Festival 2018


20th Graham Greene International Festival 2018

Thursday 20 – Sunday 23 September


Link to Ticket Page


An illustrated copy of the Festival brochure containing the full programme of events and other details and can be accessed by using the link below:






On 23 September 1989, Graham Greene was asked by John Cornwell of the Catholic journal The Tablet, “What, in the final analysis . . . does your religion mean to you?”“I think . . . it’s a mystery”, he said slowly and with some feeling. . . . “a certain mystery.”

Mystery is at the heart of this year’s programme, inclusive of all its connotations: intrigue, speculation, the compelling need to know and the fact that sometimes we do not – and cannot – know. Whether a newcomer or a seasoned attendee, you are invited to a festival that will celebrate its twentieth anniversary, and which, in its twenty shades of Greene, welcomes your own diverse variety of thought, wonder, and enlightenment, by way of talks, interviews, meals, music and film, and above all, friendship – a celebration of all things Greene.

Tickets will be on sale at the door for all events other than the meals, but it would be preferable if you could book in advance online from the website.

Season tickets are available for those who plan to attend all talks and films. We are sponsored by Greene King plc and supported by Berkhamsted School.

Dr Martyn Sampson, Festival Director

Thursday 20 September

Railway Station (or Court House) and the Town Hall

Afternoon session (£5)

Berkhamsted Railway Station (or Court House)

2.15 Berkhamsted: The Greene Guide: a guided walk of approximately one hour, led by Brian Shepherd, with readings from A Sort of Life, The Human Factor and The Captain and the Enemy, by Judy Mead and Richard Shepherd. Assemble outside the rear entrance to Berkhamsted Railway Station (the Platform 4 exit) for introduction. If wet, an illustrated talk with readings will take place in the Court House.

Supplementing the main programme, Professor Motornori Sato, Professor of English at Keio University, Japan, will host a seminar with Berkhamsted School Sixth form students entitled, The Legacy of Graham Greene’s First-Person Narration.

Evening session (Supper and film £28; supper only £18; film only £10)

The Town Hall

5.15 Film Supper: 5.15 meet for drinks at pay bar, 6.00 waitress-served two-course supper with coffee; vegan/vegetarian option.

(Book by Thursday 13th September at the latest.)

7.15 for 7.30 film: May We Borrow Your Husband? (Yorkshire Television, 1986 – 120 minutes), directed by Bob Mahoney and starring Dirk Bogarde and Charlotte Attenborough. Introduced by Quentin Falk.


Friday 21 September

The Town Hall, The Civic Centre

Morning session (£16)

The Town Hall

9.45 The Third Man Museum: the creation of enthusiasts, a talk by Karin Höfler and Gerhard Strassgschwandtner.

10.45 Break for tea and coffee

11.15 A Journey With Maps: Adapting Stamboul Train by Graham Greene for BBC Radio 4, Jeremy Front is interviewed by Dr Martyn Sampson.

Break for lunch

12.45 A repeat of Berkhamsted: The Greene Guide. (£5). If wet, illustrated talk with readings in The Town Hall.

Afternoon session (£16)

The Town Hall

2.30 :Graham Greene: Treachery and Trust, a talk by Monsignor Roderick Strange. The David Pearce Memorial Talk.

3.30 Break for tea and coffee

4.00 The Book that Greene Never Wrote: To Beg I Am Ashamed, a talk by Emeritus Professor François Gallix.

Evening session (£10)

The Civic Centre

7.30 Music and Film night: Songs and music by Matt Saxton and band, inspired by the life and work of Graham Greene; followed by a showing of ‘Under the Garden’ (Thames Television, 1976, 50 minutes), with Denholm Elliott, Arthur Lowe and Vivian Pickles. The film will be introduced by Mike Hill.


Saturday 22 September

Deans’ Hall and Old Hall, Berkhamsted School (Castle Street)

Exhibition of prints by local artists: ‘Our Journey’ with Graham Greene

 Traditional prints inspired by the work of Graham Greene and created by 14 Bodenpress artists will be exhibited at Deans’ Hall, Berkhamsted School, during the Graham Greene International Festival on Saturday 22 September.

Free admission from 1:00 pm to 2:15 pm, or throughout the day with a Festival ticket.


Morning session (£17)

Deans’ Hall

9.45 Adventures in the Greene Trade. Collecting Graham Greene Rarities and Stalking the Man Himself, a talk by John Baxter, author of A Pound of Paper: Confessions of a Book Addict.

10.45 Break for tea and coffee

11.15 Journalists and Novelists: Facts and Truth, a talk by Robin Lustig, acclaimed journalist and former presenter of The World Tonight.

Break for lunch

Afternoon session, including Birthday Toast (£23)

Deans’ Hall

2.30 Coloring Catholicism Greene in the Age of Pope Francis, a talk by Father Mark Bosco of Georgetown University.

3.30 Break for tea and coffee

4.00 Celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the Making of The Third Man – A Conversation with Angela Allen, MBE, iconic script supervisor, Angela Allen is interviewed by Dr Brigitte Timmermann about her career in film production, especially regarding The Third Man.

5.15 The Birthday Toast: by Dr Martyn Sampson.

Evening session (£36)

Old Hall

7.45 Festival Dinner: three courses with wine and coffee; vegan/vegetarian option. (Limited to 60 tickets. Book by Thursday 13th September at the latest.)


Sunday 23 September

VIth Form Centre and Old Hall, Berkhamsted School (Castle Street)

Morning session (£16)

VIth Form Centre, Castle Street

9.00 A Tour of the School Archives: including a look at the Exhibition  Room, the green baize door, Old Hall and the School Chapel. (Meet outside Old Hall.)

9.45 Known and Not So Known Literary Outcomes of Graham Greene’s Travels with Father Leopoldo Durán: Monsignor Quixote and the Manuscript Book Picasso. A talk by Dr Beatriz Valverde Jiménez of Universidad Loyola Andalucía.

11.00 Break for tea and coffee

11.30 Graham Greene’s ‘The Virtue of Disloyalty’: a talk by Dr Jon Wise.

Lunch (£25)

Old Hall

1.00 Farewell Lunch: cold buffet, wine and coffee; vegan/vegetarian option. (Limited to 60 tickets. Book by Thursday 13th September at the latest.)


Festival venues will also feature exhibitions, a Festival bookstall, and Richard Frost’s bookstall which will include a large selection of books by and relating to Graham Greene. A free Festival brochure will be available during the Festival. It will include a full Festival programme, details of speakers and more.

Tickets are available to purchase online at www.grahamgreenebt.org.

A Season Ticket to all events, including both films but excluding meals, is available for £99.There is free admission to Festival events (excluding meals) for under 21s.

If you have any queries or problems with tickets, please email grahamgreeneboxoffice@gmail.com or phone 07988 560496.


Become a Friend of the Graham Greene Birthplace Trust at www.grahamgreenebt.org and receive a quarterly newsletter and a Festival discount of £2 per event (for up to five events).


The Graham Greeene International Festival is presented by the Graham Greene Birthplace Trust (charity No. 1064839), a member of the Berkhamsted Arts Trust.


Below you will find detailed information in the form of summaries and brief biographies about those who will be speaking or hosting various events.

Thursday 20 September Afternoon Session

Brian Shepherd will present:

Berkhamsted: The Greene Guide

“If I had known it, the whole future must have lain all the time along those Berkhamsted streets.” In Berkhamsted: The Greene Guide, readings from Greene’s writings, delivered in the town centre locations where they were set, give the opening sentence of A Sort of Life an enhanced resonance. The Berkhamsted of Greene’s boyhood and adolescence, broadly the first twenty years of the twentieth century, is brought vividly to life by a combination of Greene’s own words and contemporary photographs. Several pictures are credited to noted local photographer J.T. Newman, whose “half-timbered Tudor photographer’s shop . . . at ‘our end’ of the High Street” rated a mention by Greene himself.”

Brian Shepherd is the author of four audio Guides to countryside walks around Berkhamsted. researching what writers with local connections had to say about Berkhamsted Common led him to many references in Greene’s writings to what he called “my natural escape route”. These passages have now been combined to accompany a walk on the common. A map of Berkhamsted Town Centre, to supplement the walk, is below.


Motonori Sato will host a seminar with the Berkhamsted School Sixth Form about:

The Legacy of Graham Greene’s First-person Narration

Graham Greene is an inventive writer, deploying first-person narration for the first time in The End of the Affair (1951). First-person narration is both enabling and disabling. Enabling in the sense that it gives an author an exclusive chance to explore an inner psyche of the narrator/protagonist. Disabling in the sense that this subjective presentation of the inner world is seemingly irreconcilable with an objective presentation of the outer world. The ambivalence inherent in Greene’s narrative device is, however, an inspiration for his followers. In my talk I will be exploring how some contemporary writers, J. M. Coetzee, Ishiguro, and Murakami, have inherited this richly ambivalent technique.


Professor Motonori Sato

Dr Motonori Sato is Professor of English at Keio University in Japan, having studied at Queen Mary, the University of London, and the University of Tokyo, Japan. He is the author of numerous articles and book chapters as well as his monograph The Poetics of the British New Wave: British Cinema and the Genealogy of Social Realism (Kyoto: Minerva Publishing Company, 2012). His new book Graham Greene, a Cinematic Life (Tokyo: Keio University Press) was due to be published in March 2018.

Thursday 20 September Evening Session

Quentin Falk will introduce a screening of

May We Borrow Your Husband? (1986)

Quentin Falk visited the set of May We Borrow Your Husband? (1986) in the South of France, where he interviewed Dirk Bogarde – who starred in and wrote the film – and Charlotte Attenborough, one of Bogarde’s co-stars. The points Quentin plans to address are: the origins of the making of the film, that is, its relationship to the short story by Greene on which the film is based, as well as who decided to make the film etc., including the choice of actors, director, and script writer; the cinematic environment at the time of the film and influences that might have prompted the decisions to make the film; the actual making of the film, including anecdotes about the making of the film, such as any difficulties, successes, the settings, and how closely the film follows the book – and where the film does not follow the book; and, finally, a consideration of the end result – how the film was reviewed, what Greene thought about it, and whether it stands up today – or is it of its time?

Quentin Falk

Quentin Falk has been a freelance film critic and magazine editor for more than 40 years. He is also the author of the award-nominated Travels in Greeneland: The Cinema of Graham Greene, now in its four edition. His other books include biographies of Alfred Hitchcock, Anthony Hopkins, Albert Finney and Lord Lew Grade.


Friday 21 September Morning Session

Karin Höfler and Gerhard Strassgschwandtner will present:

The Third Man Museum: The Creation of Enthusiasts

Karin Höfler and Gerhard Strassgschwandtner will give a guided tour through the 14 rooms of their museum, using slides and video material. They will explore what led them to create the “Third Man Museum Project” and how they came to collect their enormous range of exhibits. Having set up the museum themselves, from scratch, they will also explore details of how they found – and adapted – the space for their collection, and they managed the task of exhibiting a collection which is not static but is ever-growing from month to month. The museum is a completely rounded piece of work, with no outsourcing. It focuses on the fact that the Third Man Museum contains much by way of heart and soul. They will mention some of the good occasions when they were very lucky, and maybe, too, also some moments that were less lucky, when they had not the money to buy a desired object.


Gerhard Strassgschwandtner and Karin Höfler

During the 1980s, for nine years, Gerhard Strassgschwandtner ran his own ceramics art workshop in Athens, Greece. Since the mid-1990s, he has worked as a licenced tour guide in Vienna, presenting the city in all its diversity, and not only in its traditional stereotypes. For the past 20 years, his collecting activities have been concentrated only on finding and getting original documents and artefacts relating to the film classic The Third Man. With Karin Höfler, he opened the Third Man Museum in 2005. Karin Höfler is a graduate in Japanese Studies from the University of Vienna. She spent several years living in Kyoto, Japan. She is a Japanese-German interpreter, and has had assignments in Vienna, Austria, Germany, and Japan. She comments that since 2005, she has been married to the Third Man Museum.


Jeremy Front is interviewed about:

A Journey With Maps: Adapting Stamboul Train by Graham Greene for BBC Radio 4

A Book Society Choice, Stamboul Train (1932) by Graham Greene was the novel that established his reputation as one of the great popular literary writers of his generation. The novel, a tapestry of voices, sounds, smells, and music, has been adapted for BBC Radio 4 by the award-winning writer, performer and broadcaster, Jeremy Front. One-and-a-half hours in length, the broadcast was aired on the mid-afternoon of Saturday of 18 November 2017. Festival Director, Dr Martyn Sampson, will interview Jeremy about the writing, production and context of the adaptation, exploring all aspects of the processes that led to its wonderful final form.

Jeremy Front

Jeremy Front is an award winning writer, performer and broadcaster. He studied Painting at Goldsmith’s, University of London and Central St. Martin’s School of Art. His first feature length screenplay was shortlisted for the Oxford Film Foundation Prize. First theatre pieces were musical/sketch revues, co-written with his sister, (actress and writer, Rebecca Front), and four monologues for women for the RSC’s New Writing Season which were staged at The Other Place, Stratford. Jeremy writes extensively for radio and television, moving between original and adaptations in both drama and comedy departments. His long running, Charles Paris comedy drama series starring Bill Nighy is approaching its twelfth outing. Jeremy also writes and acts in Radio 4’s, Incredible Women (Series 7 2018), and a new series, Jack and Millie both co-starring with Rebecca Front.

Dr Martyn Sampson

Festival Director, Dr Martyn Sampson, is a card-carrying Greene fan and general enthusiast of all things of the literary and cultural imagination. He holds a PhD on Greene and Catholicism from the Department of English in the University of the West of England (UWE), Bristol, where he taught English Literature as an Associate Lecturer, and where he trained as a university lecturer and then as a college lecturer. Martyn has attended the festival since 2007, and presented his doctoral research at the 2012 festival. He has edited two anthologies of creative writing, one for a local church, and one for Bristol UWE, and he is currently preparing a scholarly monograph on Greene and Catholicism, which is based on his doctoral dissertation and his ongoing researches into the intersection between literature, philosophy, and theology. He lives in Bristol and is married to Claire, and his sincere hope is that you thoroughly enjoy yourself at the twentieth anniversary of this marvellous annual gathering that celebrates all things Greene.

Friday 21 September Afternoon Session

Roderick Strange will talk on:

Graham Greene: Treachery and Trust

Monsignor Roderick Strange addressed the 2003 Festival, when he discussed “A Religious Awareness”. He spoke at Graham Greene’s Requiem Mass at Westminster Cathedral in 1992. This year, Monsignor Strange will deliver a talk titled “Graham Greene: Treachery and Trust”, which will explore the theme of betrayal on different levels in Greene’s writings. Who can we trust? Monsignor Strange’s session is The David Pearce Memorial Talk, an annual event to mark the memory of the late David Pearce, a founding Trustee, friend, mentor and Festival Director, who passed in 2017.

Monsignor Roderick Strange was ordained as a Catholic priest for the Diocese of Shrewsbury in 1969. Since then, he has been a pastoral priest in that diocese for 11 years during which time he was also Director of the Religious Education Service for five years and he has served on the National Conference of Priests for eight years, for three of them as Chairman. He also spent 12 years as one of the Catholic chaplains at Oxford University and for 17 years was Rector of the Pontifical Beda College in Rome. He is now a Professor of Theology at St Mary’s University, Twickenham.

François Gallix will talk on:

The Book that Greene Never Wrote: To Beg I Am Ashamed

Greene published more than seventy books and, in addition to this long list, he was attributed quite a few apocryphal texts, among which, at least partly, Sheila Cousins’s To Beg I Am Ashamed. According to rare books dealers, their catalogues still announce “co-authored by Graham Greene and Ronald Matthews.” In his book, Matthews himself clearly said that he had acted as a ghost writer for a prostitute who lacked the literary skill to do justice to her “moving and surprising story”. A publisher was quickly found (Routledge) who accepted his proposition to write a book from the woman’s recollections. For three years, he spent most of his mornings, from ten to twelve making notes on this deplorable odysseus. It goes without saying that Graham Greene met her before embarking for Mexico.

François Gallix is Emeritus Professor of 20th century British Literature at the Sorbonne. He has presented on many contemporary British authors, including Alan Sillitoe, Peter Ackroyd, David Lodge, Julian Barnes, Jonathan Coe, Graham Swift, Hanif Kureishi, Will Self and has published several books and articles about them. His research concentrates on the works of Graham Greene. He has recently discovered and published in The Times and in The Strand a detective novella by Greene. He has edited two volumes on Greene, published by Robert Laffont (2011). His research also includes Nabokov and Lolita and Boris Vian alias Vernon Sullivan.



Friday 21 September Evening Session

Matt Saxton will present:

Songs and music by inspired by the life and work of Graham Greene.

Matt Saxton is a rock and folk singer-songwriter and a multi-instrumentalist, who lives in East Sussex, UK. Music has always been a core part of his life. He is classically trained on the clarinet and piano, and is self-taught on the drums and guitar. His early influences range from Leonard Cohen to Mozart. His songs tend to be reflective, incorporating elements of nostalgia and reflections on literature and philosophy. He is a wide reader, and his favourite author is Graham Greene. In 2015, Google featured his guitar piece “Seabird” on their homepage, bringing his work world-wide attention. He released his single “Greeneland” in 2016 on The Animal Farm label, and in February 2018 he released his album I Wasn’t Looking For Love. The title track is about when Matt first met his wife. In describing the album, Matt has commented that he wished to use the positive themes about love and family that Neil Young touched on in Harvest Moon.

Mike Hill will introduce a showing of the film:

Under the Garden (1976)

‘Under the Garden’ seems to have originated in a dream, and the story has a pervading and bewitching feel of fantasy – ironically, it was first published in a story collection called A Sense of Reality (1963). The story is so long it really qualifies as a novella, and when Thames Television came to adapt it for the small screen in its Shades of Greene series in 1976, the problem was how to fit the story into 50 minutes. The TV film is a triumph, Greene’s own favourite of the whole series and starring those great British character actors Denholm Elliott and Arthur Lowe.

Mike Hill is a former schoolteacher who now edits the Birthplace Trust magazine, A Sort of Newsletter and was last year’s Greene Festival Director. He has directed five festivals in total. With Jon Wise, he has written two books on Graham Greene – The Works of Graham Greene: A Reader’s Bibliography and Guide (2012), and The Works of Graham Greene, Volume 2: A Guide to the Graham Greene Archives (2015).

Saturday 22 September Morning Session

John Baxter will present:

Adventures in the Greene Trade: Collecting Graham Greene Rarities and Stalking the Man Himself

In the 1980s, John Baxter built a large Greene collection and, in hopes of meeting the man, haunted his footsteps through the home counties, Paris and the Cote d’Azur. His encounters with fellow obsessives, book dealers and former intimates of the author shine an oblique light on the world of bibliophiles to which Greene himself belonged.

John Baxter was born in Australia but worked in Britain and the United States before settling in Paris, where he lives with his wife, the documentary film maker Marie-Dominique Montel, who, in 1995, wrote a profile of Graham Greene for the FR3 TV series Un Siecle d’Ecrivains. John’s books include biographies of J.G. Ballard, Stanley Kubrick, Robert DeNiro, Woody Allen, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Josef von Sternberg. A series of memoirs includes The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris and A Pound of Paper: Confessions of a Book Addict. The latter documents John’s lifetime fascination with rare books, including a period during which he took an active interest in Graham Greene and accumulated a major collection of his work.

Robin Lustig will talk on

Journalists and Novelists: Facts and Truth

Robin Lustig is an acclaimed journalist and winner of several awards. His recent memoir, Is Anything Happening? My Life as a Newsman is a fast and fabulous read and well-worth checking out. Robin will explore a topic that he touches on, in brief, in his memoir, that being “Journalists and Novelists: Facts and Truth”, to explore the differences between how journalists and novelists tackle the same issues, with particular reference, of course, to Graham Greene. Should you wish to prep for the occasion, you may find online some of Robin’s thoughts on the topic, in his interview with the acclaimed Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adi (https://audioboom.com/posts/717909-is-fiction-the-process-of-turning-fact-into-truth).

Robin Lustig is a journalist and broadcaster. He began his career with Reuters news agency, as a correspondent in Madrid, Paris, and Rome, and then spent more than a decade at The Observer, including three years as Middle East correspondent based in Jerusalem. He moved to the BBC in 1989, where he presented The World Tonight on Radio 4 and Newshour on BBC World Service. He has won several awards, including the Charles Wheeler award for outstanding contribution to broadcast journalism. In 2017, he published a memoir Is Anything Happening? My Life as a Newsman.

Saturday 22 September Afternoon Session

Mark Bosco will talk on

Coloring Catholicism Greene in the Age of Pope Francis

Graham Greene’s engagement with his Catholic faith finds expression in many of his late novels, especially those set in Spanish and Latin American locales. His sense of – and use of – Catholic references, tropes, and characters matured as Catholicism underwent its own crucial years of renewal during the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). Greene did not sit out on the intellectual debates and developments surrounding the Church’s role in the modern world. Indeed, Greene’s religious and literary imagination seem to color Catholicism ever more in the age of Pope Francis. Is Francis, the first Latin American pope, what Greene was waiting for all his life?

Father Mark Bosco, S.J. is Vice-President for Mission and Ministry at Georgetown University and teaches in the English department. His research focuses on theological aesthetics and the intersection of religion and art, especially the 20th century Catholic literary tradition. He was associate professor of English and Theology at Loyola University Chicago from 2003-2017. He is the author of Graham Greene’s Catholic Imagination (Oxford, 2005), Academic Novels as Satire: Critical Studies of an Emerging Genre (Edwin Mellen, 2007), and Revelation and Convergence: Flannery O’Connor and the Catholic Intellectual Tradition (Catholic University of America, 2017). Other publications include essays on Gerard Manley Hopkins, Margaret Atwood, and Shusaku Endo. He is a producer and director of the upcoming documentary feature film, Flannery O’Connor: Mystery and Manners, with PBS/American Masters.


Brigitte Timmermann will present:

Celebrating the 70th anniversary of the making of The Third Man – A Conversation with Angela Allen, MBE

Angela Allen’s illustrious career as script supervisor spanned six decades, her behind-the-scene contribution to the film industry is legendary, let alone her fight for the rights of women in the male dominated world of movie making. She worked with John Huston and Franco Zefirelli, received an MBE in 1996 and the Michael Balcon Award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema in 2005. One of the youngest female continuity professionals in the business at the time, she joined Carol Reed’s crew for weeks of location shooting in Vienna. Seventy years have passed since, and this interview is the rare opportunity to listen to the fascinating recollections of one of the last surviving eyewitnesses of the making of The Third Man. Together with senior script supervisor Peggy McClafferty, Angela Allen was at the very centre of the production.

Dr Brigitte Timmermann is a graduate of history and English literature of the University of Vienna. She is visiting professor of American colleges based in Austria, works in adult education and runs a family business in tourism. A great fan of Graham Greene, it is not surprising that one of her special fields of interest is the making of The Third Man about which she has written a book.

Sunday 23 September Morning Session

Beatriz Valverde Jiménez will talk on:

Known and Not So Known Literary Outcomes of Graham Greene’s Travels with Father Leopoldo Durán: Monsignor Quixote and the Manuscript Book Picasso

Professor Carlos Villar Flor, in his insightful lecture addressed at the Graham Greene Festival in 2013, already pointed out that Greene’s Iberian travels with Father Leopoldo Durán have not received enough attention either from scholars or from the writer’s biographers. These “summer jaunts” had a considerable effect both on Greene as a person, as well as on his work. The most well-known literary outcome of Greene and Father Duran’s travels in Spain of the transition to democracy is undoubtedly the novel Monsignor Quixote. However, it is not the only one. In 2012, Georgetown University acquired a collection of documents from Father Durán, the “Leopoldo Duran’s papers,” which is kept at the Special Collections Research Center. Among the documents contained in the forty-eight boxes of the collection, we can find what Father Durán considered his most beloved treasure, a manuscript book by Greene that the priest used to call his “Picasso.” In my lecture, I will focus on this manuscript book, paying attention to the intertextual references Greene chose to write on it from 1977 to 1984, and especially on some poems/texts signed by Greene himself. With this, I will agree with Professor Villar Flor that future scholarship on this collection is necessary as a way to enrich our knowledge of Graham Greene as a writer and to gain a deeper understanding of his work in the last part of his literary career.

Dr Beatriz Valverde Jiménez holds a Doctorate in English Philology from Universidad de Jaén, Spain, in addition to a MA in Spanish Literature from Loyola University, Chicago. In both fields she has published several articles in various Spanish and international journals, many of them connected to the work of Graham Greene.


Jon Wise will talk on:

Graham Greene’s “The Virtue of Disloyalty”

Greene’s acceptance speech on receiving the Shakespeare Prize in 1969 surprisingly criticises the very person he describes in his speech as “the greatest of all poets”. The writer argues that Shakespeare was not prepared to speak out against the Establishment in the interests of his own safety and of his status in society. Firstly, this paper will examine the origins of Greene’s arguments. Most obviously, there are the themes of divided loyalty and of the deliberate adoption of the opposing view which are so redolent in his work. Secondly, it will show how the writer had articulated some of his opinions on the role and duty of the writer in contemporary society well before 1969. Thirdly, it will examine the speech within the context of the time in which it was written. Finally, it will show that, within the context of Greene’s own narrative, the late 1960s marked a fresh enthusiasm and freedom to be outspoken after claiming that his career as a novelist was over in the earlier part of the decade.

Dr Jon Wise has co-authored with Mike Hill a two volume bibliography and guide to the works of Graham Greene, published in 2012 and 2015. He is currently co-editing the biennial academic journal Graham Greene Studies with Professor Joyce Stavick of the University of North Georgia. He is a Graham Greene Birthplace Trustee and manages the Trust’s website. He also writes extensively on Naval History.


To read and print your own copy of the full Graham Greene 2018 Festival flyer, which gives all the dates and times of the talks described above, please use the pdf link below.


Link to Ticket Page