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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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«  Japonica Makes a Hardy Cameo  »

Reeding Lessons: the Henry Reed research blog

18.12.2017


Japonica Makes a Hardy Cameo

I thoroughly enjoyed the first half of the new BBC production of Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles, which aired last night on PBS Masterpiece. This adaptation stars the enchanting Gemma Arterton as Tess, and Hans Matheson as Alec D'Urberville.

I was seriously distracted, however, at the opening of Chapter 12, when the camera pans up from a bunch of Japonica in bloom, trained along a garden wall:

Screen shot

The shrub appears again, at the side of Mr. Clare (played by Kenneth Cranham) and son Angel (Eddie Redmayne), as they leave Emminster parsonage (I must be the only dude on the Internet taking screencaps which do not feature Gemma Arterton):

Screen shot

Fancy that, I thought. Henry Reed has taught me horticulture! The flower is definitely Chaenomeles, the Japanese Quince—probably Speciosa, or another ornamental variety—referred to commonly as Japonica. Filmed in early spring, March or April, at Hamswell House, South Gloucestershire.

You can catch up on the first half of Tess at PBS.org. The program concludes this Sunday evening, January 11th.

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Notation for "Japonica Makes a Hardy Cameo":
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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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