Personal papers: This collection of original archival material is mostly new to scholarship; Josephine Reid preserved her Foreign Office-trained confidentiality throughout her life, and refused access to both Richard Greene, anthologist of Graham Greene’s letters, and Norman Sherry, his official biographer – whose work does not mention her. The hitherto unexplored correspondence contains many details of Greene’s working practices, including word counts for novels at particular dates, publication details, his movements around the world, his relationships with friends and people he did business with. From Greene himself there are autograph letters, typed signed letters, signed post cards and a number of signed letters inserted in the books. These letters often usefully flesh out details of Greene’s life not given in Sherry’s work nor others’, and are often very evocative.
The collection of documents and ephemera provides further information on work in progress. The main component is 86 pages of transcripts of Greene’s dictation of about 220 working letters to Josephine on the Dictaphone system, which show that even in his last year at 86, and with the illness that took his life, his rate of work was still considerable. Other papers clarify the nature of Greene’s beliefs about religion, contraception and the Liberation Theology movement in Latin America; his relationship with Philby, the Third Man; the nature of the literary permission given to Norman Sherry his authorised biographer and Greene’s crucial insertion of a comma into it when on his deathbed; other material on his death; obituaries of his family, etc.