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Whangarei's Frank Reed and his World-Famous Dumas Collection

Whangarei's Frank Reed and his World-Famous Dumas Collection

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  • Thu 8 Nov ’18, 2:00pm – 3:00pm


Whangarei Central Library, 5 Rust Avenue, Whangarei


All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Free Admission

Mike Ferris will present an illustrated talk about Frank W. Reed and his passion for the French writer Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870), famous for his novels: 'The Three Musketeers', 'The Man in the Iron Mask', 'The Count of Monte Cristo'.

Frank W. Reed (1874-1953), older brother of publisher A.H. Reed, lived in Whangarei and spent over sixty years amassing books and manuscripts relating to Dumas. Reed was a voracious reader who, when aged twelve, read Dumas’ novel 'The Queen’s Necklace'. He started a collection of Dumas’ works and found support by corresponding with eminent English and French literary mentors.

Inspired by the 1902 Dumas Centennial, Reed’s passion became singular, within twelve months he taught himself French and translated a wealth of material into English. He subsequently acquired the greatest collection of books and manuscripts of Dumas’ plays and novels outside of Paris. In addition he presented typed and bound copies to the British Museum and the French Bibliotheque National for which he received decorations ’For Services rendered to French Literature’

Mike Ferris, a retired engineer and illustrator from Whangarei, discovered a folded sheet of paper inside the cover of a book he bought from a second-hand bookshop. The paper was a reprint of an article from 'The Chemist and Druggist', June 1935, titled 'A Unique Hobby' by Frank W. Reed – 'a pharmacist in a New Zealand small kauri-gum town with a large out-district'. This sparked Mike's interest in Reed and his desire to make Reed's life and passion for Dumas more widely known.

Following an introduction by Robin Leiffering, Mike will talk about Frank Reed's life illustrated with historic photos of the Reed family and Auckland City Central Library’s celebrations on Alexandre Dumas’ 200th birthday on 24 July 2002, when it accepted the Dumas collection that has been Whangarei’s deepest secret.

Registration essential - spaces are limited.
Please register by email to: libraryevents@wdc.govt.nz

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