A Graham Greene shade of history

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One of the great writers of the 20th century was remembered again at the weekend, when the Graham Greene International Festival returned to Berkhamsted.

The event is held every year on or close to Greene’s birthday, celebrating the life and works of anauthor who combined critical claim with great commercialsuccess.

Graham Greene festival 2016

Graham Greene festival 2016

This year’s programme included a screening of The Third Man as well as two television adaptations of his works. Sixth-formers from Berkhamsted School were part of a bookclub which discussed his works, while Lord Roy Hattersley gave a sparkling and provocative talk on Catholic writers in Britain, with special reference to Graham Greene. Finally Greene’s daughter Caroline Bourget and his nephew Nick Dennys shared their personal recollections of him, and Prof Neil Sinyard concluded the festival with his now traditional analysis of Greene’s work for the big screen, peppered with memorable insights and anecdotes.

Jo Wilson, trustee of the Graham Greene Birthplace Trust, said: “The tidy and well-heeled town of Berkhamsted, with its elegant high street and eminent school, became a temporary home to what the Oxford Living Dictionary defines as ‘The seedy, politically unstable and dangerous world in the novels of Graham Greene.’

“Alienation and adultery, bullying and betrayal, Communism and Catholicism, double-dealing and despair, espionage and existential angst – one needs no more letters of the alphabet to evoke the unique fictional world created by this astonishingly well-read and well-travelled writer, whose works are as popular now as when they first began to appear in the early decades of the 20th century.”

The 2017 festival will take place in Berkhamsted from Thursday, September 21, to Sunday, September 24. To book your place, please visit http://grahamgreenebt.org/