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.

Read "Naming of Parts."

Henry Reed Henry Reed
Henry Reed Henry Reed
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.




Weblogs, etc.

All posts for "Mail"

Reeding Lessons: the Henry Reed research blog


The Kindness of Strangers

The pictures page is sporting two new images, both of which were generously provided by people whom I've never met. I am constantly, continuously amazed by the help I receive in my research endeavors. Librarians, clerks, and docents reply to my querulous emails, answering my ridiculously unimportant questions, often taking the time to send photocopies, pamphlets, and lengthy letters through the mail.

After I posted here about Weldon Kees' affection for Reed's poetry, I received an email from the poet and Kees biographer, James Reidel, who was kind enough to provide me with a digital copy of the image I had posted, from his personal collection. Mr. Reidel also alerted me to the imminent publication of the next issue of The Ephemera, which contains his latest effort on Kees: "A Portfolio of Photographs: By Him, Attributed, Performed, Collected."

I also re-connected with Chris, my British counterpart at Webrarian.co.uk, who collects all things related to Reed's radio plays (which my site painfully neglects); in particular, the Hilda Tablet series.

Chris recently discovered a copy of The Streets of Pompeii and Other Plays for Radio which contained a dedication in Reed's handwriting:

Henry Reed inscription

The inscription reads:
Dear Catharine,
These are what an old, and long unvalued, friend of mine called "playlets" and "your bits and pieces". As one of them is slightly longer than "King Lear", and none of them is shorter than "The Comedy of Errors", I found this hard to bear. I hope you will find them a little lighter.
The most likely recipient of this copy of The Streets of Pompeii would have been Catharine Carver, who is credited by Jon Stallworthy with sorting through Reed's notebooks and personal papers for the publication of the Collected Poems.

Carver was a well-respected editor for several publishing houses, including Chatto and Windus, Harcourt Brace, Viking, and Oxford University Press. At some point, she worked for Victor Gollancz, possibly at the time they published Reed's translation of Three Plays by Ugo Betti (London: 1956). Carver also assisted the biographer Michael Millgate with his collections Thomas Hardy's Public Voice, and Letters of Emma and Florence Hardy, and Millgate had previously acknowledged Reed for some assistance in Thomas Hardy: A Biography. Perhaps Carver had some Hardy dealings with Reed?

In his Preface for The Complete Poems of Keith Douglas, Desmond Graham mentions that Carver died in 1991 (p. xii).

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.

The Postman Always Thinks Twice

Usually, uniforms don't do a damn thing for me, but I think I may be developing a crush on my postal carrier. She's an elusive creature, arriving at no appointed time. The fleeting glimpses I've had of her have only been on Saturday afternoons. Today, she managed to come and go while I was out getting coffee.

My postal carrier is work-minded, always looking at the letters in her charge, shuffling them, sorting as she glides along her rounds. She wears glasses. She strikes me as a tough young woman, no-nonsense, matter-of-fact. Perhaps it's just the multiple ear-piercings.

God knows what she must think of me, the person receiving mail at my address. Every couple of weeks, a small, plain, brown-wrapped parcel appears in my mailbox, frequently from England. She must think I have some strange, Britporn fetish (if there is such a thing). Frigid ladies, descended from royalty, with questionable dental hygiene. Bangers and mash. A li'l o' th' ol' Bubble and Squeak, wot?

The reality couldn't be more prosaic. I buy books on the internet. I buy books on the internet like some women buy shoes, or some men buy tools. Not necessarily old books or rare books, but books specific to my affliction: a few journals with articles about Mr. Reed; books in which he's mentioned or cited; a couple of old, mouldering Army manuals. Like the one which arrived today:


Still, there is something magical and romantic about the words Par Avion. I have a history of developing crushes on waitresses, too. It must be the service industries. I can delude myself into thinking they like me, simply because they bring me things. Coffee. Mail. Pizza. Books.

«  Mail  0  »

1536. L.E. Sissman, "Late Empire." Halcyon 1, no. 2 (Spring 1948), 54.
Sissman reviews William Jay Smith, Karl Shapiro, Richard Eberhart, Thomas Merton, Henry Reed, and Stephen Spender.

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)



Recent tags:

Posts of note:


February 2023
July 2022
June 2022
May 2021
February 2021
January 2021
October 2020
March 2020
January 2020
November 2019
October 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
December 2018
May 2018
April 2018
January 2018
February 2017
January 2017
October 2016
September 2016
February 2016
December 2015
August 2015
July 2015
May 2015
March 2015
December 2014
June 2014
April 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
January 2013
December 2012
October 2012
September 2012
July 2012
June 2012
April 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
July 2010
June 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
December 2004
October 2004
March 2004
January 2004
December 2003