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William Golding


If it hadn’t been for Lord of the Flies, William Golding may well not have figured in these pages or, indeed, in many other works on English literature. When Golding won the Nobel Prize, more than one critic pointed out that he was an essentially minor writer who just happened to have written one book that had caught the imagination of the reading public. That comment could, of course, apply to other Nobel Prize winners.

William Gerald Golding was born in Saint Columb Minor in Cornwall in 1911. He studied physics and English literature at Oxford and published his first book of poems before graduating, when he became a teacher. He served in the Navy during the War and was involved in the sinking of the Bismarck. After the War, he returned to writing and wrote four books, none of which was published. Lord of the Flies was turned down by twenty-one publishers before being published in 1954. It became a huge success and allowed him to give up teaching. His subsequent works were far less successful, both critically and commercially. He died in 1993.

Books about William Golding

John Carey (ed.): William Golding: The Man and His Books
John Carey: William Golding: The Man Who wrote”Lord of the Flies”
Virginia Tiger: William Golding

Other links

Official site
William Golding
William Golding
William Golding
William Golding (1911-1993)
The life of William Golding
The William Golding Page
Last words (D M Thomas’ last meeting with Golding)
Lord of the fly-by-nights (a review by Golding of a bibliography of his work)
Author William Golding tried to rape teenager, private papers show


1934 Poems
1954 Lord of the Flies (novel)
1955 The Inheritors
1956 Pincher Martin (novel)
1956 Envoy Extraordinary (novella)
1958 The Brass Butterfly (drama)
1959 Free Fall (novel)
1964 The Spire (novel)
1965 The Hot Gates (essays)
1967 The Pyramid (novellas)
1971 The Scorpion God (novella)
1971 Clonk Clonk (novella)
1979 Darkness Visible (novel)
1981 Rites of Passage (novel)
1982 A Moving Target (essays)
1984 Paper Men (novel)
1985 An Egyptian Journal (travel)
1987 Close Quarters (novel)
1989 Fire Down Below (novel)
1993 The Double Tongue (novel)