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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.

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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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«  Remember, Remember, to Read Stephen Spender  »

Reeding Lessons: the Henry Reed research blog

17.11.2017


Remember, Remember, to Read Stephen Spender

Over at her eponymous weblog, poet and writer Carol Peters has posted a lengthy excerpt from Stephen Spender's Poetry Since 1939 (London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1946). This short booklet is one of a series of British Council pamphlets on the Arts in Britain, published just after World War II, covering such subjects as ballet, films, music, painting, drama, and prose. Henry Reed wrote the volume for The Novel Since 1939, which discusses contemporary works by Woolf, Greene, Joyce, Isherwood, Graves, Orwell, Cary, Huxley, and Waugh.

The section Ms. Peters quotes, "Conditions in Which Poets Have Worked," doesn't mention Reed, but does name several of his peers, and everyone he would eventually be compared to:

Then we come to the many poets in the Forces. Some of the most talented of these were killed, notably Sidney Keyes and Alun Lewis. In quantity, the poets in the Forces produced far more work than anyone else, and, apart from the writing of distinguished poets such as Vernon Watkins, F. T. Prince, Roy Fuller, Henry Treece, Alan Rook, Keidrych Rhys, Francis Scarfe, this poetry is the most difficult to judge at the present time while we are so close to it.

Reed's bit comes along a little later, in the chapter "Poets Who Have Become Known Since 1939": 'When Henry Reed's volume is published he will take his place with F.T. Prince, Vernon Watkins, and Terence Tiller as one of the really significant younger poets.'

I'm also reminded of Fussell's Wartime: Understanding and Behavior in the Second World War (Amazon.com), which has an excellent chapter on "Reading in Wartime." (Unfortunately, Google Book Search delivers a disappointing "Image Not Available.")


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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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