William Golding

  • Birth

    William Golding was born in Cornwall, England.
  • Childhood Disappointment

    Childhood Disappointment
    When William was just 12 years old, he attempted, unsuccessfully, to write a novel.
  • College

    William went on to attend Brasenose College at Oxford University. His father hoped he would become a scientist, but William opted to study English literature instead.
  • Second Attempt as a Writer

    Second Attempt as a Writer
    A year before William graduated, he published his first work, a book of poetry aptly entitled Poems.
  • Teaching

    He started teaching English and philosophy in Salisbury.
  • Career

    Golding took a position teaching English and philosophy at Bishop Wordsworth’s School in Salisbury. Golding’s experience teaching unruly young boys would later serve as inspiration for his novel Lord of the Flies.
  • Abandonment

    Golding temporarily abandoned the profession to join the Royal Navy and fight in World War II.
  • Period: to

    Naval Life

    Golding spent the better part of the next six years on a boat, except for a seven-month stint in New York, where he assisted Lord Cherwell at the Naval Research Establishment. While in the Royal Navy, Golding developed a lifelong romance with sailing and the sea. Of his World War II experiences, Golding has said, “I began to see what people were capable of doing. Anyone who moved through those years without understanding that man produces evil as a bee produces honey, must have been blind or wro
  • Back to Work

    Back to Work
    After the end of WWII, Golding began teaching and writing again.
  • Lord of the Flies Publication

    Lord of the Flies Publication
    After 21 rejections, Golding published his first and most acclaimed novel, Lord of the Flies.
  • First Movie Adaptation of Lord of the Flies

    First Movie Adaptation of Lord of the Flies
    Peter Brook made a film adaptation of the critically acclaimed novel.
  • Nobel Prize

    Nobel Prize
    Golding was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature
  • Knighthood

    Golding was knighted by England’s Queen Elizabeth II.
  • Second Film Adaptation of Lord of the Flies

    Second Film Adaptation of Lord of the Flies
    A new film version of the Lord of the Flies was released, bringing the book to the attention of a new generation of readers.
  • Death

    Golding died of a heart attack in Perranarworthal, Cornwall. Golding's legacy is still remembered today by his great works which include: Rites of Passage (winner of the 1980 Booker McConnell Prize), Pincher Martin, Free Fall and The Pyramid.