Other literary forms

(British and Irish Poetry, Revised Edition)

Most of Henry Reed’s work was in genres other than poetry. His first publication was a critical study, The Novel Since 1939 (1946), and he also translated Paride Rombi’s Perdu and His Father (1954) and Dino Buzzati’s Larger than Life (1962).

Mainly, however, Reed was a prolific creator of drama, especially radio plays. In particular, he enjoyed a fruitful literary relationship with the Italian language and the Italian playwright Ugo Betti, a number of whose works Reed translated and adapted for radio broadcast in London and for stage production in London and New York. His adaptations of Betti include The Queen and the Rebels, The Burnt Flower-Bed, and Summertime, all produced in London in 1955 and published as Three Plays (1956). Other adaptations of Betti were Island of Goats, produced in New York in 1955 and published as Crime on Goat Island (1955), and Corruption in the Palace of Justice, produced in New York in 1958. He also adapted Natalia Ginzburg’s play The Advertisement (1968) for production in London in 1968 and in New York in 1974. Reed’s most fruitful relationship, however, was with the British Broadcasting Corporation, for which he wrote or adapted some forty to fifty radio plays, including the previously mentioned works by Betti. Reed’s writing for radio began with Moby Dick: A Play for Radio from Herman Melville’s Novel (1947), brief lyric sections of which form the last part of Reed’s collection A Map of Verona.