Dorset. Dorset is Hardy country. But the Introduction specifically mentions Dorchester, and both Hardy's cottage and his estate, Max Gate, are closer to that city. Perhaps this Antelope Hotel in Poole was the hotel mentioned?

Last night, after dinner, I was trying to track down a photograph of the hotel, and discovered there once was, in fact, an Antelope Hotel in Dorchester proper. It's been turned into a shopping arcade. A mall, of all things: The Antelope Walk. A crying shame.

In 1685, James Scott, the Duke of Monmouth and illegitimate son of Charles II, made a play to overthrow King James II. Following the defeat of the Duke's forces at the Battle of Sedgemoor, participants in the Monmouth Rebellion were rounded up and tried for treason. The "Bloody Assizes" (trials) were presided over by the Chief Justice of the King's Bench, better known as "Hanging Judge" Jeffreys, for his ruthlessness in currying favor from the Crown.

The Bloody Assizes were held in the Oak Room of the Antelope Hotel, Dorchester, in September, 1685. Judge Jeffreys is said to have had a secret passage over the rooftops leading from his lodgings at 6 High Street West (now Judge Jeffreys Restaurant and Steak House. Not kidding.) to the Court. One hundred seventy-five convicted rebels were sentenced to transportation: sold into slavery in the West Indies. Still, this was probably preferable to the fate of the seventy-four men sentenced to death: hanged until dead, drawn and quartered, their heads displayed on pikes in throughout the West Country. Twenty-nine suspected rebels were pardoned. (Judge Jeffreys, by the way, died of kidney disease in the Tower of London, after James II fled England in 1688.)

The old Oak Room is still there. It's a tearoom, now.


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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.'



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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