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Vivien Greene papers

Identifier: GTM-GAMMS420

Collection-level Scope and Content Note

The Vivien Greene papers consist of six letters written to Vivien Greene, the wife of noted English Catholic author Graham Greene. A letter from Graham to Vivien sent from Berlin, Germany, refers to the Berlin Wall restrictions. Other correspondents include Tom Cordishley, Marie Belloc Lowndes, and Columba Ryan. The letters date mostly from the 1940s.


  • 1941-1948

Collection-level Access Restrictions

Most manuscripts collections at the Georgetown University Booth Family Center for Special Collections are open to researchers; however, restrictions may apply to some collections. Collections stored off site require a minimum of three days for retrieval. For use of all manuscripts collections, researchers are advised to contact the Booth Family Center for Special Collections in advance of any visit.

Biographical note

Vivien Greene was the wife of noted English Catholic writer Graham Greene. Born Vivienne Dayrell-Browning on August 1, 1905, Vivien (the spelling she later used) spent time in her early years in Bristol, Liverpool, Munich, and Antwerp. She converted to Catholicism in 1922.

Graham and Vivien met while she was working at Blackwell's publishing company. Graham visited Blackwell's to speak about his book of poems entitled "Babbling April." After meeting her, Graham converted to Catholicism. In 1927, Vivien married Graham Greene in Hampstead. Graham embarked on a brilliant literary career, but they had a tumultuous relationship.

The Greenes had two children, Francis and Lucy.

Vivien was a collector of doll houses, and authored two books: "English Dolls' Houses of the 18th and 19th Centuries," published in 1955; and "Family Dolls' Houses," published in 1977.

In time, Graham became involved in an affair with Catherine Walston. Graham and Vivien separated in 1948, but they never officially divorced. Graham Greene died in 1991. Vivien Greene died on August 19, 2003.

[Source: Vivien Green's obituary. "The Independent," August 21, 2003.]


0.21 Linear Feet (1 Hollinger Slim Document Case)

Language of Materials


Acquisition Information

Gift of Vivien Greene, May 7, 1993.

Vivien Greene papers
Catherine Meyendorff, Georgetown University Library Booth Family Center for Special Collections, Washington, D.C.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

Lauinger Library, 5th Floor
37th and O Streets, N.W.
Washington DC 20057