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Leopoldo Duran papers

Identifier: GTM-110727
Correspondence from Graham Greene to Leopoldo Duran (1964-1990). Includes correspondence from Vivien Greene, Hugh Greene (brother) and Elizabeth Dennys (sister). Of note is a common place book containing autograph entries by Greene. A gift from Duran whose intention was for Greene to jot down notes about his readings and thoughts. Nicknamed "the Picasso" by Duran who conceived the idea after a visit to the Picasso Museum in Antibes. Additionally, the collection includes autograph diaries kept by Duran during his travels with Greene, as well as correspondence files relating to Duran's attempt to elicit funding for a Greene library at the Oseira Monastery (1998-1999).


  • 1960-2008

Conditions Governing Access note

Most manuscripts collections at the Georgetown University Library 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.


18.54 Cubic Feet (49 boxes: 2x1 cf; 21x0.50 cf; 19x0.25 cf; 1 audio cassette box (0.096 cf); 2 4x6" cardfile box; 1 5x8" (0.28 cf) shoebox; 1 microfiche box containing notecards; 1 photograph album box; 1 x 0.51 cf oversized document case containing loose items from books in the Duran collection.)

Biographical note

Leopoldo Duran was born in Penedo (Ourense), Spain, in 1917. He received ordination into the priesthood in 1943 in Astorga. He also earned several doctorates in theology from the pontifical university, the Angelicum in Rome; in English Literature from King’s College, London University; and in Philosophy and Letters from Complutense University in Madrid.

Duran resided in England for almost thirty years, during which he worked on a doctoral dissertation at King’s College, focusing on Graham Greene and the priesthood, published in 1971. Two years later, Greene contacted him for lunch at the Ritz in London which began a friendship lasting eighteen years.

Over a decade beginning in 1976, Duran and Greene embarked on a series of annual holidays through Spain ranging from retreats to Oseira Monastery, visits to the grave of Spanish philosopher Miguel de Unamuno y Jugo (1864-1936), but primarily to vineyards where they sampled the wines. The experiences and conversations from these travels have been considered influential in the creation of Greene’s novel Monsignor Quixote (1982).

Along with published works on Greene’s novels , including The Power and the Glory, Duran captured his friendship with Greene in his book Graham Greene: Friend and Brother (1994). He attended Greene’s deathbed in 1991, where he took the latter’s final confession.

Duran died in Vigo, on April 10, 2008.
Leopoldo Duran papers
Georgetown University Library Booth Family Center for Special Collections, Washington, D.C.
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Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository