Greene, Graham: Travels with My Aunt
(researched by Cynthia Calgaro)

Assignment 1: Bibliographical Description

1 First edition publication information (publisher, place, date, etc.)

First English edition: London, Sydney, & Toronto: Bodley Head, 1969. First American edition: New York: Viking, 1970. *Note: all further information refers to the American edition.

2 First edition published in cloth, paper, or both? If both, simultaneous or staggered?


3 JPEG image of cover art from first edition, if available

4 Pagination

130 leaves; i-ii, iii Title, iv, v "Also by Graham Green" (continued by a list of other works), vi "A novel by Graham Greene" vii Title Page viii Copyright info, etc., ix Dedication, x; 1-2; 3-244; 245-250

5 Edited or Introduced? If so, by whom?

No introduction.

6 Illustrated? If so, by whom?

No illustrations.

7 JPEG image of sample illustration, if available

8 General physical appearance of book (Is the physical presentation of the text attractive? Is the typography readable? Is the book well printed?)

The copy examined has been heavily abused from library use. Thus there are stains on the cover, as well as some very poor patch work done with duck tape, and the dust cover is mi
ssing. Barring these extenuating circumstances, however, the book seems to have once had an attractive appearance, if not a strong constitution.
The left hand side of the front cover as well as the binding, and right hand side of the rear is covered with a light taupe colored burlap cloth material. The remainder to the right on the front is mauve and of a delicate paper material that has not weat
hered well. This is embosed in silver with the author's initials. The torn binding is similarly embosed but in purple to match the shade of the cover.
The type is large (perhaps 10), the margins generous, and there are no breaks between chapters beyond a simple line, which are followed by "Chapter" and the appropriate numeral in slightly larger type (perhaps 14). There is no guilding around the chapter

9 JPEG image of sample chapter page, if available

10 Paper (Assess the original quality of the paper used for the book. Is the paper in the copy or copies you examined holding up physically over time?)

The paper is thick and slightly yellowed. It is not cut straight along the right hand side by which you turn the pages.

11 Description of binding(s)

The binding is stiched. This binding edge is covered by a taupe burlap-like material which is embossed in purple with the aut
hor's name above the title (also embossed), and has torn.

12 Transcription of title page


13 JPEG image of title page, if available

14 Manuscript Holdings

*"Reflections on 'Travels With My Aunt'." New York: Firsts & Co., 1989. -- colophon facsimile of a portion of the manuscript is printed on four unnumbered pages following the text.

15 Other (typograpical information from title page, etc.)

Assignment 2: Publication and Performance History

1 Did the original publisher issue the book in more than one edition? If so, briefly describe distinguishing features of each (illustrations, cover art, typography, etc.); if not, enter N/A

NOTE: Some conflicting information found. ------------------------------------------------------------
According to 1977 edition pubished in 1977 by Penguin Books (Viking affiliate): -- "Published in Penguin Books in the United Kingdom 1971; Reprinted 1971, 1972 (twice), 1973, 1974 (twice), 1975, 1976, 1977.
*related to above dates: - 1970 (same year as 1st American editon): trade paper; paperbound; 324 pages; price $14.95 (Infotrac); Out of Print (Infotrac). - 1970: New York; 318 pages; 20 cm. - Book Club (1970) ed.: New York; 244 pages; 20 cm; price $5.95 (Ad copy for Book of the Month Club, Atlantic Mag. May 70'). - 1971: Harmondsworth, [Middlesex]; 264 pages; 18 cm. - 1977: Harmondsworth, Eng.; New York [etc.]; mass market paper; paper bound; 264 pages; 19 cm; (2 prices found) $5.95 (Infotrac), $1.95 (examination of copy/Eureka); Active Record (Infotrac).
*additional dates: - 1980: Harmondsworth; 264 pages; 18cm. - 20th Century Classic Series (1991): trade paper; paper bound; 272 pages; price $11.95 (Infotrac). ------------------------------------------------------------
- "Mr Visconti: an extract from Travels with my aunt," London: The Bodley Head, 1969. *Edition of 300 copies for private distribution by the author and the publisher for Christmas 1969. Drawing by Edward Ardizzone. - The Collected Ed. (1980): London; 318 pages; 20 cm.

2 JPEG image of cover art from one subsequent edition, if available

3 JPEG image of sample illustration from one subsequent edition, if available

4 How many printings or impressions of the first edition?

5 Editions from other publishers? If so, list their dates and publishers; if not, enter N/A

Buccaneer Books, Incorporated, 1992.
Oxford: Clio Press/ISIS, 1986, 1985. *Large print editon.
Transaction Publishers, 1986.
Geneva: Edito-Service, 1981, 1969. *Frontispiece portrait by Sheilagh Noble, original illustrations by Barry Wilkinson.
New York: Bantam, 1971.

6 Last date in print?

7 Total copies sold? (source and date of information?)

8 Sales figures by year? (source and date of information?)

9 Advertising copy (transcribe significant excerpts, briefly identify where ads were placed)

- November 21st 1969 issue of the New Statesman (p. 771): GRAHAM|GREENE|Travels|with my Aunt|HIS NEW NOVEL|"Positively hilarious...more than a hint of self-parody in the dialogue,|like a master acrobat pretending to stumble on the tightope...To|my mind there's been nothing so bitterly funny for years."|Norman S
hrapnel, GUARDIAN|"There is not a word wasted anywhere; the anecdotes are elegant and|artful, the moralising witty and spare; the descriptions of places (from|Boulogne to Asuncion) are models in their kind." Simon Raven|OBSERVER|"As funny, exciting and bu
tton-holing as anything he's ever written."|Philip French|FINANCIAL TIMES|"No one has ever parodied the master as well as he parodies himself|...there are dazzingly funny passages throughout the book."|Julian Mitchell, NEW STATESMAN
- Feb and May 1970 issues of Atlantic Magazine (p.1)/ May issue of Harper's Magazine: Book-of-the-Month-Club ad: "Choose any 3 for only $1...". Novel pictured with retail price $5.95. *Feb ad slightly different.

10 JPEG image of sample advertisement, if available

11 Other promotion

12 Performances in other media? If so, list media, date, title, production information; if not, enter N/A

Feature Film/Videocassette: Allen, Jay Presson and Hugh Wheeler. "Travels with my aunt." Stanta Monica, CA: MGM/UA Home Video, 1972 (feature), 1995 (video). *Directed by George Cukor, Cast: Maggie Smith, Alec McCowen, Lou Gossett, Robert Stephens, Cindy Williams, Robert Fleming, Jose Luis Lopez Vazquez.
Play: Havergal, Giles. "Travels with my aunt." Theatre Communications Group, Incorporated, 1997. -- Havergal, Giles. "Travels with my aunt." London: Oberon, 1991. -- Havergal, Giles. "Travels with my aunt." Woodstock: Dradmatic Publishing, 1994, 1991.
Recording: "Travels with my aunt." Charlotte Hall, Md: Recorded Books, 1987. *Narrated by Geoffry Palmer. -- "Travels with my aunt." BBC, October 1997.
Videocassette recording of Play: Pope, Jon, Eud Manor, and Te'atron Bet Lesin. "Masa'otai 'im dodati." Tel Aviv: Te'atron Bet Lesin, 1994, 1993. *In translation: Hebrew.

13 Translations? If translated, give standard bibliographic information for each translation. If none, enter N/A

Czech: "Cesty s tetickou." Praha: Vysehrad, 1972.
Danish: "Farligt otium." Kobenhavn: Gyldendal, 1971. -- "Farligt otium." Kobenhavn: Steen Hasselbalch, 1970.
Dutch: "Reizen met mijn tante." Amsterdam: Contact, 1969.
Finnish: "Tadin kanssa maailmalla." Helsinki: Suuri Suomalainen Kirjakerho, 1972. -- "Tadin kanssa maailmalla." Helsinki: Tammi, 1970.
French: "Voyages avec ma tante." Paris: Editions G.P., 1978. -- "Voyages avec ma tante: roman." Paris: Laffont, 1978, 1973, 1970.
German: "Die Reisen mit meiner Tante." Berlin: Volk and Welt, 1977, 1970. -- "Die Reisen mit meiner Tante: Roman." Berlin: Deutsche Buch-Gemeinschaft, 1970. -- "Die Reisen mit meiner Tante: Roman." Wien, Hamburg: P. Zsolnay, 1970.
Hebrew: "Masa'otai 'im dodati." Tel Aviv: 'Am 'Oved, 1971.
Hungarian: "Utazasok nagynenemmel." Budapest: Europa, 1994, 1973, 1971.
Italien: "In viaggio con la zia." Verona: A. Mondadori, 1974.
Japanese?: "Oba tono tabi." Tokyo: Hayakawashobo, 1981.
Norwegian: "Tante Augusta." Oslo: Den norske Bokklubben, 1977, 1970. -- "Tante Augusta." Oslo: J. W. Cappelen, 1970.
Polish: "Podroze z moja ciotka." Warszawa: Prosznski i S-ka, 1994, 1993. -- "Podroze z maja ciotka." Poznan: Krajowa Agencja Wydawnicza, 1990, 1970. -- "Podroze z moja ciotka." Warszawa: Pax, 1970.
Portuguese: "Viagens com minha tia." Rio de Janeiro: Civilizacao Brasileira, 1970. -- "Viagens com a minha tia." Amadora: Bertrand, 197?, 1969.
Romanian: "La drum cu matusa-mea." Bucuresti: Editura Divers Press, 1992.
Russian: "Puteshestviia s moei tetushkoi." Moskva: IUridicheskaia literatura, 1990. -- "Puteshestviaa s tetushkoi; Stambul? skii ekspress: romany." Leningrad: Lenizdat, 1989.
Spanish: "Viajes con mi tia." Barcelona: Edhasa, 1989, 1986. -- "Viajes con mi tia." Buenos Aires: Sur, 1970.
Swedish: "Resor med Moster Augusta." Bath: Chivers, 1982, 1978. -- "Resor med moster Augusta: en roman." Stockholm: P.A. Norstedt & Soner, 1978, 1970.

14 Serialization? If serialized, give standard bibliographic information for serial publication. If none, enter N/A

Playboy Magazine.

15 Sequels/Prequels? Give standard bibliographic information for each. If none, enter N/A

"Reflections on travels with my aunt." New York: Firsts & Co., 1989. *Edition of 250, bound by hand, and signed by author.

Assignment 3: Biographical Sketch of the Author

1 Paste your biographical sketch here (maximum 500 words)

Henry Graham Greene was born October 2, 1904 in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire England the fourth of six children to Marion Raymond and Canon Charles Henry Greene, the headmaster of Berkhamsted School. Graham has been described as a shy and sensitive youth who was often truant in order to read adventure stories, evidence of his early love of reading.
"I remember distinctly the suddenness with which a key turned in a lock, and I found I could read-- not just sentences in a reading book... but a real book. Now the future stood around on bookshelves everywhere."
The fact that his father was headmaster of the school he attended did not help his ill-adjustment. At age 15 he suffered a nervous collapse and ran away from home. Upon return he was sent to a therapist in London for six months of psychoanalysis. Greene struggled with (and by some accounts enjoyed) a bipolar nature all his life, and continued to seek psychoanalysis, if not to maintain his sanity, some of his friends suggest, than for the experience of it and perhaps, to provide fodder for his writing. He kept, for example, an alphabetized record of his dreams.
"Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose or paint can manage to escape the madness, the melancholia, the panic fear which is inherent in the human situation."
At age 17 Graham began to experiment with father's revolver and Russian roulette out of what seems to have been a sense of boredom. He continued this practice at the University of Oxford, Balliol College where he was a student of modern history. During his college years he was editor of the Oxford Outlook, and as a joke he became a dues paying member of the Communist party for a time, at the estimated expense of 28 cents. He doesn't appear to have been very studious, or interested in being so, describing himself as often drunk when he should have been in lecture. Before graduating with a BA in 1925, however, his first work, Babbling April, a collection of poems described as unexceptional, was published. That year he became a sub-editor at the Nottingham Journal, but soon left in 1926 for the same position at the London Times.
His first novel, The Man Within, was published in 1929 and sold 8,000 copies. The 600 pound per year contract for his next three novels from Heinemann that followed allowed Greene to leave the Times in 1930, concentrate more fully on writing fiction, and freelance a bit. In 1935 he becomes film critic for The Spectator, and is subsequently promoted to literary editor in 1940. He also works as co-editor for the short-lived Night and Day. In 1937 an uncomplimentary movie review of the Shirley Temple film "Wee Willie Winkie" written for Night and Day causes Greene to be sued for libel by 20th Century Fox. The case was settled for 3500 pounds.
Graham's forth novel and first major commercial success Stamboul Train (in America with the title Orient Express) was published in 1932. Later turned into a film by Fox, it was deliberately written to please the public and is a good example of what Greene called his "Entertainments". These works, distinguished from his serious novels, are full of mystery and intrigue, or humor. The distinction is often blurred, however, for a writer who skirted the line of popular fiction and canonical status, never quite achieving the later, as he never was awarded the Nobel Prize despite frequently canidacy. The 1938 publication of Brighton Rock has been described as a turning point, considered by many to be his first containing the prominate theological themes that lead him to be called to his chagrin a Catholic writer.
In 1926 at age 22 Graham had converted from the Anglican Church he was brought up in to Catholicism. His interest in the Catholic Church stemmed from his engagement to Vivien Dayrell Browing, with whom he became acquainted when she wrote a letter correcting him on a point of Catholic faith which he had touched on in the Outlook. They were married in October 1927 and had two children together, daughter Lucy Caroline (1933) and son Francis (1936). The couple was later separated, but never divorced.
During WWII Greene worked for the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS). Joining in August of 41' he was assigned to Freetown, Sierra Leone in December. In 43 he returns to London to an assignment in Counter Intelligence, Portugal under Kim Philby, who later defected to the USSR (1963), after which Greene maintained his friendship and correspondence with him. This relationship is partially responsible for G's controversial character, and the job itself is emblematic of his love for unstable parts of the world. He started traveling extensively in 1935 with a 400 mile trek through the jungles of Liberia. And he was often to be found in areas of political conflict, including but not limited to: Vietnam during the Indochina/French War, Kenya during the Mau Mau outbreak, Stalinist Poland, Castro's Cuba, Duralier's Haiti, and Mexico in the mist of the revolutionary government's persecution of Catholics. Graham also cultivated an equally controversial friendship with General Omar Torrijos, the Panamanian dictator. His travels often lent subject matter to his novels, but Greene rejected the idea that they were overtly political, just as he had the similar theological implication.
"I think a writer ought to be a bit of grit in the state machine. That applies to a democratic state machine, a socialist state machine or a Communist state machine."
During a 60 some year writing career Greene novels were translated into 27 languages and sold 20 million copies. In addition to fiction and journalism, Graham wrote travel books, essays, plays, screenplays, and children's stories, as well as holding editing and publishing house jobs. Age 86, Graham Greene died from leukemia on April 3, 1991 at La Providence Hospital in Vevey, Switzerland.

Assignment 4: Reception History

1 Paste contemporary reception history in here (maximum 500 words)

Travels With My Aunt is universally considered not one of Greene's masterpieces, i.e. Brighton Rock, The Power and the Glory, and The Heart of the Matter. Contemporary reviews stre
ss that Travels is fun with an underlying seriousness, but still mostly fun, an example of one of Greene's "Entertainments" (Although it is identified as a novel on the title page, which classically is Greene's other category all his fiction being divided between the two). The high and the low opinions vary, but this is agreed upon. The words used most often to describe this book Greene wrote forty years after his first big success, Brighton, are parody, farce, and jeu d'esprit. On the negative side the critics seem to suggest the presence of some self-indulgence as a result of Greene's age, but the positive still appears to win out. The most critical review was found in The Atlantic and is an anomaly in attacking Greene's humor, praised elsewhere.
"[T]his book is chiefly a joke on himself, for the benefit of his faithful readers. [But] if it seems to you that so much self-reference, so many half-private jokes, so broad and inclusive a run-through of the old familiar repertoire, must necessarily be arch or self-indulgent or lacking in tact, then I have given the wrong impression. Everything Graham Greene has ever written is marked with his adventurous intelligence and his unfailing style." (Thompson).
"What an amusing and confusing book... Anyone who starts the novel will get to the end." "Perhaps he [Greene] is indulging himself in the luxury of the elderly point of view... he must be comfortably sure that his inventiveness has not failed. The cameos in this book are superb... The action of the physical level holds together as well..." (Wimsatt)
"The passages of straight slapstick are pretty awful. Greene has never been comfortable with humor." "Greene is too serious to settle for parody even if he wants to. The book is also a study of old age and its stratagems." "Greene has concocted one so totally outside his own range of sympathies- a sexless bank manager- that he can't be bothered to animate him , even comically." (Sheed)

Donoghue, Denis. ? The New York Review of Books 12 Mr 1970: 25-26.
Finn, James. "The Living Dead End." The New Republic 14 F 1970: 26.
Sheed, Wilfrid. "Racing te Clock with Greene and Pritchet." The Atlantic Ap. 1970: 109-111.
Sissman, L. E. "Evergreen." The New Yorker 28 F 1970: 110-112.
Thompson, John. "Some Versions of Subversion." Harpers Mr 1970: 108.
Wimsatt, Margaret. "Travels With My Aunt." The Commonweal 8 My 1970: 200-101

2 Paste subsequent reception history in here (maximum 500 words)

Assignment 5: Critical Analysis

1 Paste your critical analysis in here (maximum 2500 words)

By far the easiest explanation for the popularity of the Graham Greene novel Travels With My Aunt is to site Greene's already well established following. However, it must be recognized that Travels<
/u> represents Greene's first top ten hit, garnering the number nine spot in 1970, according to Cader Books (from which the information to compile this data base was obtained), written almost forty years after his first big commercial success, Stambou
l Train
(1932). There are fourteen novels in between, many of which were critically better received-- three, in particular, generally thought of as his best work, Brighton Rock (1938), The Power and the Glory(1940), and The Heart of
the Matter
(1948). Further underlining the uniqueness of Travels success is that only one other of his novels would follow in the top ten. In 1973 Greene's next published, The Honorary Consul, placed tenth, suggesting a coat-tail effec

One can relatively safely assume that if it wasn't the critics favorite Travels was a little less high-brow than some of Greene's other works, and perhaps therefore more accessible, more desirable to the public. But this is not Greene's firs
t so-called accessible novel. He is, in fact, known for a particular kind of genre, the entertainment, a term which he coined, and which carries obvious connotations when opposed to his other more weighty category, the novel. Stamboul Train>, already mentioned, is said to belong to the former, for example, although the distinction is often difficult to make. Greene, himself, stated that it was merely a question of length, an entertainment being shorter. As this relatively arbitrary differ
ence suggests his works often blur the lines between genres, as he as an author skirts the line between canonical/serious and popular/best-selling, combining elements of many different kinds of literature. Travels does, however, seem to have a
element unique to it, which Greene himself admits. I'd embarked on this adventure for my amusement, with no notion of what might happened the next day. (O'Prey, 122)

Travels is a particularly good example of Graham's synthesizing several different ideas into a unified whole. A number of ideas I expected to use in short stories became recollections of old Augusta. I was surprised that they all cohered into a logical sequence, and that the novel became a finished product, for I'd been regarding it more as an exercise based
on the free association of ideas...
(O'Prey, 122) The existence of so many different lines have, in fact, precipitated criticism of the novel as episodic. The truth in this objection is remedied by the extraordinary interest, having an effect like glue, which the character of Aunt Augusta provides. "[T]he author indulges himself grandly, not sparing extravagance and coincidence... but the weakness of the form, the risk of complete disintegration... is avoided because a unifying principle of interest has been substituted which is maintained through
all the episodes." (Sharrock, 261) The episodic nature may even be considered a strength, for many of those episodes hark back to Greene's earlier works. Travels is in effect a trip down memory lane for the Greene loyalist. "[T]his book is chiefly a joke on himself, for the benefit of his faithful readers." (Thompson) Names, places, and Greene conventions are repeated, the most obvious being Henry and Augusta's trip to Brighton, and the ride on the Orient Express, which refer to two of his most popular novels already mentioned. Some critics have found in the book [Travels] a kind of resumé of my literary career- a scene in Brighton, the journey on the Orient Express... (?) Perhaps even more interesting is that Travels is a trip down memory lane for Greene, himself, the author and the man. There are several references to authorship, which proved quite revealing, as well as what appear to be more personal comments. G
reene lead a very interesting, somewhat scandalous life and was notoriously stand-offish in interviews, so that this type of candidness might prove very appealing to the public's curiosity. All of this combined makes for a book that anyone who has ever
loved a Greene novel does not want to miss.

But there must be more to it than that, because surely if it were merely up to Greene fans all his novels would sell so well. There are two plausible and interconnected reasons for the expanded readership. Firstly, few people speak about Travelsu> without revealing a partiality for the character of Aunt Augusta. Giving birth to this flamboyant old lady is Graham's masterpiece as far as the public is concerned. Secondly, the ideas espoused through Augusta's person are anti-traditional, stress
ing relative morality. This couldn't help, but appeal to the 69'/70' crowd. Henry's journey into Aunt Augusta's world from the land of dahlia cultivation is easily interpreted as one from the tame, middle-class quality of the 50's to the turmoil a
nd excitement of the 60's. Lacking demographic data as a basis of theorizing further is a handicap. Nevertheless, one might surmise that such progressive, shocking ideas coming from someone of a decidedly older generation must have proved amusing to th
e young protesters who 'trusted no one over thirty'.

One can't help reading Greene in the personage of Aunt Augusta. Is it possible that we, the readers, are then several Henrys? Greene does seem to be trying to jerk us out of a rut, a rut decidedly middle-class and suburban. There are few monsters t
o fear in a gated community. The real fear is growing up to live in one. Henry: "I was afraid of burglars and Indian thugs and snakes and fires and Jack the Ripper, when I should have been afraid of thirty years in a bank and a take-over bid and a premature retirement and the Deuil du Roy Albert." (163) An even worse fate is growing up to have a hobby. Thus the several types of flowers Henry cultivates are ironically named, as if they provide the excitement those names suggest: "Maître Roger, Cheerio, Arabian Night, Black Flash, Bacchus, Ben Hurs". In
particular Greene rails against the attitude of the sanctimonious, making a faithful wife seem ridiculous, and even a perfectly forgiving wife all the more horrendous. Aunt Augusta: "I despise no one. Regret your own actions, if you like that kind of wallowing self-pity, but never, never despise. Never presume yours is a better morality..." (111).

But rejection of conventional morality is merely the accompanying step to an even greater leap of faith, the rejection of safety. Literary big wigs had been lamenting the loss of danger for some time before Greene, and this is perhaps where Travels
takes on a more serious air. For despite its humor, the novel's story line as well as its characters have a dark side to them, an element seldom absent from Greene's work. It is not exactly a happy ending, although Henry escapes boredom. It is t
he sense of stagnation in a world where living to a ripe old age is a relatively sure thing that had become his "open prison". The 'kids' may have been protesting for peace in 69', but you have to ask yourself if that's truly what they desired in the
total sense. For, those protesters very much enjoyed the rebellion, enjoyed fighting for a cause. If they really had wanted peace for themselves they would have stayed in the suburbs. Many baby-boomers talk of the era as the best time of their lives.
They had felt restricted before the turmoil. In the mist of the chaos and the struggle they felt vital and free. So very much like the hippie generation, although much less idealistic, the solution for Aunt Augusta is disobedience and danger. It is th
e elixir of life, giving purpose and vitality. Henry: "Was the secret of lasting youth known only to the criminal mind?" (169).

**Sources** Thompson, John. "Some Versions of Subversion." Harpers Mr 1970:

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