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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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«  Statistically Speaking  »

Reeding Lessons: the Henry Reed research blog

16.12.2017


Statistically Speaking

In the introduction to her 1986 book, English Poetry of the Second World War: A Biobibliography, Catherine W. Reilly ranks the number of appearances various poets make in the 87 anthologies of World War II poetry she inventories:
Roy Fuller (25)
Alun Lewis (24)
Sidney Keyes (21)
Stephen Spender (19)
Keith Douglas (18)
John Pudney (18)
Alan Rook (17)
Louis MacNeice (15)
Henry Reed (15)
W.H. Auden (14)
G.S Fraser (14)
Dylan Thomas (14)
John Waller (14)
Emanuel Litvinoff (13)
Henry Treece (13)
Cecil Day Lewis (12)
Herbert Corby (11)
Nicolas Moore (11)
[p. xiii]
Reilly's bibliography doesn't dispel the idea that Henry Reed's Lessons of the War are the most-anthologized poems from the Second World War, just that Reed doesn't necessarily appear in the majority of anthologies of Second World War poetry.

The fifteen anthologies on Reilly's list that Reed appears in are:
An Anthology of Modern Verse, 1940-1960, chosen by Elizabeth Jennings (London: Methuen, 1961)

Components of the Scene: Stories, Poems, and Essays of the Second World War, edited by Ronald Blythe (Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin, 1966)

English Poetry, Book 5: Modern Verse, edited by W.M. Smyth (London: Edward Arnold, 1971)

I Burn For England: An Anthology of the Poetry of World War II, selected by Charles Hamblet (London: Leslie Frewin, 1966)

The Martial Muse: Seven Centuries of War Poetry, edited by Alan Bold (London: Wheaton, 1976)

More Poems from the Forces: A Collection of Verses by Serving Members of the Navy, Army, and Air Force, edited by Keidrych Rhys (London: Routledge, 1943)

New Poems, 1944: An Anthology of American and British Verse, with a Selection of Poems from the Armed Forces, edited by Oscar Williams (New York: Howell, Soskin, 1944)

Poetry of the Forties, edited by Robin Skelton (Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin, 1968)

Poetry of the 1940s: An Anthology, edited by Howard Sergeant (London: Longman, 1970)

The Poetry of War, 1939-45, edited by Ian Hamilton (London: Alan Ross, 1965)

The Terrible Rain: The War Poets 1939-1945, selected by Brian Gardner (London: Eyre Metheun, 1978)

These Years: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, edited by Howard Sergeant (Leeds: E.J. Arnold & Sons, 1950)

The Voice of Poetry, 1930-1950: An Anthology, edited by Hermann Peschmann (London: Evans Bros., 1950)

War Poetry: An Anthology, edited by D.L. Jones (London: Pergamon, 1968)

Where Steel Winds Blow, edited by Robert Cromie (New York: David McKay, 1968)
Also, someone needs to make poor Herbert Corby (Hampdens Going Over [1945]) a Wikipedia page.


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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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