William Golding

William Golding or as he later became, Sir William Gerald Golding, was an English novelist, poet and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature (1983). His Nobel citation saying that "his novels which, with the perspicuity of realistic narrative art and the diversity and universality of myth, illuminate the human condition in the world of today".

Golding was born on September 19, 1911 at St Columb Minor, a village near Newquay, Cornwall, England. He started writing at the age of seven. His father was a local school master and an intellectual. The family moved to Marlborough and he attended Marlborough Grammar School, where his father was a science master. So Golding could not have spent much of his childhood in Cornwall

He went to Brasenose College, Oxford in 1930, where he studied natural sciences and English language. His first book, a collection of poems, appeared a year before Golding received his BA.

Golding also wrote plays, many essays and reviews, several short stories, some poems, and a travel book about Egypt. His novels were only 12 in number. On his death he left a massive journal two million words.

He married Ann Brookfield, an analytical chemist, in 1939. In 1940 Golding took up a post at Bishop Wordsworth's School, and he and his wife moved into a cottage in the Wiltshire village of Bowerchalke. In September 1940, the Goldings' first child, David, was born. And in December 1940 Golding left Bishop Wordsworth School to join the navy.

During World War II he served in the Royal Navy. First serving on HMS Galatea in the North Atlantic, then on guard duty in the Gladstone Dock. In 1942 he was posted to MD1, a weapons research unit in Buckinghamshire. In 1943 went to New York to help bring new minesweepers back to the UK from New Jersey dockyards. Later he was trained in Landing Crafts, and it was in command of one during D Day landings and the invasion of Walcheren.

He began work on a novel he called 'Strangers from Within'. He started sending the novel to publishers, but had many rejections, until in September Faber and Faber accepted it and eventually published it as Lord of the Flies in 1954.

In 1961 he could afford to leave teach post and he spent a year as writer-in-residence at Hollins College in Virginia. He then became a full-time writer.

He received a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II in 1988.

William Golding died in his home at Perranarworthal, near Truro, Cornwall on June 19, 1993 and was interred in the churchyard cemetery in Bowerchalke, Wiltshire, England.

At the time of his death he was working on an unfinished manuscript entitled The Double Tongue, which deals with the fall of Hellenic culture and the rise of Roman civilization. This work was published posthumously in 1995.

* Poems (1934)
* Lord of the Flies (1954)
* The Inheritors (1955)
* Pincher Martin (1956)
* Free Fall (1959)
* The Spire (1964)
* The Hot Gates (1965)
* The Scorpion God (1971)
* Darkness Visible (1979)
* A Moving Target (1982)
* The Paper Men (1984)
* To The Ends of the Earth trilogy - Rites of Passage (1980), Close Quarters (1987), and Fire Down Below (1989)
* Double Tongue

 

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