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Article Title

Introduction to Lucius

Abstract

In researching the second volume of The Works of Graham Greene: A Guide to the Graham Greene Archives, Jon Wise and Mike Hill came across a Greene story called Lucius in a file containing around fifty foolscap sheets in Greene’s mature handwriting—clearly an unfinished novel of about 23,000 words. The story covers the first term of a boy named Lucius Darling, in a setting quite similar to Greene’s own experience at boarding school. The story finishes, incomplete, at the end of Lucius’s first, unhappy term at school.

This story of Lucius has a prologue that acts as a framing device for the school story. Here, the British Foreign Secretary, Sir Luke Winter, returns to his old school for the first time since leaving there as a boy to give a speech at prize-giving. Sir Luke is Lucius Darling, thirty-six years on, with a changed name. The timid boy has, in the interim, learned to project confidence and authority, but his return to the school reignites memories of his unhappy schooldays. The extract that follows is that prologue to Lucius. It is significant as a hitherto-unpublished piece of mature writing by Greene. While it was never polished to his own exacting standards, it is recognizably his style and voice, deals with the very Greeneian theme of betrayal, and written in a decade when he was still at the height of his powers.

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