Graham Greene
Overview
Henry Graham Greene, OM
Order of Merit
The Order of Merit is a British dynastic order recognising distinguished service in the armed forces, science, art, literature, or for the promotion of culture...

, CH
Order of the Companions of Honour
The Order of the Companions of Honour is an order of the Commonwealth realms. It was founded by King George V in June 1917, as a reward for outstanding achievements in the arts, literature, music, science, politics, industry or religion....

 (2 October 1904 – 3 April 1991) was an English
English people
The English are a nation and ethnic group native to England, who speak English. The English identity is of early mediaeval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Anglecynn. England is now a country of the United Kingdom, and the majority of English people in England are British Citizens...

 author
Author
An author is broadly defined as "the person who originates or gives existence to anything" and that authorship determines responsibility for what is created. Narrowly defined, an author is the originator of any written work.-Legal significance:...

, playwright
Playwright
A playwright, also called a dramatist, is a person who writes plays.The term is not a variant spelling of "playwrite", but something quite distinct: the word wright is an archaic English term for a craftsman or builder...

 and literary critic. His works explore the ambivalent moral and political issues of the modern world. Greene was notable for his ability to combine serious literary acclaim with widespread popularity.

Although Greene objected strongly to being described as a Roman Catholic novelist rather than as a novelist who happened to be Catholic, Catholic religious themes
Theme (literature)
A theme is a broad, message, or moral of a story. The message may be about life, society, or human nature. Themes often explore timeless and universal ideas and are almost always implied rather than stated explicitly. Along with plot, character,...

 are at the root of much of his writing, especially the four major Catholic novels: Brighton Rock, The Power and the Glory
The Power and the Glory
The Power and the Glory is a novel by British author Graham Greene. The title is an allusion to the doxology often added to the end of the Lord's Prayer: "For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, now and forever , amen." This novel has also been published in the US under the name The...

, The Heart of the Matter
The Heart of the Matter
The Heart of the Matter , a novel by the English author Graham Greene, won the 1948 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction. During World War II, Greene worked for the Secret Intelligence Service in Sierra Leone, the setting for his novel...

and The End of the Affair
The End of the Affair
The End of the Affair is a novel by British author Graham Greene, as well as the title of two feature films that were adapted for the screen based on the novel....

.
Quotations

Have you seen a room from which faith has gone?...Like a marriage from which love has gone...And patience, patience everywhere like a fog.

The Potting Shed (1957)

The economy of a novelist is a little like that of a careful housewife who is unwilling to throw away anything that might perhaps serve its turn. Perhaps the comparison is closer to the Chinese cook who leaves hardly any part of a duck unserved.

From journal kept while writing A Burnt-Out Case|A Burnt-Out Case (1959)

It is the story-teller's task to elicit sympathy and a measure of understanding for those who lie outside the boundaries of State approval.

Speech on receiving the Shakespeare Prize awarded by the University of Hamburg, Germany (1969)

Morality comes with the sad wisdom of age, when the sense of curiosity has withered.

A Sort of Life, ch. 7, sct. 1 (1971)

My two fingers on a typewriter have never connected with my brain. My hand on a pen does. A fountain pen, of course. Ball-point pens are only good for filling out forms on a plane.

International Herald Tribune (October 7, 1977)

A petty reason perhaps why novelists more and more try to keep a distance from journalists is that novelists are trying to write the truth and journalists are trying to write fiction.

Letter to critic Stephen Pile, Sunday Times (London) (January 18, 1981)

The world is not black and white. More like black and grey.

London Observer (January 2, 1983)

That instinct for human character that is perhaps inherent in an imaginative writer.

Getting to know the General (1984)

A major character has to come somehow out of the unconscious.

New York Times|New York Times (October 9, 1985)

The moment comes when a character does or says something you hadn't thought about. At that moment he's alive and you leave it to him.

New York Times|New York Times (October 9, 1985)

Encyclopedia
Henry Graham Greene, OM
Order of Merit
The Order of Merit is a British dynastic order recognising distinguished service in the armed forces, science, art, literature, or for the promotion of culture...

, CH
Order of the Companions of Honour
The Order of the Companions of Honour is an order of the Commonwealth realms. It was founded by King George V in June 1917, as a reward for outstanding achievements in the arts, literature, music, science, politics, industry or religion....

 (2 October 1904 – 3 April 1991) was an English
English people
The English are a nation and ethnic group native to England, who speak English. The English identity is of early mediaeval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Anglecynn. England is now a country of the United Kingdom, and the majority of English people in England are British Citizens...

 author
Author
An author is broadly defined as "the person who originates or gives existence to anything" and that authorship determines responsibility for what is created. Narrowly defined, an author is the originator of any written work.-Legal significance:...

, playwright
Playwright
A playwright, also called a dramatist, is a person who writes plays.The term is not a variant spelling of "playwrite", but something quite distinct: the word wright is an archaic English term for a craftsman or builder...

 and literary critic. His works explore the ambivalent moral and political issues of the modern world. Greene was notable for his ability to combine serious literary acclaim with widespread popularity.

Although Greene objected strongly to being described as a Roman Catholic novelist rather than as a novelist who happened to be Catholic, Catholic religious themes
Theme (literature)
A theme is a broad, message, or moral of a story. The message may be about life, society, or human nature. Themes often explore timeless and universal ideas and are almost always implied rather than stated explicitly. Along with plot, character,...

 are at the root of much of his writing, especially the four major Catholic novels: Brighton Rock, The Power and the Glory
The Power and the Glory
The Power and the Glory is a novel by British author Graham Greene. The title is an allusion to the doxology often added to the end of the Lord's Prayer: "For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, now and forever , amen." This novel has also been published in the US under the name The...

, The Heart of the Matter
The Heart of the Matter
The Heart of the Matter , a novel by the English author Graham Greene, won the 1948 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction. During World War II, Greene worked for the Secret Intelligence Service in Sierra Leone, the setting for his novel...

and The End of the Affair
The End of the Affair
The End of the Affair is a novel by British author Graham Greene, as well as the title of two feature films that were adapted for the screen based on the novel....

. Several works such as The Confidential Agent
The Confidential Agent
The Confidential Agent is a thriller novel by British author Graham Greene. Fueled by Benzedrine, Greene wrote it in six weeks. To avoid distraction while working, he rented a room in Bloomsbury from a landlady who lived in an apartment below him. He used that apartment in the novel and had an...

, The Third Man
The Third Man
The Third Man is a 1949 British film noir, directed by Carol Reed and starring Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, Orson Welles, and Trevor Howard. Many critics rank it as a masterpiece, particularly remembered for its atmospheric cinematography, performances, and unique musical score...

, The Quiet American
The Quiet American
The Quiet American is an anti-war novel by British author Graham Greene, first published in United Kingdom in 1955 and in the United States in 1956. It was adapted into films in 1958 and 2002. The book draws on Greene's experiences as a war correspondent for The Times and Le Figaro in French...

, Our Man in Havana
Our Man in Havana
Our Man In Havana is a novel by British author Graham Greene, where he makes fun of intelligence services, especially the British MI6, and their willingness to believe reports from their local informants....

and The Human Factor
The Human Factor
The Human Factor is an espionage novel by Graham Greene, first published in 1978 and adapted into a 1979 film, directed by Otto Preminger using a screenplay by Tom Stoppard.-Plot summary:...

also show an avid interest in the workings of international politics and espionage.

Greene suffered from bipolar disorder
Bipolar disorder
Bipolar disorder or bipolar affective disorder, historically known as manic–depressive disorder, is a psychiatric diagnosis that describes a category of mood disorders defined by the presence of one or more episodes of abnormally elevated energy levels, cognition, and mood with or without one or...

, which had a profound effect on his writing and personal life. In a letter to his wife Vivien, he told her that he had "a character profoundly antagonistic to ordinary domestic life", and that "unfortunately, the disease is also one's material".

Early years

Henry Graham Greene was born in 1904 in St. John’s House, a boarding house
Boarding school
A boarding school is a school where some or all pupils study and live during the school year with their fellow students and possibly teachers and/or administrators. The word 'boarding' is used in the sense of "bed and board," i.e., lodging and meals...

 of Berkhamsted School on Chesham Road in Berkhamsted
Berkhamsted
-Climate:Berkhamsted experiences an oceanic climate similar to almost all of the United Kingdom.-Castle:...

, Hertfordshire, England, where his father was housemaster. He was the fourth of six children; his younger brother, Hugh
Hugh Greene
Sir Hugh Carleton Greene KCMG, OBE was a British journalist and television executive. He was the Director-General of the BBC from 1960―1969, and is generally credited with modernising an organisation that had fallen behind in the wake of the launch of ITV in 1955.-Early life and work:Hugh was born...

, became Director-General of the BBC
Director-General of the BBC
The Director-General of the British Broadcasting Corporation is chief executive and editor-in-chief of the BBC.The position was formerly appointed by the Board of Governors of the BBC and is now appointed by the BBC Trust....

, and his elder brother, Raymond
Raymond Greene
Charles Raymond Greene was a Doctor of Medicine and mountaineer, brother of the novelist Graham Greene and the broadcaster Hugh Greene....

, an eminent physician and mountaineer.

His parents, Charles Henry Greene and Marion Raymond Greene, were second cousins
Cousin marriage
Cousin marriage is marriage between two cousins. In various jurisdictions and cultures, such marriages range from being considered ideal and actively encouraged, to being uncommon but still legal, to being seen as incest and legally prohibited....

; both members of a large, influential family that included the owners of Greene King brewery, bankers and businessmen. Charles Greene was Second Master at Berkhamsted School, where the headmaster was Dr Thomas Fry
Thomas Charles Fry
The Very Rev Thomas Charles Fry was an English Anglican clergyman, Dean of Lincoln from 1910 to 1930....

, who was married to Charles' cousin. Another cousin was the right-wing pacifist Ben Greene
Ben Greene
Ben Greene was a British Labour Party politician and pacifist. He was interned during World War II because of his fascist associations and appealed his detention to the House of Lords. In the leading case of Liversidge v...

, whose politics led to his internment during World War II.

In 1910 Charles Greene succeeded Dr Fry as headmaster of Berkhamsted. Graham also attended the school as a boarder. Bullied and profoundly depressed he made several suicide attempts; including, as he wrote in his autobiography, by Russian roulette
Russian roulette
Russian roulette is a potentially lethal game of chance in which participants place a single round in a revolver, spin the cylinder, place the muzzle against their head and pull the trigger...

 and by taking aspirin before going swimming in the school pool. In 1920, aged 16, in what was a radical step for the time, he was sent for psychoanalysis
Psychoanalysis
Psychoanalysis is a psychological theory developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud. Psychoanalysis has expanded, been criticized and developed in different directions, mostly by some of Freud's former students, such as Alfred Adler and Carl Gustav...

 for six months in London, afterwards returning to school as a day student. School friends included Claud Cockburn
Claud Cockburn
Francis Claud Cockburn was a British journalist. He was well known proponent of communism. His saying, "believe nothing until it has been officially denied" is widely quoted in journalistic studies.He was the second cousin of novelist Evelyn Waugh....

 the satirist, and Peter Quennell
Peter Quennell
Sir Peter Courtney Quennell CBE was an English biographer, literary historian, editor, essayist, poet, and critic....

 the historian.

In 1922 he was for a short time a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain
Communist Party of Great Britain
The Communist Party of Great Britain was the largest communist party in Great Britain, although it never became a mass party like those in France and Italy. It existed from 1920 to 1991.-Formation:...

.

In 1925, while an undergraduate at Balliol College, Oxford
Balliol College, Oxford
Balliol College , founded in 1263, is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England but founded by a family with strong Scottish connections....

, his first work, a poorly received volume of poetry entitled Babbling April, was published. Greene suffered from periodic bouts of depression whilst at Oxford, and largely kept to himself. Of Greene's time at Oxford, his contemporary Evelyn Waugh
Evelyn Waugh
Arthur Evelyn St. John Waugh , known as Evelyn Waugh, was an English writer of novels, travel books and biographies. He was also a prolific journalist and reviewer...

 noted that: "Graham Greene looked down on us (and perhaps all undergraduates) as childish and ostentatious. He certainly shared in none of our revelry".

Early career

After graduating with a second-class degree
British undergraduate degree classification
The British undergraduate degree classification system is a grading scheme for undergraduate degrees in the United Kingdom...

 in history, he worked for a period of time as a private tutor and then turned to journalism – first on the Nottingham
Nottingham
Nottingham is a city and unitary authority in the East Midlands of England. It is located in the ceremonial county of Nottinghamshire and represents one of eight members of the English Core Cities Group...

 Journal
, and then as a sub-editor
Copy editing
Copy editing is the work that an editor does to improve the formatting, style, and accuracy of text. Unlike general editing, copy editing might not involve changing the substance of the text. Copy refers to written or typewritten text for typesetting, printing, or publication...

 on The Times
The Times
The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

. While in Nottingham he started corresponding with Vivien Dayrell-Browning
Vivien Greene
Vivien Greene was the widow of the distinguished novelist Graham Greene and an authority on doll's houses....

, a Catholic convert, who had written to him to correct him on a point of Catholic doctrine. Greene was an agnostic at the time, but when he began to think about marrying Vivien, it occurred to him that, as he puts it in A Sort of Life, he "ought at least to learn the nature and limits of the beliefs she held". In his discussions with the priest to whom he went for instruction, he argued "on the ground of dogmatic atheism", as his primary difficulty was what he termed the "if" surrounding God's existence. However, he found that "after a few weeks of serious argument the 'if' was becoming less and less improbable". Greene converted to Catholicism in 1926 (described in A Sort of Life) when he was baptised in February of that year. He married Vivien in 1927; and they had two children, Lucy Caroline (b. 1933) and Francis (b. 1936). In 1948 Greene separated amicably from Vivien. Although he had other relationships, he never divorced or remarried.

Novels and other works

Greene's first published novel was The Man Within
The Man Within
The Man Within is the first novel by author Graham Greene. It tells the story of Francis Andrews, a reluctant smuggler, who betrays his colleagues and the aftermath of his betrayal...

(1929). Favourable reception emboldened him to quit his sub-editor job at The Times and work as a full-time novelist. The next two books, The Name of Action (1930) and Rumour at Nightfall (1932), were unsuccessful; and he later disowned them. His first true success was Stamboul Train
Stamboul Train
Stamboul Train is a novel by author Graham Greene. A thriller set on an Orient Express train, it was renamed Orient Express when it was published in the United States.-Plot introduction:...

(1932) which was taken on by the Book Society and adapted as the film Orient Express (1934).

He supplemented his novelist's income with freelance journalism, book and film reviews for The Spectator, and co-editing the magazine Night and Day
Night and Day
- Literature :* Night and Day , a novel by Robert B. Parker* Night and Day , a 1919 novel by Virginia Woolf- Music :* "Night and Day" , written by Cole Porter...

, which folded in 1937. Greene's film review of Wee Willie Winkie
Wee Willie Winkie (film)
Wee Willie Winkie is a 1937 American adventure film directed by John Ford. The screenplay by Julien Josephson and Ernest Pascal was based on a story by Rudyard Kipling. The film stars Shirley Temple, Victor McLaglen, and Cesar Romero in a story about the British presence in nineteenth century...

, featuring nine-year-old Shirley Temple
Shirley Temple
Shirley Temple Black , born Shirley Jane Temple, is an American film and television actress, singer, dancer, autobiographer, and former U.S. Ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia...

, cost the magazine a lost libel lawsuit. Greene's review stated that Temple displayed "a dubious coquetry" which appealed to "middle-aged men and clergymen". It is now considered one of the first criticisms of the sexualisation of children for entertainment.

Greene originally divided his fiction into two genres: thrillers (mystery and suspense
Suspense
Suspense is a feeling of uncertainty and anxiety about the outcome of certain actions, most often referring to an audience's perceptions in a dramatic work. Suspense is not exclusive to fiction, though. Suspense may operate in any situation where there is a lead-up to a big event or dramatic...

 books), such as The Ministry of Fear
The Ministry of Fear
The Ministry of Fear is a 1943 novel written by Graham Greene. It was first published in Britain by William Heinemann. It was made into the 1944 film Ministry of Fear, starring Ray Milland.It revolves around the relationship between Love and Fear...

, which he described as entertainments, often with notable philosophic edges, and literary works, such as The Power and the Glory
The Power and the Glory
The Power and the Glory is a novel by British author Graham Greene. The title is an allusion to the doxology often added to the end of the Lord's Prayer: "For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, now and forever , amen." This novel has also been published in the US under the name The...

, which he described as novels, on which he thought his literary reputation was to be based.

As his career lengthened, both Greene and his readers found the distinction between entertainments and novels increasingly problematic. The last book Greene termed an entertainment was Our Man in Havana
Our Man in Havana
Our Man In Havana is a novel by British author Graham Greene, where he makes fun of intelligence services, especially the British MI6, and their willingness to believe reports from their local informants....

in 1958. When Travels with My Aunt
Travels with My Aunt
Travels with My Aunt is a novel written by English author Graham Greene.The novel follows the travels of Henry Pulling, a retired bank manager, and his eccentric Aunt Augusta as they find their way across Europe, and eventually even further afield...

was published eleven years later, many reviewers noted that Greene had designated it a novel, even though, as a work decidedly comic in tone, it appeared closer to his last two entertainments, Loser Takes All
Loser Takes All
Loser takes all is a 1955 novel by British author Graham Greene.-Plot summary:Mr. Bertram and Cary are about to get married. An unambitious assistant accountant, Bertram's plans for marriage are not particularly exciting...

and Our Man in Havana
Our Man in Havana
Our Man In Havana is a novel by British author Graham Greene, where he makes fun of intelligence services, especially the British MI6, and their willingness to believe reports from their local informants....

, than to any of the novels. Greene, they speculated, seemed to have dropped the category of entertainment. This was soon confirmed. In the Collected Edition of Greene's works published in 22 volumes between 1970 and 1982, the distinction between novels and entertainments is no longer maintained. All are novels.

Greene also wrote short stories and plays, which were well-received, although he was always first and foremost a novelist. He collected the 1948 James Tait Black Memorial Prize
James Tait Black Memorial Prize
Founded in 1919, the James Tait Black Memorial Prizes are among the oldest and most prestigious book prizes awarded for literature written in the English language and are Britain's oldest literary awards...

 for The Heart of the Matter
The Heart of the Matter
The Heart of the Matter , a novel by the English author Graham Greene, won the 1948 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction. During World War II, Greene worked for the Secret Intelligence Service in Sierra Leone, the setting for his novel...

. In 1986, he was awarded Britain's Order of Merit
Order of Merit
The Order of Merit is a British dynastic order recognising distinguished service in the armed forces, science, art, literature, or for the promotion of culture...

.

Greene was one of the most "cinematic" of twentieth century writers; most of his novels and many of his plays and short stories would eventually be adapted for film or television. The Internet Movie Database
Internet Movie Database
Internet Movie Database is an online database of information related to movies, television shows, actors, production crew personnel, video games and fictional characters featured in visual entertainment media. It is one of the most popular online entertainment destinations, with over 100 million...

 lists 66 titles based on Greene material between 1934 and 2010.
Some novels were filmed more than once, such as Brighton Rock in 1947 and 2011, The End of the Affair
The End of the Affair
The End of the Affair is a novel by British author Graham Greene, as well as the title of two feature films that were adapted for the screen based on the novel....

in 1955 and 1999, and The Quiet American
The Quiet American
The Quiet American is an anti-war novel by British author Graham Greene, first published in United Kingdom in 1955 and in the United States in 1956. It was adapted into films in 1958 and 2002. The book draws on Greene's experiences as a war correspondent for The Times and Le Figaro in French...

in 1958 and 2002
The Quiet American (2002 film)
The Quiet American is a 2002 film adaptation of Graham Greene's bestselling novel of the same name. It was directed by Phillip Noyce and starred Michael Caine, George Henry Hsu, Brendan Fraser, and Do Thi Hai Yen....

. The early thriller A Gun for Sale
A Gun for Sale
A Gun for Sale is a 1936 novel by Graham Greene.This novel was made into a film in 1941 and renamed This Gun for Hire, which was also the title of the book's U.S. edition. Alan Ladd was cast as Raven in the film....

was filmed at least five times under different titles. He also wrote several original screenplays. In 1949, after writing the novella as "raw material", he wrote the screenplay for the classic film noir
Film noir
Film noir is a cinematic term used primarily to describe stylish Hollywood crime dramas, particularly those that emphasize cynical attitudes and sexual motivations. Hollywood's classic film noir period is generally regarded as extending from the early 1940s to the late 1950s...

, The Third Man
The Third Man
The Third Man is a 1949 British film noir, directed by Carol Reed and starring Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, Orson Welles, and Trevor Howard. Many critics rank it as a masterpiece, particularly remembered for its atmospheric cinematography, performances, and unique musical score...

, featuring Orson Welles
Orson Welles
George Orson Welles , best known as Orson Welles, was an American film director, actor, theatre director, screenwriter, and producer, who worked extensively in film, theatre, television and radio...

. In 1983, The Honorary Consul
The Honorary Consul
The Honorary Consul is a British thriller novel by Graham Greene, published in 1973. It was one of the author's favourite works.- Plot summary :...

, published ten years earlier, was released as a film under its original title
The Honorary Consul (film)
The Honorary Consul is a 1983 British drama film directed by John Mackenzie and starring Michael Caine, Richard Gere, Bob Hoskins and Elpidia Carrillo. It is based on the novel The Honorary Consul by Graham Greene...

, starring Michael Caine
Michael Caine
Sir Michael Caine, CBE is an English actor. He won Academy Awards for best supporting actor in both Hannah and Her Sisters and The Cider House Rules ....

 and Richard Gere
Richard Gere
Richard Tiffany Gere is an American actor. He began acting in the 1970s, playing a supporting role in Looking for Mr. Goodbar, and a starring role in Days of Heaven. He came to prominence in 1980 for his role in the film American Gigolo, which established him as a leading man and a sex symbol...

. Michael Korda
Michael Korda
Michael Korda is a writer and novelist who was editor-in-Chief of Simon & Schuster in New York City.-Early Years:...

, the famous author and Hollywood script-writer, contributed a foreword and introduction to this novel in a commemorative edition.

In 2009 The Strand Magazine began to publish in serial form a newly discovered Greene novel entitled The Empty Chair. The manuscript was written in longhand when Greene was 22 and newly converted to Catholicism.

Travel

Throughout his life Greene travelled far from England, to what he called the world's wild and remote places. The travels led to him being recruited into MI6
Secret Intelligence Service
The Secret Intelligence Service is responsible for supplying the British Government with foreign intelligence. Alongside the internal Security Service , the Government Communications Headquarters and the Defence Intelligence , it operates under the formal direction of the Joint Intelligence...

 by his sister, Elisabeth, who worked for the organisation; and he was posted to Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone , officially the Republic of Sierra Leone, is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Guinea to the north and east, Liberia to the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west and southwest. Sierra Leone covers a total area of and has an estimated population between 5.4 and 6.4...

 during the Second World War. Kim Philby
Kim Philby
Harold Adrian Russell "Kim" Philby was a high-ranking member of British intelligence who worked as a spy for and later defected to the Soviet Union...

, who would later be revealed as a Soviet double agent, was Greene's supervisor and friend at MI6. As a novelist he wove the characters he met and the places where he lived into the fabric of his novels.

Greene first left Europe at 30 years of age in 1935 on a trip to Liberia
Liberia
Liberia , officially the Republic of Liberia, is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Sierra Leone on the west, Guinea on the north and Côte d'Ivoire on the east. Liberia's coastline is composed of mostly mangrove forests while the more sparsely populated inland consists of forests that open...

 that produced the travel book Journey Without Maps
Journey Without Maps
Journey Without Maps is a travel account by Graham Greene, about a 350-mile, 4-week walk through the interior of Liberia in 1935. It was Greene's first trip outside of Europe. He hoped to leave civilization and find the "heart of darkness" in Africa...

. His 1938 trip to Mexico, to see the effects of the government's campaign of forced anti-Catholic secularisation, was paid for by Longman
Longman
Longman was a publishing company founded in London, England in 1724. It is now an imprint of Pearson Education.-Beginnings:The Longman company was founded by Thomas Longman , the son of Ezekiel Longman , a gentleman of Bristol. Thomas was apprenticed in 1716 to John Osborn, a London bookseller, and...

's, thanks to his friendship with Tom Burns
Tom Burns (publisher)
Thomas Ferrier Burns , publisher and magazine editor, was an important figure in mid-20th-century Catholic publishing in Britain.-Life:...

. That voyage produced two books, the factual The Lawless Roads
The Lawless Roads
The Lawless Roads is a travel account by Graham Greene, based on his 1938 trip to Mexico, to see the effects of the government's campaign of forced anti-Catholic secularisation and how the inhabitants had reacted to the brutal anticlerical purges of President Plutarco Elías Calles.A Catholic and...

(published as Another Mexico in the U.S.) and the novel The Power and the Glory
The Power and the Glory
The Power and the Glory is a novel by British author Graham Greene. The title is an allusion to the doxology often added to the end of the Lord's Prayer: "For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, now and forever , amen." This novel has also been published in the US under the name The...

. In 1953 the Holy Office
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith , previously known as the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition , and after 1904 called the Supreme...

 informed Greene that The Power and the Glory
The Power and the Glory
The Power and the Glory is a novel by British author Graham Greene. The title is an allusion to the doxology often added to the end of the Lord's Prayer: "For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, now and forever , amen." This novel has also been published in the US under the name The...

was damaging to the reputation of the priesthood; but later, in a private audience with Greene, Pope Paul VI
Pope Paul VI
Paul VI , born Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini , reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church from 21 June 1963 until his death on 6 August 1978. Succeeding Pope John XXIII, who had convened the Second Vatican Council, he decided to continue it...

 told him that, although parts of his novels would offend some Catholics, he should not pay attention to the criticism. Greene travelled to Haiti
Haiti
Haiti , officially the Republic of Haiti , is a Caribbean country. It occupies the western, smaller portion of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Ayiti was the indigenous Taíno or Amerindian name for the island...

 which was under the rule of dictator François Duvalier
François Duvalier
François Duvalier was the President of Haiti from 1957 until his death in 1971. Duvalier first won acclaim in fighting diseases, earning him the nickname "Papa Doc" . He opposed a military coup d'état in 1950, and was elected President in 1957 on a populist and black nationalist platform...

, known as "Papa Doc", where the story of The Comedians
The Comedians (novel)
The Comedians is a novel by Graham Greene, first published in 1966. Set in Haiti under the rule of François "Papa Doc" Duvalier and his secret police, the Tontons Macoute, The Comedians tells the story of a tired hotel owner, Brown, and his increasing fatalism as he watches Haiti descend into...

(1966) took place. The owner of the Hotel Oloffson
Hotel Oloffson
The Hotel Oloffson is an inn in central Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The main structure of the hotel is a 19th century Gothic gingerbread mansion set in a lush tropical garden. The mansion was built as a residence for the powerful Sam family, including two former presidents of Haiti...

 in Port-au-Prince
Port-au-Prince
Port-au-Prince is the capital and largest city of the Caribbean nation of Haiti. The city's population was 704,776 as of the 2003 census, and was officially estimated to have reached 897,859 in 2009....

, where Greene frequently stayed, named a room in his honour.

Final years

After falling victim to a financial swindler, Greene chose to leave Britain in 1966, moving to Antibes
Antibes
Antibes is a resort town in the Alpes-Maritimes department in southeastern France.It lies on the Mediterranean in the Côte d'Azur, located between Cannes and Nice. The town of Juan-les-Pins is within the commune of Antibes...

, to be close to Yvonne Cloetta, whom he had known since 1959, a relationship that endured until his death. In 1973, Greene had an uncredited cameo appearance
Cameo appearance
A cameo role or cameo appearance is a brief appearance of a known person in a work of the performing arts, such as plays, films, video games and television...

 as an insurance company representative in François Truffaut
François Truffaut
François Roland Truffaut was an influential film critic and filmmaker and one of the founders of the French New Wave. In a film career lasting over a quarter of a century, he remains an icon of the French film industry. He was also a screenwriter, producer, and actor working on over twenty-five...

's film Day for Night
Day for Night (film)
La Nuit Américaine is a 1973 French film directed by François Truffaut. It stars Jacqueline Bisset and Jean-Pierre Léaud. In French, nuit américaine is a technical process whereby sequences filmed outdoors in daylight are underexposed to appear as if they are taking place at night...

. In 1981 he was awarded the Jerusalem Prize
Jerusalem Prize
The Jerusalem Prize for the Freedom of the Individual in Society is a biennial literary award given to writers whose works have dealt with themes of human freedom in society. It is awarded at the Jerusalem International Book Fair, and the recipient usually delivers an address when accepting the award...

, awarded to writers concerned with the freedom of the individual in society. One of his final works, the pamphlet J'Accuse – The Dark Side of Nice (1982), concerns a legal matter embroiling him and his extended family in Nice
Nice
Nice is the fifth most populous city in France, after Paris, Marseille, Lyon and Toulouse, with a population of 348,721 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Nice extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of more than 955,000 on an area of...

. He declared that organized crime flourished in Nice, because the city's upper levels of civic government had protected judicial and police corruption. The accusation provoked a libel lawsuit that he lost. In 1994, after his death, he was vindicated, when the former mayor of Nice, Jacques Médecin
Jacques Médecin
Jacques Médecin was a French politician. A member of the Gaullist RPR, he served as mayor of the city of Nice from 1966 to 1990...

, was imprisoned for corruption and associated crimes.

He lived the last years of his life in Vevey
Vevey
Vevey is a town in Switzerland in the canton Vaud, on the north shore of Lake Geneva, near Lausanne.It was the seat of the district of the same name until 2006, and is now part of the Riviera-Pays-d'Enhaut District...

, on Lake Geneva, in Switzerland, the same town Charlie Chaplin
Charlie Chaplin
Sir Charles Spencer "Charlie" Chaplin, KBE was an English comic actor, film director and composer best known for his work during the silent film era. He became the most famous film star in the world before the end of World War I...

 was living in at this time. He visited Chaplin often, and the two were good friends. His book Doctor Fischer of Geneva or the Bomb Party
Doctor Fischer of Geneva
Doctor Fischer of Geneva or The bomb party , is a novel by the English novelist Graham Greene.-Plot summary:The story is narrated by Alfred Jones, a translator for a large chocolate company in Switzerland. Jones, in his 50s, lost his left hand while working as a fireman during The Blitz. Jones is a...

(1980) bases its themes on combined philosophic and geographic influences. He had ceased going to mass and confession in the 1950s, but in his final years began to receive the sacraments again from Father Leopoldo Durán, a Spanish priest, who became a friend. He died at age 86 of leukemia
Leukemia
Leukemia or leukaemia is a type of cancer of the blood or bone marrow characterized by an abnormal increase of immature white blood cells called "blasts". Leukemia is a broad term covering a spectrum of diseases...

 in 1991 and was buried in Corseaux
Corseaux
Corseaux is a municipality in the district Riviera-Pays-d'Enhaut in the canton of Vaud in Switzerland.-Geography:Corseaux has an area, , of . Of this area, or 21.7% is used for agricultural purposes, while or 0.0% is forested...

 cemetery.

Greene's literary agent was Jean LeRoy of Pearn, Pollinger & Higham
Pearn, Pollinger & Higham
Pearn, Pollinger & Higham was an English literary agent based in London during the 20th century. They were agents for Graham Greene and Paul Scott, among others....

.

Writing style and themes

The literary style of Graham Greene was described by Evelyn Waugh in Commonweal
Commonweal
Commonweal is a American journal of opinion edited and managed by lay Catholics. It is headquartered in The Interchurch Center in New York City.-History:...

as "not a specifically literary style at all. The words are functional, devoid of sensuous attraction, of ancestry, and of independent life". Commenting on this lean, realistic prose and its readability, Richard Jones wrote in the Virginia Quarterly Review that "nothing deflects Greene from the main business of holding the reader's attention." His novels often have religious themes at the centre. In his literary criticism he attacked the modernist
Modernist literature
Modernist literature is sub-genre of Modernism, a predominantly European movement beginning in the early 20th century that was characterized by a self-conscious break with traditional aesthetic forms...

 writers Virginia Woolf
Virginia Woolf
Adeline Virginia Woolf was an English author, essayist, publisher, and writer of short stories, regarded as one of the foremost modernist literary figures of the twentieth century....

 and E. M. Forster
E. M. Forster
Edward Morgan Forster OM, CH was an English novelist, short story writer, essayist and librettist. He is known best for his ironic and well-plotted novels examining class difference and hypocrisy in early 20th-century British society...

 for having lost the religious sense which, he argued, resulted in dull, superficial characters, who "wandered about like cardboard symbols through a world that is paper-thin". Only in recovering the religious element, the awareness of the drama of the struggle in the soul carrying the infinite consequences of salvation and damnation, and of the ultimate metaphysical
Metaphysics
Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world, although the term is not easily defined. Traditionally, metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms:...

 realities of good and evil, sin and divine grace
Divine grace
In Christian theology, grace is God’s gift of God’s self to humankind. It is understood by Christians to be a spontaneous gift from God to man - "generous, free and totally unexpected and undeserved" - that takes the form of divine favour, love and clemency. It is an attribute of God that is most...

, could the novel recover its dramatic power. Suffering and unhappiness are omnipresent in the world Greene depicts; and Catholicism is presented against a background of unvarying human evil, sin, and doubt. V. S. Pritchett
V. S. Pritchett
Sir Victor Sawdon Pritchett CH CBE , was a British writer and critic. He was particularly known for his short stories, collected in a number of volumes...

 praised Greene as the first English novelist since Henry James
Henry James
Henry James, OM was an American-born writer, regarded as one of the key figures of 19th-century literary realism. He was the son of Henry James, Sr., a clergyman, and the brother of philosopher and psychologist William James and diarist Alice James....

 to present, and grapple with, the reality of evil. Greene concentrated on portraying the characters' internal lives – their mental, emotional, and spiritual depths. His stories often occurred in poor, hot, and dusty tropical backwaters, such as Mexico, West Africa, Vietnam, Cuba, Haiti, and Argentina, which led to the coining of the expression "Greeneland" to describe such settings.
The novels often powerfully portray the Christian drama of the struggles within the individual soul from the Catholic perspective. Greene was criticised for certain tendencies in an unorthodox direction – in the world, sin is omnipresent to the degree that the vigilant struggle to avoid sinful conduct is doomed to failure, hence not central to holiness. Friend and fellow Catholic Evelyn Waugh
Evelyn Waugh
Arthur Evelyn St. John Waugh , known as Evelyn Waugh, was an English writer of novels, travel books and biographies. He was also a prolific journalist and reviewer...

 attacked that as a revival of the Quietist
Quietism (Christian philosophy)
Quietism is a Christian philosophy that swept through France, Italy and Spain during the 17th century, but it had much earlier origins. The mystics known as Quietists insist, with more or less emphasis, on intellectual stillness and interior passivity as essential conditions of perfection...

 heresy. This aspect of his work also was criticised by the theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar
Hans Urs von Balthasar
Hans Urs von Balthasar was a Swiss theologian and priest who was nominated to be a cardinal of the Catholic Church...

, as giving sin a mystique. Greene responded that constructing a vision of pure faith and goodness in the novel was beyond his talents. Praise of Greene from an orthodox Catholic point of view by Edward Short is in Crisis Magazine, and a mainstream Catholic critique is presented by Joseph Pearce
Joseph Pearce
Joseph Pearce is an English-born writer, and Writer in Residence and Professor of Literature at Ave Maria University in Ave Maria, Florida; previously he had a comparable position, from 2001, at Ave Maria College in Ypsilanti, Michigan. He is known for a number of literary biographies, many of...

.

Catholicism's prominence decreased in the later writings. According to Ernest Mandel in his Delightful Murder: a Social History of the Crime Story: "Greene started out as a conservative agent of the British intelligence services, upholding such reactionary causes as the struggle of the Catholic Church against the Mexican revolution (The Power and the Glory, 1940), and arguing the necessary merciful function of religion in a context of human misery (Brighton Rock, 1938; The Heart of the Matter, 1948). The better he came to know the socio-political realities of the third world where he was operating, and the more directly he came to be confronted by the rising tide of revolution in those countries, the more his doubts regarding the imperialist cause grew, and the more his novels shifted away from any identification with the latter." The supernatural realities that haunted the earlier work declined and were replaced by a humanistic
Humanism
Humanism is an approach in study, philosophy, world view or practice that focuses on human values and concerns. In philosophy and social science, humanism is a perspective which affirms some notion of human nature, and is contrasted with anti-humanism....

 perspective, a change reflected in his public criticism of orthodox Catholic teaching. Left-wing political critiques assumed greater importance in his novels: for example, years before the Vietnam War, in The Quiet American
The Quiet American
The Quiet American is an anti-war novel by British author Graham Greene, first published in United Kingdom in 1955 and in the United States in 1956. It was adapted into films in 1958 and 2002. The book draws on Greene's experiences as a war correspondent for The Times and Le Figaro in French...

he prophetically attacked the naive and counterproductive attitudes that were to characterize American policy in Vietnam. The tormented believers he portrayed were more likely to have faith in communism than in Catholicism.

In his later years Greene was a strong critic of American imperialism, and supported the Cuban leader Fidel Castro
Fidel Castro
Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz is a Cuban revolutionary and politician, having held the position of Prime Minister of Cuba from 1959 to 1976, and then President from 1976 to 2008. He also served as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba from the party's foundation in 1961 until 2011...

, whom he had met. For Greene and politics, see also Anthony Burgess
Anthony Burgess
John Burgess Wilson  – who published under the pen name Anthony Burgess – was an English author, poet, playwright, composer, linguist, translator and critic. The dystopian satire A Clockwork Orange is Burgess's most famous novel, though he dismissed it as one of his lesser works...

' Politics in the Novels of Graham Greene. In Ways of Escape, reflecting on his Mexican trip, he complained that Mexico's government was insufficiently left-wing compared with Cuba's. In Greene's opinion, "Conservatism and Catholicism should be .... impossible bedfellows".
Despite his seriousness, Graham Greene greatly enjoyed parody, even of himself. In 1949, when the New Statesman
New Statesman
New Statesman is a British centre-left political and cultural magazine published weekly in London. Founded in 1913, and connected with leading members of the Fabian Society, the magazine reached a circulation peak in the late 1960s....

held a contest for parodies of Greene's writing style, he submitted an entry under the pen name "N. Wilkinson" and won second prize. His entry comprised the first two paragraphs of a novel, apparently set in Italy, The Stranger's Hand: An Entertainment. Greene's friend, Mario Soldati
Mario Soldati
Mario Soldati was an Italian writer and film director.-Biography:Soldati studied Humanities in his native city, Turin, and History of Art in Rome. He started publishing novels in 1929 although his fame came with America primo amore, published in 1935, a diary about the time he spent teaching at...

, a Piedmont
Piedmont
Piedmont is one of the 20 regions of Italy. It has an area of 25,402 square kilometres and a population of about 4.4 million. The capital of Piedmont is Turin. The main local language is Piedmontese. Occitan is also spoken by a minority in the Occitan Valleys situated in the Provinces of...

ese novelist and film director, believed that it had the makings of a suspense film about Yugoslav
Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia refers to three political entities that existed successively on the western part of the Balkans during most of the 20th century....

 spies in postwar Venice
Venice
Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

. Upon Soldati's prompting, Greene continued writing the story as the basis for a film script. Apparently he lost interest in the project, leaving it as a substantial fragment that was published posthumously in The Graham Greene Film Reader (1993) and No Man's Land (2005). The script for The Stranger's Hand was penned by veteran screenwriter Guy Elmes on the basis of Greene's unfinished story, and cinematically rendered by Soldati. In 1965 Greene again entered a similar New Statesman competition pseudonymously, and won an honourable mention.

Graham Greene International Festival

The Graham Greene International Festival is an annual four-day event of conference papers, informal talks, question and answer sessions, films, dramatised readings, music, creative writing workshops and social events. It is organised by the Graham Greene Birthplace Trust, and takes place in the writer's home town of Berkhamsted, on dates as close as possible to the anniversary of his birth. Its purpose is to promote interest in and study of the works of Graham Greene.

Works

  • The Man Within
    The Man Within
    The Man Within is the first novel by author Graham Greene. It tells the story of Francis Andrews, a reluctant smuggler, who betrays his colleagues and the aftermath of his betrayal...

    (1929)
  • The Name of Action (1930)
  • Rumour at Nightfall
    Rumour at Nightfall
    Rumour at Nightfall is the third novel by Graham Greene, published in 1931. Like his second novel it failed to repeat the success of The Man Within; Greene was to disown both....

    (1931)
  • Stamboul Train
    Stamboul Train
    Stamboul Train is a novel by author Graham Greene. A thriller set on an Orient Express train, it was renamed Orient Express when it was published in the United States.-Plot introduction:...

    (1932)
  • It's a Battlefield
    It's a Battlefield
    It's a Battlefield is an early novel by Graham Greene, first published in the year 1934. Graham Greene later described it as his "first overtly political novel"...

    (1934)
  • England Made Me
    England Made Me (novel)
    England Made Me or The Shipwrecked is an early novel by Graham Greene. It was first published in 1935, and was republished as "The Shipwrecked" in 1953....

    (also published as The Shipwrecked) (1935)
  • A Gun for Sale
    A Gun for Sale
    A Gun for Sale is a 1936 novel by Graham Greene.This novel was made into a film in 1941 and renamed This Gun for Hire, which was also the title of the book's U.S. edition. Alan Ladd was cast as Raven in the film....

    (1936)
  • Brighton Rock (1938)
  • The Confidential Agent
    The Confidential Agent
    The Confidential Agent is a thriller novel by British author Graham Greene. Fueled by Benzedrine, Greene wrote it in six weeks. To avoid distraction while working, he rented a room in Bloomsbury from a landlady who lived in an apartment below him. He used that apartment in the novel and had an...

    (1939)
  • The Power and the Glory
    The Power and the Glory
    The Power and the Glory is a novel by British author Graham Greene. The title is an allusion to the doxology often added to the end of the Lord's Prayer: "For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, now and forever , amen." This novel has also been published in the US under the name The...

    (1940)
  • The Ministry of Fear
    The Ministry of Fear
    The Ministry of Fear is a 1943 novel written by Graham Greene. It was first published in Britain by William Heinemann. It was made into the 1944 film Ministry of Fear, starring Ray Milland.It revolves around the relationship between Love and Fear...

    (1943)
  • The Heart of the Matter
    The Heart of the Matter
    The Heart of the Matter , a novel by the English author Graham Greene, won the 1948 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction. During World War II, Greene worked for the Secret Intelligence Service in Sierra Leone, the setting for his novel...

    (1948)
  • The Third Man
    The Third Man
    The Third Man is a 1949 British film noir, directed by Carol Reed and starring Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, Orson Welles, and Trevor Howard. Many critics rank it as a masterpiece, particularly remembered for its atmospheric cinematography, performances, and unique musical score...

    (1949)
  • The End of the Affair
    The End of the Affair
    The End of the Affair is a novel by British author Graham Greene, as well as the title of two feature films that were adapted for the screen based on the novel....

    (1951)
  • Twenty-One Stories
    Twenty-One Stories
    Twenty-One Stories is a collection of short stories by Graham Greene. All but the last four stories appeared in his earlier 1947 collection Nineteen Stories -Stories:...

    (1954) (short stories)
  • Loser Takes All
    Loser Takes All
    Loser takes all is a 1955 novel by British author Graham Greene.-Plot summary:Mr. Bertram and Cary are about to get married. An unambitious assistant accountant, Bertram's plans for marriage are not particularly exciting...

    (1955)
  • The Quiet American
    The Quiet American
    The Quiet American is an anti-war novel by British author Graham Greene, first published in United Kingdom in 1955 and in the United States in 1956. It was adapted into films in 1958 and 2002. The book draws on Greene's experiences as a war correspondent for The Times and Le Figaro in French...

    (1955)


  • Our Man in Havana
    Our Man in Havana
    Our Man In Havana is a novel by British author Graham Greene, where he makes fun of intelligence services, especially the British MI6, and their willingness to believe reports from their local informants....

    (1958)
  • A Burnt-Out Case
    A Burnt-Out Case
    -Plot summary:The plot concerns Querry, who is the victim of a terrible attack of indifference, he no longer finds meaning in art or pleasure in life. Arriving anonymously at a Congo leper colony overseen by Catholic missionaries, he is diagnosed - by Dr Colin, the resident doctor - as the mental...

    (1960)
  • A Sense of Reality (1963) (short stories)
  • The Comedians
    The Comedians (novel)
    The Comedians is a novel by Graham Greene, first published in 1966. Set in Haiti under the rule of François "Papa Doc" Duvalier and his secret police, the Tontons Macoute, The Comedians tells the story of a tired hotel owner, Brown, and his increasing fatalism as he watches Haiti descend into...

    (1966)
  • May We Borrow Your Husband? (1967) (short stories)
  • Travels with My Aunt
    Travels with My Aunt
    Travels with My Aunt is a novel written by English author Graham Greene.The novel follows the travels of Henry Pulling, a retired bank manager, and his eccentric Aunt Augusta as they find their way across Europe, and eventually even further afield...

    (1969)
  • A Sort of Life (1971) (autobiography)
  • The Honorary Consul
    The Honorary Consul
    The Honorary Consul is a British thriller novel by Graham Greene, published in 1973. It was one of the author's favourite works.- Plot summary :...

    (1973)
  • The Human Factor
    The Human Factor
    The Human Factor is an espionage novel by Graham Greene, first published in 1978 and adapted into a 1979 film, directed by Otto Preminger using a screenplay by Tom Stoppard.-Plot summary:...

    (1978)
  • Doctor Fischer of Geneva
    Doctor Fischer of Geneva
    Doctor Fischer of Geneva or The bomb party , is a novel by the English novelist Graham Greene.-Plot summary:The story is narrated by Alfred Jones, a translator for a large chocolate company in Switzerland. Jones, in his 50s, lost his left hand while working as a fireman during The Blitz. Jones is a...

    (1980)
  • Ways of Escape (1980) (autobiography)
  • Monsignor Quixote
    Monsignor Quixote
    Monsignor Quixote is a novel by Graham Greene, published in 1982. The book is a pastiche of the classic Spanish novel Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes with many moments of hilarious comedy, but also offers reflection on matters such as life after a dictatorship, Communism, and the Catholic...

    (1982)
  • Getting to Know the General (1984) (nonfiction Panama memoir)
  • The Tenth Man (1985)
  • The Captain and the Enemy (1988)
  • The Last Word (1990) (short stories)
  • No Man's Land (2005)


External links

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