Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.
LET ME come to the point. How many nipples do you have? The Captain has the regulation two. But Graham Greene? Four, it would seem. A letter, part of a forthcoming sale by his family of Greene papers, written by him to Auberon Waugh, and published in the current London Review of Books, reads: 'Dear Bron, I was painfully reminded by your Diary in the 500th issue of Private Eye of the fact that I have four nipples.' Waugh had claimed that a leading lady of broadcasting had a multiplicity of nipples; he wrote back to Greene promising that his secret would be safe. A joke? Waugh now doesn't seem disposed to think so. Greene's nephew, Graham Carleton Greene, remembers hearing about it, but isn't sure. Norman Sherry, the Greene biographer, would not deign to share his thoughts with the Captain. Extra nipples are said to be commonplace; but they have also long been considered a mark of the devil (cf Anne Boleyn, three nipples, six fingers). Could be a chunky thesis in this.