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OWNERS OF LETTERS

I am extremely grateful for the kindness and cooperativeness of owners of letters written by Graham Greene that appear in this book. The following list indicates page numbers on which a letter begins; where there is more than one on a page they are distinguished as a, b and c:

Lucy Caroline Bourget: this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page.

David Higham Associates for the estate of Michael Meyer: this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page.

David Higham Associates for the estate of Anthony Powell: this page, this page.

Louise Dennys: this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page.

Nicholas Dennys: this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page.

Francis Greene: this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page.



Oliver Greene: this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page.

Alberto Huerta: this page, this page, this page.

Richard Ingrams: this page.

Michael Korda: this page, this page, this page.

Hans Küng: this page.

Rolando Pieraccini: this page, this page.

Hon Julia Camoys Stonor: this page.

Rupert Graf Strachwitz: this page, this page.

Ian Thomson: this page.

Alexander Waugh: this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page.

Ralph Wright, OSB: this page, this page.

Beinecke Library, Yale University: this page, this page.

Bibliothèque Jacques Doucet : this page.

Bodleian Library, Oxford: this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page.

British Library: this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page.



Burns Library, Boston College: this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page.



Ekstrom Library, University of Louisville: this page.

Eton College Library: this page, this page, this page, this page.

Fischer Library, University of Toronto: this page, this page, this page.

Huntington Library: this page, this page.

Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin: this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page.



Houghton Library, Harvard University: this page.

Courtesy of the Director and University Librarian, John Rylands

University Library of Manchester: this page.

King’s College, Cambridge: this page.

Lauinger Library, Georgetown University: this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page.



McPherson Library, University of Victoria: this page, this page, this page, this page.

National Library of Scotland: this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page, this page.

National Library of Wales: this page.

Penguin Group USA (Viking): this page.

The Pierpont Morgan Library: this page, this page.

Random House Group Archive and Library (Rushden, Northants): this page.

Reading University Library: this page, this page.

University College, London: this page, this page.

Wheaton College Library: this page.

 

 

Appendix: The Comma and the Applecart

The so-called ‘deathbed letter’ has become notorious in recent years. Its place in this volume is questionable, since Greene did not actually write it although he did contribute a signature and a comma. In fact, it is not, strictly speaking, a letter. Still, an editor of Graham Greene’s letters, whatever his preference, cannot pass over it in silence.

Greene’s decision to accept Norman Sherry as his biographer was based on assurances that the work would focus on Greene’s writings in the context of his travels and that it would not be a sexual exposé. Sherry wrote to him on 3 July 1975: ‘Understanding your fears, I will try to keep away from the personal, where this is irrelevant to my work. I will try to work in the manner of my Conrad but if the work begins to move in a biographical direction you will be free to censor it.’ And again: ‘If I seem to be moving into the more private sphere I’ll consult with you hurriedly.’ When the book appeared, Greene was shocked to discover that a quarter of it was devoted to a paraphrase of his courtship letters to Vivien, including a great many direct quotations of copyright material for which he had not given permission and which he wanted cut (this page). At the end of 1989, the two met in a fraught session at Antibes, which left the biographer ‘contrite’.1Greene did not meet again with Sherry and considered withdrawing from the project, but he gradually accepted that other biographers might make a worse job of his life. For his part, Sherry’s contrition was short-lived; once the novelist was dead, he stooped to the keyhole again in volumes two and three, eventually declaring: ‘you can’t help but admire him for having sex with everything in sight’.2

In the meantime, however, Sherry needed to get copyright clearance for his future work and to secure his position against rival biographers. He wrote to Greene on 25 March 1991, that is, ten days before the novelist’s death: ‘After 17 years as your authorized biographer (and how many more years will be needed and how many more volumes before I complete my work?), I should like your blessing to quote – I promise to be sensitive. We must avoid the possibility of Mockler and Grub Street wallahs (and Grub Street wallahs are everywhere) coming along and upsetting the applecart.’ Greene accepted Sherry’s renewed assurances, and a document was drawn up:

I, Graham Greene grant permission to Norman Sherry, my Authorized Biographer, excluding any other, to quote from my copyright material published or unpublished.

Executed on April 2nd 1991.

Signed

Graham Greene

Witnessed:

Caroline Bourget

Y. Cloetta

Greene signed this document on the day before he died, carefully adding the comma that appears after the word ‘other’, thus restricting the permission that was granted. Without the comma, Sherry was the only person permitted to quote from the works. With the addition of the comma, he was given permission to quote but could not prevent anyone else from doing so.

Undeterred by niceties of punctuation, Sherry persevered in the belief that he alone was permitted to quote from Greene’s works, and he construed this letter as granting something more than quotation rights.3In his public statements Sherry, who in 1975 had suggested that Greene could ‘censor’ his work, has held up the letter as the guarantee of his intellectual freedom. However, he has also used it in an effort to silence another scholar. William Cash obtained the permission of Greene’s literary estate to quote from copyright materials in The Third Woman, a book on Greene’s relationship with Catherine Walston. Sherry’s lawyer, Robert M. Callagy, wrote to the publisher on 13 December 1999: ‘The purpose of this letter is to put Little Brown and its author, Cash, on notice that it has no right to quote or closely paraphrase any of Graham Greene’s unpublished letters, diaries or other materials.’

Francis Greene, the novelist’s son and literary executor, objected to this lawyer’s letter on the grounds that it attempted to wrest control of Greene’s copyrights from his heirs and give it to the biographer, a situation made more complicated by Sherry’s plans to edit and publish copyright materials from various archives. A legal opinion obtained by Little, Brown made short work of Sherry’s position. In addition to the comma, Martin Soames, a copyright specialist, noted another problem with the letter which addressed the use of published and unpublished material in the same way: ‘Such an agreement is on the face of it invalid. At that date [2 April 1991] all Greene’s published works were already under various exclusive licences to major publishers around the world and it would have been impossible to grant exclusive rights in them again, separately, to Norman Sherry, so it seems highly unlikely that this is what Greene’s letter means. If it did have the meaning which Sherry has adopted it would be legally unenforceable.4

The episode of the deathbed letter has provided an interesting object lesson on the uses of the comma in Lynn Truss’s bestseller Eats, Shoots & Leaves (2003), 101–2. For a full discussion of the context and significance of the deathbed letter, see Richard Greene, ‘Owning Graham Greene: The Norman Sherry Project’, University of Toronto Quarterly 75:4 (Fall 2006), 957–70.

1 Yvonne Cloetta’s contemporaneous account of this meeting may be found in the Sutro papers at the Bodleian Library.

2New York Times, 4 November 2004.

3 In a public lecture at Berkhamsted on 29 September 2004, Sherry paraphrased the letter substituting the word ‘publish’ for ‘quote.’

4 Soames’s opinion is quoted in a letter of 16 December 1999 from Richard Beswick, editorial director at Little, Brown, to William Cash. Copies of all letters quoted are in the files of the literary estate.

 

PUBLISHED BY ALFRED A. KNOPF CANADA

Copyright © 2007 Verdant SA

All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the publisher, except by a reviewer, who may quote brief passages in a review. Published in 2007 by Alfred A. Knopf Canada, a division of Random House of Canada Limited, and simultaneously in Great Britain by Little, Brown, an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group. Distributed by Random House of Canada Limited, Toronto.

Knopf Canada and colophon are trademarks.

www.randomhouse.ca

Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication

Greene, Graham, 1904–1991.
Graham Greene : a life in letters / edited by Richard Greene.

eISBN: 978-0-307-36936-9

1. Greene, Graham, 1904–1991—Correspondence.
I. Greene, Richard, 1961–II. Title.

PR6013.R44Z48 2007 823’.912C 2007-902479-3

v3.0

 

 


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