The annual Graham Greene International Festival is the centre-piece of the Birthplace Trust’s yearly activities and has taken place each year since 1998 with just two exceptions. It normally runs from a Thursday afternoon to a Sunday lunchtime on the available dates which fall closest to Graham Greene’s birthday, 2 October. The Festival is in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, the town where Greene was born, lived, went to school and spent the first eighteen years of his life. The importance of his birthplace cannot be overestimated as is evident to all who are familiar with his work.
A typical festival programme includes talks, films of adaptations of Greene’s novels, interviews, discussion groups, guided walks in and around Berkhamsted and social events. Regularly, well-known, contemporary authors feature on the programme often describing the influence of Greene on their work or their development as writers. There are opportunities to buy both new and secondhand books and there is sometimes a relevant exhibition. The Saturday and Sunday events take place in Greene’s old school, including the newly refurbished Deans’ Hall (pictured) where his father was headmaster. There are unique opportunities to visit parts of the building which the writer knew well and to view a collection of relevant artifacts which have been organised by the Berkhamsted School archivist.
The Graham Greene Trustees are dedicated to making the Festival both welcoming and informal. Many attendees have made the Festival a yearly event in their calendars. We always welcome a large contingent of Greene enthusiasts from across the world which demonstrates the truly international appeal of this writer.
Tickets for the Festival can be purchased in advance for individual sessions (i.e. morning, afternoon, evening) or on a season-ticket basis. This enables you to organise your time according to your needs. Precise details about the Festival and how to obtain tickets for some or all of the sessions appear on the Festival page several months prior to the event.
The Trust publishes a quarterly magazine, A Sort of Newsletter (ASON). A Sort of Newsletter is obviously intended as a respectful reference to the title of the first of Greene’s two autobiographies – A Sort of Life. ASON is a mixture of informed articles about Greene, news and book, dvd and film reviews of the latest publications about the writer plus other items of interest. It is automatically sent to all Friends of the Trust. If you are not already a Friend find out more by visiting the Membership page. To learn more about our newsletter, use the Our Quarterly Magazine tab (on the left) and go to the A Sort of Newsletter (ASON) page.
Although Greene died as long ago as 1991, there seems to be little evidence that interest in his life and his work has diminished. Year on year the Graham Greene International Festival has been able to showcase examples of research of various kinds. What has been noticeable to regular Festival goers has been the fact that many contributions have been made by researchers from countries other than the UK which demonstrates the well-known international appeal of Graham Greene.
The stated aim of the Graham Greene Birthplace Trust is to encourage research into the life and work of this author. To this end, the Current Research page is intended to advertise on-going or recently completed research projects or forthcoming publications. If you are a post-graduate student, or are engaged in doctorate or post-doctorate work or are writing a book or article on the subject please get in touch with us via the website at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would also be interested to hear from you if your research simply includes Greene amongst other contemporary writers.