Elizabeth Jennings & Vivien Greene

The noted mid-20th Century English poet Elizabeth Jennings died in 2001. Dana Greene (no relation to Graham) has written a biography and her book will be released in the UK by Oxford University Press on September 20, 2018.  Vivien Greene features prominently in the life of Elizabeth Jennings: spending Christmas holidays together, sharing a passion for doll houses. Therefore the book will appeal to those with an interest in Graham Greene and his life.

Elizabeth Jennings was a big fan of Brighton Rock. In a book published in 1999, she nominated the novel as one of her ten essential classics for the next 100 years, writing of it: ‘Here, as in all his novels, Greene is deeply concerned with evil and guilt. The young protagonist, the cruel Pinky (sic), is almost frightening. The book would have endured anyway but it has an extra potency now because, in this torn, materialist end of the century, we see and hear about young men as wicked as Pinky all too frequently. Greene’s easy, straightforward prose manifests the art that conceals art.’

We are grateful to Donna Osthaus for bringing the publication of this biography to our attention and for her remark about the link with Greene’s wife Vivien. We hope that copies of Dana Greene’s book will be available at this year’s Festival bookstall. A fuller note about Elizabeth Jennings and her friendship with Vivien Greene is included in the August edition of A Sort of Newsletter.