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01 February 2007


Martin Jenkins

I am a Graham Greene adherent, and I have read all of his works and studied his life. I am a Friend of the Graham Greene Birthplace Trust, which is a charity based in Berkhamsted, in Hertfordshire, England. Berkhamsted is where Graham was born and where he went to school, the school at which his father was Headmaster.

I really have no idea who you are, nor the purpose of your website. I take it your name is Charlie Gower, but in which country are you based ? Are you simply an individual, or do you represent a commercial business ?

I, of course, would recommend any of Graham’s twenty eight novels, his short stories and travel books and, of course, his autobiographies, A Sort of Life and Ways of Escape.

Norman Sherry, his official biographer, wrote three volumes of biography and, although there is much debate about the job he has done, they’re worth reading.

Cedric Watts is, in my opinion, the definitive authority of Graham’s life and works, and he has written Preface To Graham Greene, which is a very good piece of work.

The book you read, The Power and the Glory is said by the cognoscenti to be his greatest work, and it is a fine book, but my own favourite is The End of the Affair. A Burnt-Out Case is also a fine novel.

Finally, take a look at the Birthplace Trust website, on www.grahamgreenebt.org. For a very modest fee, they send four newsletters a year, and they hold a once a year festival at Berkhamsted in late September / early October, to coincide with Graham’s birthday. It’s always a very good gathering of eighty to a hundred people, lots of good lectures, films, and a general meeting of minds. There are also good bookstalls, and a good range of leaflets, cds and dvds of lectures from previous festivals. I’d highly recommend a membership.

If you need any further information, or just ideas, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I consider myself to be something of a Greene scholar, and I’d be happy to be of any use to you.

Best wishes
Martin Jenkins

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