Happy birthday William Golding!


William Golding (September 19, 1911—June 19, 1993) was an English novelist, poet, and playwright. He is best known for writing the novel Lord of the Flies (1954) and for his novel Rites of Passage (1980), the first in a trilogy which won the Booker Prize. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1983.


Golding was born in Cornwall, England to Alec and Mildred Golding. His father was a science master at Marlborough Grammar School; he was a socialist. Golding's mother was active in the women's suffrage movement. Golding went on to study natural sciences and then english literature at Oxford University. (Image source)

Golding fought in the Royal Navy during World War II. When he returned from the war, he taught at Bishop Wordsworth's School.The same year he graduated with his Bachelor of Arts, 1934, his first book of poems was published.


In 1954, his first novel was published. Lord of the Flies chronicled the fictional experiences of a group of British schoolboys trapped on an island in the Pacific. The manuscript had previously been rejected by 21 different publishing house, but went on to great success.



He followed with The Inheritors (1955), Pincher Martin (1956) and Free Fall (1959). His novels are known for highlighting the depravity of human nature.

In 1958, he published the play The Brass Butterfly.

In 1961, he moved to the United States to become a writer-in-residence at Hollins College in Virginia. There, he produced The Hot Gates (1965) and A Moving Target (1982), two collections of essays.

Golding won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 1979.


Some of his later works include Darkness Visible (1979), The Paper Men (1984), and the trilogy To the Ends of the Earth, which included Rites of Passage (1980), Close Quarters (1987), and Fire Down Below (1989). Rites of Passage (1980) won the Booker Prize.

In 1983, Golding was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. The committed reportedly said of his novels, "with the perspicuity of realistic narrative art and the diversity and universality of myth, illuminate the human condition in the world of today."



Additional Info

  • Birthday Date: Friday, 19 September 2014
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