Lord of the Flies: William Golding

  • Birth

    William Golding was born on September 19, 1911, in Cornwall, England to parents Mildred and Alex Golding. His mother advocated for women's suffrage while his father was employed as a schoolmaster.
  • Early Attempt

    Early Attempt
    When Golding was twelve years old, he unsuccessfully attempted to write a novel. As a child, he turned to bullying as an outlet. Golding commented that, in his youth, "I enjoyed hurting people." (Biography.com).
  • College

    Golding attended Brasenose College at Oxford University. Influenced by his father's beliefs in rationalism, he initially studied science for two years. However, he eventually transferred to the literature program.
  • Poetry Publication

    Poetry Publication
    Golding published several of his poems in a book entitled "Poems," as part of Macmillan's Contemporary Poet series (Cliffnotes).The collection was dismissed by several critics.
  • Graduation

    Golding graduated from Brasenose College in 1935 at 24 years old. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a diploma in education (Cliffnotes).
  • Jobs

    Golding worked as an actor, writer, and ran a small theater. He payed his bills through his job as a social worker in settlement houses.
  • Teaching

    Golding took a position at Bishop Wordsworth's School in Salisbury. There, he taught English and philosophy.
  • Marriage

    The same year he received a teaching position at Bishop Wordsworth's School, Golding married a woman named Ann Brookfield. Together, they had two children, Judy and David Golding.
  • Royal Navy

    Royal Navy
    From 1940 - 1945, Golding served in the Royal Navy during WWII. Golding fought battleships and defended against enemy submarines and planes. During his service, Golding commanded a rocket-launching craft (Biography.com).
  • Return

    At the close of WWII, Golding returned home and continued his former job as a teacher. The experiences of his service in the Royal Navy, however, greatly impacted Golding and caused him to develop a much darker outlook on life.
  • Lord of the Flies

    Lord of the Flies
    In 1954, Golding published his most renowned book, "Lord of the Flies." The book was rejected over 20 times before publication. It was critically acclaimed for its extensive use of symbolism and the shocking events that occur between schoolboys on a stranded on a deserted island.
  • Quitting

    Following the release of his critically acclaimed book "Lord of the Flies," Golding quit his job in 1961. Golding quit in order to pursue writing full time.
  • Movie

    Two years after Golding quit his position at Bishop Wordsworth's School, his book "Lord of the Flies," was adapted into a movie. The film adaptation was directed by Peter Brook (Biography.com).
  • Nobel Prize

    Nobel Prize
    In 1983, Golding was bestowed the Nobel Prize for Literature. At the time, he was 73 years old.
  • Knighted

    In 1988, Golding was greatly honored when Queen Elizabeth II of England knighted him. He was 77 when he received this high honor.
  • Movie Remake

    Movie Remake
    A remake movie of Golding's "Lord of the Flies" was released in 1990. This newly adapted version sparked the interest of a new generation of readers (Biography.com).
  • Death

    Golding died of a heart attack in Perranarworthal, Cornwall on June 19, 1993. He had spent the last years of his life in his home in Falmouth, Cornwall, living quietly with his wife and continuing his writing. After his death, his book "The Double Tongue" was released posthumously (Biography.com).