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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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«  On the Air  »

Reeding Lessons: the Henry Reed research blog

22.11.2019


On the Air

A lovely little article on the current radio offerings for May, 1955, from the Literary Guide's "On the Air" column, by Philip Dalton. Discovered quite unexpectedly, using the extra morning hour afforded me by the ending of Daylight Saving Time (Summer Time, to *you* people). Among other nice things, Dalton laments that Reed's plays are consigned to the Third Programme, and not repeated on the Home Service.

Includes Henry Reed's official BBC headshot, taken circa 1950, when he was 35 years old (badly scarred in this microfilm scan):

Literary Guide

On the Air
Covering the month's broadcasting and noting programmes to come, this radio commentary will in future be a regular feature

by PHILIP DALTON

Vastly Entertaining
Most of our poets or any reputation have written for the radio, even if few have made their' reputations on it. Louis MacNeice is better known to a wide audience than be might have been, but it is Henry Reed who has become almost completely identified with the microphone. It is almost ten years since he wrote ' Noises ' and since then he has produced about seventy talks and thirty commissioned features. He has been prolific, diverse and, to my mind, almost always vastly entertaining, and he is certainly entitled to what we might call his ' benefit '—a series of revivals of some of his most popular pieces which has been running throughout April. Among these re-broadcasts were ' Return to Naples ' (April 5), ' A By-Election in the Nineties ' (April 11), ' The Streets of Pompeii ' (April 21), and we shall hear 'Moby Dick ' again on April 29. All these are Third programme offerings, although for Reed's sake I would like to have seen some of them broadcast on the Home Service: they could baffle no one.
The Literary Guide has an interesting history, starting out in 1885 as Watt's Literary Guide (sort of propaganda for free-thinkers and the science-minded), and changing to the Humanist in 1956. Still published by the Rationalist Association as the New Humanist.


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What is Henry Reed's first name?

1529. Sackville-West, Vita. "Seething Brain." Observer (London), 5 May 1946, 3.
Sackville-West speaks admirably of Reed's poetry, and was personally 'taken with the poem called "Lives," which seemed to express so admirably Mr. Reed's sense of the elusiveness as well as the continuity of life.'



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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