Graham Greene (1904 – 1991)
Henry Graham Greene was an English playwright, novelist, short story writer,
travel writer and critic whose works explore the ambivalent moral and political
issues of the modern world.
Greene combined serious literary acclaim with wide popularity. Although he
objected strongly to being described as a "Catholic novelist" rather than as a
"novelist who happened to be Catholic", Catholic religious themes are at the
root of many of his novels, including "Brighton Rock", "The Heart of the
Matter", "The End of the Affair", "Monsignor Quixote", "A Burnt-Out Case", and
his famous work "The Power and the Glory".
Works such as "The Quiet American" also show an avid interest in the workings of
Graham Greene was born in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, the fourth of six
children. His parents, Charles Henry Greene and Marion Greene (née Raymond),
were first cousins, members of a large, influential family that included the
Greene King brewery owners, bankers, and businessmen.
Charles Greene was headmaster at Berkhamsted School and Graham attended the
school. Bullied and profoundly depressed as a boarder, he attempted suicide
several times, some, he claimed, by Russian roulette. In 1921, at age 17, he was
psychoanalysed for six months in London, afterwards returning to school as a day
After graduation, Greene unsuccessfully took up journalism, first in the city of
Nottingham, and then as a sub-editor on The Times.
His first published novel was "The Man Within" (1929), but his first, true
success was "Stamboul Train" (1932), adapted as the film Orient Express (1934).
As with this book, many of his novels have been filmed, notably "Brighton Rock" (1947), "The
Honorary Consul" (1983), and "The End of the Affair" (1999). Moreover, he also
wrote several original screenplays, most famously for the film "The Third Man"