Career and personal life

“After graduating with a second-class degree in history, Greene unsuccessfully took up journalism, first on the Nottingham Journal, and then as a sub-editor on The Times. While in Nottingham he started corresponding with Vivien Dayrell-Browning, a Catholic convert, who had written him to correct him on a point of Catholic doctrine. Greene converted to Catholicism in 1926 (described in A Sort of Life) and was baptised in February the same year. He married Vivien in 1927; and they had two children, Lucy (b. 1933) and Francis (b. 1936). In 1948 Greene abandoned Vivien. He had affairs with a number of women, yet remained married. Vivien was the only Mrs Graham Greene.”


“He writes in his autobiography that he spent his university years drunk and debt-ridden. However, it was here that Greene gained experience as an editor at The Oxford Outlook;
developed an interest in politics after joining the Communist Party (more for amusement than for for principle); and honed his skills at writing, with one novel Anthony Sant complete before he graduated.

After graduating with a B.A. in 1925, Greene was employed as a subeditor at the Nottingham Journal after two abortive positions at other companies. His dislike of Nottingham’s seediness manifested in his later novel Brighton Rock. Here he met his future wife Vivien Dayrell-Browning when she wrote to point out some errors regarding Catholicism in his writings. Upon her urging, Greene took instructions in the faith and was received by the Church in 1926.

Greene moved on to a job as a subeditor at The Times in London. He married Vivien in October 1927 and with her had a daughter, Lucy Caroline, and a son Francis. During this time, he wrote a political novel, The Episode, which was rejected by publishers. He finally succeeded in getting published with The Man Within. The success of the book led Greene to make a difficult decision: leave his much-loved job at The Times and become a self-employed writer.

He came near to reneging this decision with the failure of his next two novels (The Name of the Action and Rumour at Nightfall). Living on his publisher’s advances, he moonlighted as a book reviewer for The Spectator. The financial strain made Greene write Stamboul Train, an escapist novel that was deliberately intended to please the public.

From then on, he never shied away from writing both “entertainments” and “serious novels”.Besides reviewing books, Greene also took on film for The Spectator, and was co-editor of the short-lived Night and Day. He became involved in screenwriting despite being sued by Twentieth Century-Fox for his criticism of Shirley Temple. He wrote adaptations for the cinema as well as original screenplays, the most famous being The Third Man.

Greene began his world-renowned traveling in part to satisfy his lust for adventure, and in part to seek out material for his writing. A trip to Sweden resulted in England Made Me. A exhausting 400-mile trek through the jungles of Liberia not only gave Greene a near brush with death, but provided fodder for Journey Without Maps. During World War II, he worked for the Secret Intelligence Service in Sierra Leone, which became the setting for The Heart of the Matter. His journey to Mexico to witness the religious purges in 1938 was described in The Lawless Roads. Greene’s horror of the Catholic persecution in Mexico led him to write The Power and the Glory, arguably the best novel of his career. It was both acclaimed (being the Hawthornden Prize winner in 1941) and condemned (by the Vatican).

The frenetic globetrotting continued until Greene was physically unable to do so in his later years. He sought out the world’s “trouble spots”: Vietnam during the Indochina War, Kenya during the Mau Mau outbreak, Stalinist Poland, Castro’s Cuba, and Duvalier’s Haiti among others.

Although Greene always declared himself to be apolitical as a writer, he nonetheless enjoyed being politically connected and appearing to be a supporter for the oppressed. The extent of his involvement in the British Secret Service has become a matter of intense speculation. He has publicly declared himself a lifelong friend of Kim Philby, after working under him in the MI6. After the publication of The Quiet American, Greene was accused of being anti-American and consequently developed a strong dislike of Americans, particularly Ronald Reagan. He began to delve into Central American politics, associating with people such as Fidel Castro and Manuel Noriega. His friendship with Panamanian dictator General Omar Torrijos led him to write Getting to Know the General.

Aside from his exotic trips, Greene also achieved notoriety in his personal life. Greene’s financial success as an author enabled him to live very comfortably in London, Antibes, and Capri. He associated with many famous figures of his time: T.S. Eliot, Herbert Read, Evelyn Waugh, Alexander Korda, Ian Fleming, Noel Coward, among others. He had many extra-marital affairs, and confessed he was “a bad husband and a fickle lover”, although he never revealed his affairs in his two autobiographies. He separated from his wife in 1948 but they never divorced. Towards the end of his life, Greene lived in Vevey, Switzerland with his companion Yvonne Cloetta. He died there peacefully on April 3, 1991.”


Graham Greene went on at the university in the same way as he went when he was a child. He liked drinking and his life was not healthy anyway. Although, it was there, in the university that he gained a lot of experience in the job of writing, when he was the editor at “The Oxford Outlook”.

He also get very interested in politics, when he joined in the Communist Party. So as the course of his life shows, he didn’t get lost in his personal “hell”, but he continue with his professional and sentimental life the best way he could, and following the way through those things that he liked and was interested in.

As this biography says, he get married with Vivien, who inculcate him the catholic faith. Analyzing this fact, it is curious how a person without any clear ideas about religion can be “manipulated” by another one. I’m not saying that his wife blind him to be catholic, but she, with her faith, make him change his mind, and rethink the meaning of life around God. However, it is too contradictory, because it is known that he lied to her wife with many other women, so… where was the faith at that moment? I think, as he didn’t have a normal childhood, all his life has been a little bit conflicting, and without any basic rules of behaviour in moral and ethics aspects.

About his professional life, the most important and recognised novel he wrote was ” The Power and the Glory”, which was about a roman catholic priest in Mexico. And the majority of his novels were aboout religious topics. But, he never won any prize.

In the other hand, to make matters worse, he was associated in the Socialist Party, and too involved in this political world, that’s why he knew many big figures of this world. But, as he belonged to the Bristish Secret Service, it is commonly said that it was just to cover that secret information, that he get into de Socialism, only to mislead. I really don’t know if it’s true or it is a fake, but if everyone says, it could be something true.

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