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



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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«  Henry Reed in the Mercure de France  »

Reeding Lessons: the Henry Reed research blog


Henry Reed in the Mercure de France

Here is a terrific find. I wish I could reproduce the exact combination of keywords which led me to this review in Google Books, but I can't. I was lamenting the apparent loss of the ability in Books' tools to be able to sort by date (instead of keyword relevance), and trying various combinations of "map of verona" and limiting "Any time" to a custom range of years, like 1946-1949.

Up pops this snippet from a post-war volume of the Mercure de France:

Google Books snippet

I was incredulous. It's obviously a contemporary book review of Reed's book of poetry, A Map of Verona (1946). But where was I going to find a library with a run of a French periodical?

Leave it to the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. They've digitized Mercure de France from 1890-1954.

I was a bit confused by the lack of issues from 1941-1946, but I realized if they weren't publishing during World War II, then the review must be in a later issue. I didn't have to search long. Searches in Gallica for "Henry Reed" were coming up empty, but I could see another review on the same page in the Google Books search. A search for "John Pudney" led me straight to the issue for "1er janvier 1947."

Mercure de France, 1947

Here, under the section for "Grand-Bretagne" written by Jacques Vallette, is an entire article devoted to Aldous Huxley, and reviews of English language books. The books reviewed are:
  • Odhams Dictionary of the English Language (A.H. Smith, 1946)
  • Over to France (Pierre Maillaud, 1946)
  • La Mort et Demain (Peter de Polnay, 1946)
  • The True Story of Dick Whittington (Osbert Sitwell, 1945)
  • Thanks before Going (John Masefield, 1946)
  • The Merry Wives of Westminster (Mrs. Belloc Lowndes, 1946)
  • The Life of Oscar Wilde (Hesketh Pearson, 1946)
  • Selected Poems (John Pudney, 1946)
  • Theseus and the Minotaur (Patric Dickinson, 1946)
  • A Map of Verona
  • The Voyage and Other Poems (Edwin Muir, 1946)
Not only does Vallette compare Reed's themes of adventure and exploration to André Gide, but he says (and I need to work on this translation) Reed's poems "resonate in each of us the particular note of our sufferings, our attempts, our questions." Vallette even segues his review of Edwin Muir with a hark back to Reed: "Muir, as a mature man, expresses himself in a concise and more traditional way than Reed."

So, there: I finally have a non-English language book review for The Poetry of Reed site: "Henry Reed in the Mercure de France."

Add Notation:


Notation for "Henry Reed in the Mercure de France":
Allowed: <a> <em> <strong>
What is Henry Reed's first name?

1537. Radio Times, "Full Frontal Pioneer," Radio Times People, 20 April 1972, 5.
A brief article before a new production of Reed's translation of Montherlant, mentioning a possible second collection of poems.

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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