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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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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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«  Alun Lewis Re-Collected  »

Reeding Lessons: the Henry Reed research blog

18.12.2017


Alun Lewis Re-Collected

A recent review in The Guardian of the re-issue of Alun Lewis' Collected Poems (Amazon UK) asks the questions, 'Can the work live up to the promise of the life's sad, dark glamour? Or must Lewis be left to lie with those he styled "the quiet dead"?'

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Lewis died in 1944, quietly and apparently unobserved, under somewhat mysterious circumstances while stationed in Burma, leaving behind a legacy of poems and short stories. From the publisher's synopsis:

Alun Lewis is acknowledged as one of the best British writers of World War II. The impact of his poetry on the wartime audience was immediate: his two books of verse and a volume of stories went through several printings. This collection brings together his uncollected poems, as well as his books, Raider's Dawn and Ha! Ha! Among the Trumpets. The range of his concerns, his ability to respond to his situation, the exciting use of language and imagery marked him out, in the words of Dannie Abse, as an 'authentic, inventive literary talent.' This is the third volume in a uniform edition of his writings. His wartime Letters to my Wife (1989) and Collected Stories (1991) are also available.

I often visit The Alun Lewis Page (uses frames!) when I need to re-read one of Lewis' poems, or place him into a context with Reed and other poets of the Second World War. It's a pity there aren't more such celebratory websites put together by fans of poets like Roy Fuller, Sidney Keyes, or Keith Douglas. Channel 4 does have a nice biography of Lewis in their Soldier Poets microsite.

It would appear that the 2007 edition of Lewis' Collected Poems has already become unavailable on Amazon, but a quick AbeBooks search turns up not only that volume, but his Stories and Letters to My Wife, as well.


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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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