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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.
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«  Returning of Issue Manuscript  »

Reeding Lessons: the Henry Reed research blog

26.9.2017


Returning of Issue Manuscript

Maggs Bros., Ltd., is a London-based rare book and manuscript dealer, in business for over a century and a half. Here, in their inventory, is a listing for catalogue 1446, "Books from the Library of Douglas Cleverdon, 1903-1987." Cleverdon was a small press publisher and BBC radio producer. If you are a font-fanatic, you might be interested to know that Gill Sans, designed by Eric Gill, was originally created for the signboard over Cleverdon's bookshop in Bristol.

Among his credits as a radio producer, Cleverdon was responsible for the adaptation of David Jones's In Parenthesis (1948); Henry Reed's Italia prize-winning drama, Return to Naples (1950); Dylan Thomas's Under Milk Wood (1954); as well as all the plays in Reed's seven-part Hilda Tablet sequence (1953-1959). All in all, Cleverdon produced over two hundred programs for the BBC.

There's a fine article by Alex Hamilton on Cleverdon's achievements, "The Third Man," in The Guardian from November 20, 1971, which accompanied a profile on Henry Reed for the publication of the Hilda plays.

The Maggs Bros. catalogue, which is from 2010, includes this item:
Manuscript54 REED (Henry). Returning of Issue.
Original heavily corrected manuscript and heavily corrected typescript of the fifth and final poem in Henry Reedís The Complete Lessons of the War series, inscribed by Reed: "To Douglas & Nest Cleverdon with love and gratitude Henry Reed, July 29, 1965". With a note from Henry Reed confirming Cleverdonís ownership of the manuscript and a note from the BBC allowing this gift from Reed to Cleverdon. £4000

Together with 23 TLS and ALS from Reed, predominantly to Douglas but with a couple to Nest and one to their elder son Lewis. Mostly in the mid 1960s and about radio drama and poetry by Henry Reed and the BBC but with 7 from 1950-51, also about Reedís radio work. One is in the character of the spinster "Emma Titt-Robbins", Tablet was the protagonist of Reedís satire The Private Life of Hilda Tablet, broadcast in 1954.
The catalogue also includes Cleverdon's personal, inscribed copy of Reed's poems, A Map of Verona.

I don't know if anyone snapped up the Reed manuscripts and letters back in 2010, but if I had £4000 pocket change, I would donate them to the University of Birmingham's Special Collections, to go with rest of Reed's papers and manuscripts.


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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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