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William Golding - Author

About the Author

William Golding was born in Cornwall in 1911 and was educated at Marlborough Grammar School and at Brasenose College, Oxford. Before he became a schoolmaster he was an actor, a lecturer, a small-boat sailor and a musician. A now rare volume, Poems, appeared in 1934. In 1940 he joined the Royal Navy and saw action against battleships, submarines and aircraft. He was present at the sinking of the Bismarck. He finished the war as a Lieutenant in command of a rocket ship, which was off the French coast for the D-day invasion, and later at the island of Welcheren. After the war he returned to Bishop Wordsworth's School in Salisbury and was there when his first novel, Lord of the Flies, was published in 1954. He gave up teaching in 1961.

Lord of the Flies was filmed by Peter Brook in 1963. Golding listed his hobbies as music, chess, sailing, archaeology and classical Greek (which he taught himself). Many of these subjects appear in his essay collections The Hot Gates and A Moving Target. He won the Booker Prize for his novel Rites of Passage in 1980, and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1983. He was knighted in 1988. He died at his home in the summer of 1993. The Double Tongue, a novel left in draft at his death, was published in June 1995.
 
Author photo © Mark Gerson

Featured books by William Golding

Pincher Martin

Pincher Martin

Author: William Golding Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/08/2013

This title comes with an introduction by Philippa Gregory. Drowning in the freezing North Atlantic, Christopher Hadley Martin, temporary lieutenant, happens upon a grotesque rock, an island that appears only on weather charts. To drink there is a pool of rain water; to eat there are weeds and sea anemones. Through the long hours with only himself to talk to, Martin must try to assemble the truth of his fate, piece by terrible piece. From the author of Lord of the Flies, Pincher Martin is a terrifying and unforgettable journey into one man's mind.

Other books by William Golding

Mostenitorii

Mostenitorii

Author: William Golding Format: eBook Release Date: 01/09/2015

„Romanele si povestirile lui Golding nu sunt numai parabole morale sobre si mituri întunecate despre fortele distrugatoare si perfide ale raului, ci si istorii aventuroase, pline de farmec, ce pot fi citite ca atare, debordând de placerea de a povesti, de inventivitate si suspans.“ – Comitetul Nobel„Compact E i plin de vigoare… O poveste captivantA .“ – The New York Times Book Review„Golding a fost un scriitor […] cu o minunatA vocaE ie epopeicA . [S-a priceput sA spunA ] poveE ti originare, despre cum a învA E at omul sA vorbeascA , despre izvoarele rA ului, despre straniile surse ale artei.“ – Malcom BradburyClasici moderni Litera pune laolaltA scriitori moderni ale cA ror opere au devenit deja repere clasice. Cele mai importante, mai provocatoare, mai emoE ionante, mai revoluE ionare opere din ultimii 125 de ani – cA rE i care vor continua sA fie citite de la o generaE ie la alta.

Pincher Martin Faber Modern Classics

Pincher Martin Faber Modern Classics

Author: William Golding Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/04/2015

Christopher Martin, the sole survivor of a torpedoed destroyer, is stranded upon a rock in the middle of the Atlantic. Pitted against him are the sea, the sun, the night cold and the terror of his isolation. To drink there is a pool of rain water; to eat there are weeds and sea anemones. Through the long hours with only himself to talk to, Martin must try to assemble the truth of his fate, piece by terrible piece. While most readers are aware of William Golding as the writer of Lord of the Flies, it is Pincher Martin, his third novel, that speaks most directly to contemporary readers. This shocking, unusual bullet of a book is the definitive survival novel and has an ending that is guaranteed to leave you reeling.

The Spire

The Spire

Author: William Golding, John Mullan Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/11/2013

Dean Jocelin has a vision: that God has chosen him to erect a great spire on his cathedral. His mason anxiously advises against it, for the old cathedral was built without foundations. Nevertheless, the spire rises octagon upon octagon, pinnacle by pinnacle, until the stone pillars shriek and the ground beneath it swims. Its shadow falls ever darker on the world below, and on Dean Jocelin in particular.

The Paper Men

The Paper Men

Author: William Golding, Andrew Martin Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/11/2013

Fame, success, fortune, a drink problem slipping over the edge into alcoholism, a dead marriage, the incurable itches of middle-aged lust. For Wilfred Barclay, novelist, the final unbearable irritation is Professor Rick L. Tucker, implacable in his determination to become The Barclay Man. Locked in a lethal relationship they stumble across Europe, shedding wives, self-respect and illusions. The climax of their odyssey, when it comes, is as inevitable as it is unexpected.

Rites of Passage

Rites of Passage

Author: William Golding, Robert McCrum Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/11/2013

This title comes with an introduction by Robert McCrum. This is the first volume of William Golding's Sea Trilogy. Sailing to Australia in the early years of the nineteenth century, Edmund Talbot keeps a journal to amuse his godfather back in England. Full of wit and disdain, he records the mounting tensions on the ancient, sinking warship where officers, sailors, soldiers and emigrants jostle in the cramped spaces below decks. Then a single passenger, the obsequious Reverend Colley, attracts the animosity of the sailors, and in the seclusion of the fo'castle something happens to bring him into a 'hell of degradation', where shame is a force deadlier than the sea itself.

Fire Down Below

Fire Down Below

Author: William Golding, Victoria Glendinning Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/11/2013

A decrepit warship sails on the last stretch of its voyage to Sydney Cove. It has been blown off course and battered by wind, storm and ice. Nothing but rope holds the disintegrating hull together. And after a risky operation to reset its foremast with red-hot metal, an unseen fire begins to smoulder below decks.

Darkness Visible

Darkness Visible

Author: William Golding, Philip Hensher Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/11/2013

This title comes with an introduction by Philip Hensher. Darkness Visible opens at the height of the London Blitz, when a naked child steps out of an all-consuming fire. Miraculously saved but hideously scarred, soon tormented at school and at work, Matty becomes a wanderer, a seeker after some unknown redemption. Two more lost children await him, twins as exquisite as they are loveless. Toni dabbles in political violence; Sophy, in sexual tyranny. As Golding weaves their destinies together, his book reveals both the inner and outer darkness of our world.

Close Quarters

Close Quarters

Author: William Golding, Ronald Blythe Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/11/2013

In a wilderness of heat, stillness and sea mists, a ball is held on a ship becalmed halfway to Australia. In this surreal, fete-like atmosphere the passengers dance and flirt, while beneath them thickets of weed like green hair spread over the hull. The sequel to Rites of Passage, Close Quarters, the second volume in Golding's acclaimed sea trilogy, is imbued with his extraordinary sense of menace. Half-mad with fear, with drink, with love and opium, everyone on this leaky, unsound hulk is 'going to pieces'. And in a nightmarish climax the very planks seem to twist themselves alive as the ship begins to come apart at the seams.

Pincher Martin

Pincher Martin

Author: William Golding Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/08/2013

This title comes with an introduction by Philippa Gregory. Drowning in the freezing North Atlantic, Christopher Hadley Martin, temporary lieutenant, happens upon a grotesque rock, an island that appears only on weather charts. To drink there is a pool of rain water; to eat there are weeds and sea anemones. Through the long hours with only himself to talk to, Martin must try to assemble the truth of his fate, piece by terrible piece. From the author of Lord of the Flies, Pincher Martin is a terrifying and unforgettable journey into one man's mind.

The Pyramid

The Pyramid

Author: William Golding, Penelope Lively Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/08/2013

This title comes with an introduction by Penelope Lively. Oliver is eighteen and wants to enjoy himself before going to university. But this is the 1920s and he lives in Stilbourne, a small English country town where everyone knows what everyone else is getting up to, and where love, lust and rebellion are closely followed by revenge and embarrassment. Written with great perception and subtlety, The Pyramid is William Golding's funniest and most light-hearted novel, probing the painful awkwardness of the late teens, the tragedy and farce of life in a small community and the consoling power of music.

Free Fall

Free Fall

Author: William Golding, John Gray Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/04/2013

Sammy Mountjoy, artist, rises from poverty and an obscure birth to see his pictures hung in the Tate Gallery. Swept into World War II, he is taken as a prisoner-of-war, threatened with torture, then locked in a cell of total darkness to wait. He emerges from his cell transfigured from his ordeal, and begins to realise what man can be and what he has gradually made of himself through his own choices. But did those accumulated choices also begin to deprive him of his free will?

The Scorpion God With an introduction by Craig Raine

The Scorpion God With an introduction by Craig Raine

Author: William Golding, Craig Raine Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/04/2013

The three short novels in this collection, The Scorpion God, show Golding at his playful, ironic and mysterious best. In 'The Scorpion God' we see the world of ancient Egypt at the time of the earliest Pharaohs. 'Clonk Clonk' is a graphic account of a crippled youth's triumph over his tormentors in a primitive matriarchal society. And 'Envoy Extraordinary' is a tale of Imperial Rome where the emperor loves his illegitimate grandson more than his own arrogant, loutish heir.

The Double Tongue With an introduction by Meg Rosoff

The Double Tongue With an introduction by Meg Rosoff

Author: William Golding, Meg Rosoff Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/04/2013

William Golding's final novel, left in draft at his death, tells the story of a priestess of Apollo. Arieka is one of the last to prophesy at Delphi, in the shadowy years when the Romans were securing their grip on the tribes and cities of Greece. The plain, unloved daughter of a local grandee, she is rescued from the contempt and neglect of her family by her Delphic role. Her ambiguous attitude to the god and her belief in him seem to move in parallel with the decline of the god himself - but things are more complicated than they appear.

Lord of the Flies New Educational Edition

Lord of the Flies New Educational Edition

Author: William Golding Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 20/09/2012

First published in 1954, William Golding's debut novel, now a classic, is a stark story of survival, probing the depths of human nature, and what happens when civilization collapses. As dystopian stories like The Hunger Games and Battle Royale surge in popularity, this haunting tale of a group of young boys stranded on a desert island still captivates schoolchildren around the world, raising timeless and profound questions about how easily society can slip into chaos and savagery when rules and order have been abandoned. This new educational edition provides supplementary material, chapter summaries, discussion questions and additional teaching resources to help guide students and support teachers throughout the text. When a plane crashes on a remote island, a group of schoolboys are the sole survivors. As the reality of their situation sets in, the boys attempt to establish control and their world gradually descends into brutal savagery. As Catcher in the Rye became the classic coming-of-age tale, Lord of the Flies is the classic story of innocence lost. A teacher himself, Golding clearly understood how to interest children with a gripping story and strong, sympathetic characters. The novel serves as a catalyst for thought-provoking discussion and analysis of universal issues, not only concerning the capabilities of humans for good and evil and the fragility of moral inhibition, but beyond. The boys' struggle to find a way of existing in a community with no fixed boundaries invites readers to evaluate the concepts involved in social and political constructs and moral frameworks. Symbolism is strong throughout, revealing both the boys' capacity for empathy and hope, as well as illuminating the darkest corners of the human spirit. Ideas of community, leadership, and the rule of law are called into question as the reader has to consider who has a right to power, why, and what the consequences of the acquisition of power may be. All of these concerns are current today and can be easily related to the novel through effective teaching and learning. This new educational edition encourages original and independent thought from students, as well as guiding them through the text. The supplementary material includes a biographical section on William Golding, and his own interpretive essay 'Fable' on Lord of the Flies, as well as providing information about the novel's historical context, which will be ideal for students completing GCSE and A-Level courses as well as those studying the novel worldwide. At the end of the text there are chapter summaries, comprehension questions, discussion points and activities plus a glossary of less familiar words or phrases. All of these are intended to inspire and generate creative teaching, learning and love of the novel.

Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies

Author: William Golding Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 02/07/2009

A plane crashes on a desert island and the only survivors, a group of schoolboys, assemble on the beach and wait to be rescued. By day they inhabit a land of bright fantastic birds and dark blue seas, but at night their dreams are haunted by the image of a terrifying beast. As the boys' delicate sense of order fades, so their childish dreams are transformed into something more primitive, and their behaviour starts to take on a murderous, savage significance. First published in 1954, Lord of the Flies is one of the most celebrated and widely read of modern classics.

Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies

Author: William Golding Format: eBook Release Date: 17/10/2006

William Golding's classic novel of primitive savagery and survival is one of the most vividly realized and riveting works in modern fiction. The tale begins after a plane wreck deposits a group of English school boys, aged six to twelve on an isolated tropical island. Their struggle to survive and impose order quickly evolves from a battle against nature into a battle against their own primitive instincts. Golding's portrayal of the collapse of social order into chaos draws the fine line between innocence and savagery.

The Spire: York Notes Advanced

The Spire: York Notes Advanced

Author: William Golding Format: Paperback Release Date: 21/09/2006

Do you want a better understanding of the text? Do you want to know what the critics say? Do you want to know how to improve your grade? Whatever you want, York Notes can help. York Notes Advanced offers a fresh and accessible approach to English Literature. This market-leading series has been completely updated to meet the needs of today's A-level and undergraduate students. Written by established literature experts, York Notes Advanced introduce students to more sophisticated analysis, a range of critical perspectives and wider contexts. Key Features: Summaries with detailed commentaries Extended commentaries on key passages Discussion of themes and literary techniques Author biography Historical and literary background Check the net/film/book features Glossary of literary terms Self-test questions

To the Ends of the Earth

To the Ends of the Earth

Author: William Golding Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/08/2004

A new one-volume edition of this classic sequence of sea novels set in the early nineteenth century, about a voyage from England to Australia. Rites of Passage (Winner of the Booker Prize) 'The work of a master at the full stretch of his age and wisdom.' The Times Close Quarters 'A feat of imaginative reconstruction, as vivid as a dream.' Daily Mail Fire Down Below 'Laden to the waterline with a rich cargo of practicalities and poetry, pain and hilarity, drama and exaltation.' Sunday Times

Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies

Author: William Golding Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 02/09/1999

The compelling story about a group of very ordinary small boys marooned on a coral island. At first it seems as though it is all going to be great fun; but the fun before long becomes furious and life on the island turns into a nightmare of panic and death. As ordinary standards of behaviour collapse, the whole world the boys know collapses with them - the world of cricket, homework and adventure stories - and another world is revealed beneath, primitive and terrible.

Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies

Author: William Golding Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/03/1997

A plane crashes on an uninhabited island and the only survivors, a group of schoolboys, assemble on the beach and wait to be rescued. By day they inhabit a land of bright fantastic birds and dark blue seas, but at night their dreams are haunted by the image of a terrifying beast. In this, his first novel, William Golding gave the traditional adventure story an ironic, devastating twist. The boys' delicate sense of order fades, and their childish fears are transformed into something deeper and more primitive. Their games take on a horrible significance, and before long the well-behaved party of schoolboys has turned into a tribe of faceless, murderous savages. First published in 1954, Lord of the Flies is now recognized as a classic, one of the most celebrated of all modern novels.

An Egyptian Journal

An Egyptian Journal

Author: William Golding Format: Paperback Release Date: 31/07/1989

William Golding's interest in ancient Egypt has previously been expressed in two essays, and in the novella The Scorpion God. This account covers his journey down the Nile in today's Egypt. He recalls his trip honestly and humorously, and shares his feelings about Egypt past and present.

Moving Target

Moving Target

Author: William Golding Format: Paperback Release Date: 18/06/1984

The Hot Gates and Other Occasional Pieces

The Hot Gates and Other Occasional Pieces

Author: William Golding Format: Paperback Release Date: 18/06/1984

Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies

Author: William Golding, Ian Gregor, Mark Kinkhead Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/01/1973

First published in 1954, Lord of the Flies is now recognised as a classic, one of the most celebrated and widely read of modern novels. This edition, which includes an introduction and notes by Ian Gregor and Mark Kinkead-Weekes, meets the demand for its use in schools and its prescription by numerous examining boards. In compiling the notes they have borne in mind the needs of younger readers not only in this country but overseas.

Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies

Author: William Golding Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/01/1973

A plane crashes on an uninhabited island and the only survivors, a group of schoolboys, assemble on the beach and wait to be rescued. By day they inhabit a land of bright fantastic birds and dark blue seas, but at night their dreams are haunted by the image of a terrifying beast. In this, his first novel, William Golding gave the traditional adventure story an ironic, devastating twist. The boys' delicate sense of order fades, and their childish fears are transformed into something deeper and more primitive. Their games take on a horrible significance, and before long the well-behaved party of schoolboys has turned into a tribe of faceless, murderous savages. First published in 1954, Lord of the Flies is now recognized as a classic, one of the most celebrated of all modern novels.

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