Piers Paul Read

Yours, Faithfully

Graham Greene: A Life in Letters

By

Little, Brown 446pp £20 order from our bookshop

Graham Greene once estimated that he wrote around two thousand letters each year. Many were dictated over the telephone to his secretary in London who would then type them out over pre-signed headed writing-paper. From this vast resource, Richard Greene (no relation) has made a selection which makes an interesting addendum to the various biographies of Greene that have appeared in recent years. Letters by significant writers fall into three categories: those that are minor works of literature in themselves; those that contain information that adds to our knowledge of the man; and those that are of interest only because the recipient is also well known. In this collection there are few of the first, some of the second and perhaps too many of the third – for example, letters to Muriel Spark thanking her for her latest work. The letters to Evelyn Waugh, described as ‘treasures’ by the editor, are also insubstantial, though they do reveal something of the two authors’ somewhat cagey friendship.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'It would be nice to think that women will achieve equal pay in my lifetime, rather than to watch gloomily as stati… ,
    • In 1660, two of the signatories of King Charles I's death warrant fled across the Atlantic to New England. But were… ,
    • Howard Jacobson's sixteenth novel is 'a love story of sorts, one characterised not by physical desire or even conta… ,
    • 'The sudden immersion in the new and unfamiliar can lead people to write with a rare lack of self-consciousness' P… ,
    • 'Pools bend the rules. Clothes slip off, skin glistens, consciousness heightens. A dreamlike scenario unfolds' Jam… ,
    • 'Although he surely didn’t know W H Auden’s theory that every high C proclaims human freedom and our capacity to tr… ,
    • RT : With beginning tomorrow, we've uncovered a 1997 article from the archive reviewing 'Golf Dream… ,