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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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«  Postcards from Henry  »

Reeding Lessons: the Henry Reed research blog

18.12.2017


Postcards from Henry

Up this morning, showered, and strolled down my dead-end end street to the 7-11 for coffee and a Sunday New York Times. It's warmer this morning than it has been so far this spring, 70 already at 7:30 a.m. and I'm tempted to finally reverse the vents in the apartment open them on the second floor and close them up downstairs and turn on the air conditioning.

I'm listening to an encore webcast of last night's A Prairie Home Companion, an encore of a rerun. I just want to hear the Guy Noir sketch. Plus, I don't why I buy the NYT on Sundays. I only read the Styles section, Arts and Leisure, the Book Review and Magazine. Three dollars' worth of a seven dollar paper. The rest is just news-news, and I either pitch it, or use it to wash the windows.

Yesterday, I followed up on cataloguing some records from the Location Register of 20th-Century English Literary Manuscripts and Letters. Published in print as two (large) volumes in 1988, the Register is now available online as a searchable database (using Sirsi's iBistro interface, no less), including updated records and new accessions from 1988 to 2003.

A quick search for "henry reed" pulls up 23 records, which includes autograph drafts of poems, notes for plays, and personal letters from Reed to such notable figures as Sydney Carlyle Cockerell, T.S. Eliot, E.M. Forster, L.P. Hartley, Emyr Humphreys, Rona Laurie, Kingsley Martin, and the actor John Phillips (who was also born in Birmingham the same year as Reed).

The Location Register is a powerful tool because it includes descriptions for individual items, not just entire collections. This is handy-dandy for locating material for a minor-Canon figure like Reed. For instance, nowhere does the University of Birmingham's description for the Papers of Henry Reed include this detail from the LocReg:
Author: Reed, Henry, 1914-1986.
Title: Letters and postcards from Henry Reed to Michael Ramsbotham.
Date: 1944-1985.
Physical extent: 77 items.
General note: With 2 postcards from Reed, 1 to Col. & Mrs H.W. Ramsbotham and 1 to Mr. S. Marangos.
Call number: In Henry Reed papers, 9/1&3
Who, or what, is "Mr. S. Marangos"?


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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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