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William Golding

  • Birth

    On September 19 of 1911, William Golding was born. He was born in Saint Colomb Minor, Cornwall, England.
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    William Golding's Life

  • Brasenose College

    In 1930, Golding began to attend Brasenose College at Oxford. He studied science for two years, against his father's will. Later on, he discovered he was interested in literature. He read poetry such as that of Tennyson and Shakespeare as a child, but as an adult, he reconsidered these works and deemed them childish. This was the beginning of the mindset that would later influence the pessimistic view on humanity he expressed in the Lord of the Flies. While at Oxford, he published some poems.
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    Writing and Acting in London

    William Golding worked as a writer, actor, and as a producer in a small theater in London from 1935-1939. Many authors of Greek tragedies were very influenial to him.
  • Graduation

    In 1935, William Golding graduated from college. He had a Backelor of Arts degree in English and a diploma in educaton, which he used to go into teaching.
  • Marriage and Beginning of Teaching Career

    In 1939, William Golding began to teach at Bishop Wordsworth's School in Salisbury. He taught English and philosophy. This year, he also married Ann Brookfield. He later had two children with her.
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    William Golding taught subjects such as English and Philosophy in Salisbury. Some of these experiences with teaching young boys helped inspire him for the Lord of the Flies. He joined the Navy from 1940 to 1945, but returned to teaching. He left teaching in 1961 to write.
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    The Royal Navy

    In 1940 he went to join the Navy. He deeply enjoyed sailing in the sea, and spent almost all these years on a boat. He also helped Lord Cherwell at the Naval Research Establishment in New York for seven months. He fought during World War II, including at the sinking of the Bismarck, and also experienced battles between submarines and planes. He was a Lieutenant and got to be in charge of a rocket-launching craft. These years in the war developed his view on the true evil nature of man.
  • The Lord of the Flies

    The Lord of the Flies
    The Lord of the Flies was published in 1954. It was rejected by 21 publishers before this. It was a novel about British schoolboys stranded on an island who eventually descended into savagery, which was an allegory for the inevitable chaos of society without proper civilization.
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    Full-Time Writing

  • Nobel Prize

    In 1983, he recieved the Nobel prize in Literature.This was his greatest honor.
  • Knighting

    William Golding was knighted in 1988 by Queen Elizabeth II. Aside from the Nobel prize, this was one of his greatest honors.
  • Death

    William Golding died in Cornwall in 1993. The cause of death was a heart attack.