Greene, Graham

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Greene, Graham Gender: M
Henry Graham Greene
born on 2 October 1904 at 10:20 (= 10:20 AM )
Place Berkhamsted, England, 51n46, 0w35
Timezone GMT h0e (is standard time)
Data source
Quoted BC/BR
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Holliday
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_libcol.18.gif 08°47' s_mo.18.gif s_cancol.18.gif 06°57 Asc.s_scocol.18.gif 22°32'

Portrait of Graham Greene 
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Graham Greene
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British novelist, travel writer, playwright, literary and film critic. Greene is considered one of the greatest English novelists of the 20th century. His books have sold more than 20 million copies and many have been made into successful movies. In 1969, he received the French Legion d'Honneur.

Born into an upper-middle class family, Greene's father was the headmaster of a minor private school in Hertfordshire. One of six children, he formed a close, long lasting relationship with his sister Elizabeth who would later become his personal assistant and secretary. A troubled boy at a young age, Greene had a neurotic childhood. At 16, his parents sent him to a psychoanalyst for treatment of his morbid despair and mysterious brooding. As a student at Oxford University, Greene would remove his brother's revolver from a drawer load one bullet in the chamber hold the gun to his head and play Russian Roulette. Over a period of months he continued to play the dangerous secret game.

After dissolute years in Oxford, Greene became engaged to a Catholic woman in 1925. He walked his dog Paddy to the Roman Catholic Cathedral in Nottingham and slipped a note for religious instruction into the inquiry box. His conversion to Catholicism was an event that altered his life and as a novelist inspired his literary themes on sin and damnation.

In 1926, he became the night desk editor of the London Times, and during his own time, began writing his novels. In 1938, on returning from Mexico he wrote "The Power and The Glory," considered to be his finest work. During WWII, he worked for the Ministry of Information and was the literary editor and theater reviewer of "The Spectator." He was recruited to the Secret Intelligence Service (M16) and dispatched to Freetown, West Africa. On returning to M16 headquarters in London, Greene used his spy experience in his novels like "Our Man in Havana," 1958. He continued to travel to Cold War hot-spots to gather material and report to magazines. In 1948, he was in Prague when the Communists took over the country. In 1953, he was in Kenya during the Mau Mau rebellion. In 1967, he was almost hit with mortar fire covering the Arab-Israeli war. He went to Cuba in 1957 and met with Fidel Castro and befriended Panamanian strongman Omar Torrijos. He felt in order to be a writer, he had to experience the chaos and the uncertainties of life in troubled areas like Malaya and Vietnam. He published his 24th and last novel, "The Captain and the Enemy" in 1988.

On 10/15/1927 he married his wife, Vivien and they had a son and daughter before WWII. During the war, he had a mistress, Dorothy Glover, and a strong stormy love affair with society matron Catherine Walston. Walston was the American wife of a wealthy English peer Henry Walston. She refused to leave her husband for Greene and Greene's marriage was ruined over his infidelity. He later admitted in interviews that he was a lousy husband and a terrible father. He used his experience with Catherine Walston for his book, "The End of the Affair," 1951. He became involved in other love affairs such as with Swedish actress Anita Bjork. In 1966, he moved to Antibes, France to be near his current lover, Yvonne Cloetta.

As a successful novelist, Greene provided financial assistance to struggling writers. Writer Murial Spark reported that he would send her a monthly check with a few bottles of wine to take the hard cold edge off charity. He had a long friendship with fellow English novelist and Roman Catholic convert, Evelyn Waugh. Shy and laconic Greene was drawn into a literary feud with writer Anthony Burgess in the mid-'80s. His apartment in Antibes contained his large library of books on a wealth of subjects on art, film, politics, travel, history, religion, philosophy and psychology. His habit was to make direct pen or pencil notes in the direct margin of the book. If he received letters from other writers, he filed the letters between the covers of their books. After reading the books, he would give them a letter grade. In politics, he preferred a combination of Catholicism and left-wing ideology. He nurtured a dream of a world of communism with "a human face."

Greene liked Americans as individuals but detested what he considered American hypocrisy and materialism. He would rather spend time in a Soviet gulag to time spent in California. He struggled with his complex relationship with the Roman Catholic church. In later years, he recorded his dreams, believing that the subconscious was important for a creative writer. He wrote, "A novelist is the victim of a passion." Greene's novels continued his theme of the inescapability of sin and the constant state of torment in the 20th century. In 1962, he received an honorary doctor of letters from Cambridge University and in 1969 the French government gave him the Legion d'Honneur. The Nobel Prize for literature proved elusive to the popular British author.

As a student in Oxford it was discovered that Greene was manic-depressive, and he was an alcoholic and drug user, starting his passion for opium while in Vietnam. He had bouts of chronic depression throughout his lifetime and used alcohol and opium to ease his pain. He conducted affairs with society women and movie stars as well as using prostitutes. Despite his self-destructive nature, Greene lived to the age of 86 until dying of leukemia 4/02/1991 in Vevey, Switzerland. Upon his death, writer Anthony Burgess mounted a literary assault on Greene's reputation and achievements.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • sibling relationship with Greene, Hugh (born 15 November 1910)


  • Relationship : Begin significant relationship 1925 (Became engaged to Catholic woman)
  • Work : New Job 1926 (Night desk editor for London Times)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1938 (Noted novel "The Power and the Glory")
  • Family : Change residence 1948 (Prague)
  • Family : Change residence 1953 (Kenya during the Mau Mau rebellion)
  • Family : Change residence 1957 (Cuba)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1958 (Personal spy mystery published)
  • Work : Gain social status 1962 (Honorary doctorate from Cambridge Univ.)
  • Family : Change residence 1966 (Antibes, France)
  • Health : Accident (Non-fatal) 1967 (Almost hit by mortor fire, Arab-Israeli war)
  • Work : Prize 1969 (French Legion d'Honneur)
  • Death by Disease 2 April 1991 at 12:00 noon in Vevey, Switzerland (Leukemia, age 86)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Dana Holliday quotes Norman Sherry, "The Life of Graham Greene," p.3, mother's diary


  • Diagnoses : Major Diseases : Cancer (Leukemia, terminal)
  • Family : Childhood : Disadvantaged (Neurotic childhood)
  • Family : Childhood : Family large (One of six)
  • Family : Relationship : Number of Marriages (One)
  • Family : Relationship : Stress - Extramarital affairs (Numerous affairs)
  • Family : Parenting : Kids 1-3 (One son and one daughter)
  • Lifestyle : Work : Travel for work
  • Passions : Criminal Perpetrator : Social crime/ delinquent (Dissolute years at school)
  • Personal : Religion/Spirituality : Western (Catholic convert)
  • Personal : Death : Long life more than 80 yrs (Age 86)
  • Personal : Death : Suicide Attempt (Many attempts)
  • Vocation : Writers : Critic (Film)
  • Vocation : Writers : Fiction
  • Vocation : Writers : Playwright/ script
  • Vocation : Writers : Textbook/ Non-fiction (Travel)
  • Notable : Awards : Vocational award (French Legion d'Honneur)