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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

Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies

Author: William Golding Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 10/01/2020

ONE OF THE BBC'S 'NOVELS THAT SHAPED OUR WORLD' A group of schoolboys are stranded on a desert island: what could go wrong? William Golding's brutal exposure of human savagery is not only a modern classic, but more relevant today than ever. 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. As the boys' delicate sense of order fades, 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 devolved into a tribe of murderous savages. First published in 1954, William Golding's Lord of the Flies is one of the most celebrated of all modern novels.

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.

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.

ebook of the month
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.

ebook of the month
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.

ebook of the month
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.

ebook of the month
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.

ebook of the month
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.

ebook of the month
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.

ebook of the month
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.

Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies

Author: William Golding, Jessica (ILLUS) Hische Format: Hardback Release Date: 09/05/2013

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.

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?

ebook of the month
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.

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