January 15, 2016

William Golding 

Influential 20th century English poet, novelist and playwright.


Full Name: William Gerald Golding
William Golding
AKA: Sir William Gerald Golding
Pseudonym: None
Date of Birth: 19 September 1911
Place of Birth: Newquay, Cornwall, England, UK
Nationality: British
Zodiac Sign: Virgo
Death: 19 June 1993
Place of Death: Perranarworthal, Cornwall, England, UK
Cause of Death: Heart failure
Place of Burial: Bowerchalke, South Wiltshire
Father: Alec Albert Golding (1877- 1958)
Mother: Mildred Mary Agatha Golding (1871-1960)
Siblings: 01 elder brother: Joseph Golding
Spouse: Ann Brookfield (?-1995)
No of Children: 02
Son: David Golding (b. 1940)
Daughter: Judith Diana (b. 1945)
Known for: his allegorical magnum opus Lord of the Flies (1954), a disturbing study on the inherent violence in human nature
Criticized for: always taking a controversial view on subjects most people found abhorrent, including paedophilia and bondage
Influences: William Shakespeare (1564 –1616), R. M. Ballantyne (1825 –1894), Joseph Conrad (1857 –1924), H. G. Wells (1866 –1946), George Orwell (1903 – 1950), Richard Hughes (1900 –1976)
Influenced: Stephen King (b. 1947), William Butler, Jaime Clarke (b. 1971)
Alma Mater: Marlborough Grammar School; Brasenose College, Oxford; University of Oxford


“Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill! You knew, didn’t you? I’m part of you? Close, close, close! I’m the reason why it’s no go? Why things are what they are?” William Golding, Lord of the Flies

Major Themes

  • Inherent evil of man
  • Atrocities of war
  • Sociopolitical concerns
  • Fall of man
  • Human fear

Notable Works

  • Poems (1934)
  • The Brass Butterfly (1958)
  • Lord of the Flies (1954)
  • The Inheritors (1955)
  • Pincher Martin (1956)
  • Free Fall (1959)
  • The Spire (1964)
  • The Pyramid (1967)
  • The Scorpion God (1971)
  • Darkness Visible (1979)
  • The Paper Men (1984)
  • To the Ends of the Earth (trilogy)
- Rites of Passage (1980)
-Close Quarters (1987)
-Fire Down Below (1989)
  • The Double Tongue (1995)
  • The Hot Gates (1965)
  • A Moving Target (1982)
  • An Egyptian Journal (1985)

Did You Know?

  • Golding was born at his grandmother’s house in Newquay, Cornwall, England.
  • Golding’s father was a schoolmaster at the Marlborough Grammar School, while his mother was active in the Women's Suffrage Movement.
  • He grew up with his elder brother Joseph in Wiltshire.
  • Golding and his brother studied at his father’s school.
  • He went to Brasenose College, Oxford to study natural science to pursue his dream to become a scientist. However, after 2 years he migrated into English literature for his increasing interest in literature.
  • In 1939, Golding got married to Ann Brookfield, an analytic chemist and remained married to her until his death and died beside her.
  • Ann Brookfield died on New Year’s Day, eighteen months after her husband, and was buried beside him in the graveyard at Bowerchalke.
  • When Golding was 18 he tried to rape a 15-year-old Marlborough girl named Dora, who fought him off to save herself from his clutches. However, two years later the pair met again and had sex in a field. But eventually Golding broke up with her for two reasons: firstly he feared that she might get pregnant, secondly she was below his social status.
  • Once he engaged with his school life friend Mollie Evans, but ultimately he declined to marry her for the same reasons as with Dora.
  • Golding was a heavy drinker and he often disgraced himself at social occasions.
  • In 1993, Golding died of heart failure in Tullimaar House at Perranarworthal, Cornwall, where his son David and daughter Judith still live.
  • In 1935 he started teaching English and philosophy at Bishop’s Wordsworth’s School in Salisbury but abandoned teaching in 1940 to join the Royal Navy to participate in World War II. However, having returned from war he went back to teaching.
  • His experience from five years’ service in the Royal Navy during World War II, helped to mould his theme of inherent violence in human nature.
  • His first novel was The Lord of the Flies, which is considered one of the most important literary works of the twentieth century.
  • Lord of the Flies was originally titled The Strangers Within.
  • Lord of the Flies was influenced by R. M. Ballantyne’s 19th children's classic The Coral Island: A Tale of the Pacific (1858).
  • Although Golding wrote a number of other novels, none were as successful as Lord of the Flies.
  • Lord of the Flies has been translated into many languages and was adapted into film in 1963 and 1990.
  • Golding secured a Nobel Prize for Lord of the Flies in 1983, nearly 2 decades after the novel was first written.
  • Lord of the Flies faced rejection from at least 21 publishers before final acceptance by Faber & Faber.
  • Golding was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1988.
  • He was awarded the Booker Prize for literature in 1980 for his novel Rites of Passage.
  • Prior to his death he was working on The Double Tongue, an unfinished manuscript, which was published posthumously in 1995.
  • Seahorse, Circle Under the Sea and Short Measure are amongst some of his works that never got published.
  • Golding could not endure even the slightest criticism of his work, so most of the time he used to leave the country whenever a new book was about to publish.
  • Golding was a recluse and had always been apathetic to face the media or to publish his biography. After Golding’s demise John Carey came forward to publish his first biography entitled William Golding: The Man Who Wrote Lord of the Flies.

Photo Gallery

William Golding

William Golding

William Golding

William Golding

William Golding

William Golding & his wife Ann in their Wiltshire Garden in 1983

William Golding & Ann Golding

William Golding with His Wife Ann, Daughter Judith & Son David in the Late 1940s

William Golding (right) with his Elder Brother Jose in c.1914

William Golding in 1913

Golding (right) with his brother Jose in c. 1924


 “Lord of the Flies.” GradeSaver. 2016. GradeSaver LLC. 1 January 2016
< http://www.gradesaver.com/lord-of-the-flies>.

Pujante, Juan Javier Herraiz.“Golding's Themes.” MURAL. 1995. Juan Javier Herraiz Pujante.
1 January 2016 < http://mural.uv.es/juanhepu/Goldingthemes.html>.

  Roberts, Glenys. “New book reveals Lord of the Flies author William Golding's
Own Life Was Shockingly Depraved. Daily Mail. 2016.
Associated Newspapers Ltd. 1 January 2016

“Sir William Gerald Golding, Nobel Prize in Literature, 1983.” Geni.com.
2016. Geni.com. 1 January 2016
< http://www.geni.com/people/Sir-William-Golding/6000000014674435345>.

 “William Golding.” Wikipedia.com. 2016. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 1 January 2016
< https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Golding>.

“William Golding” Microsoft Encarta. DVD-ROM. Redmond: Microsoft, 2005.
 “William Golding Biography.” eNotes.com. 2016. eNotes.com, Inc. 1 January 2016
< http://www.enotes.com/topics/william-golding>.

Tanvir Shameem Tanvir Shameem is not the biggest fan of teaching, but he is doing his best to write on various topics of language and literature just to guide thousands of students and researchers across the globe. You can always find him experimenting with presentation, style and diction. He will contribute as long as time permits. You can find him on:

1 comment:

  1. Recommended for readers who seek more than entertainment from fiction. In this book, humor is filled with horror.
    خرید کتاب سقوط آزاد


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