William Golding

  • Born

    William Golding was born September 19, 1911, in Saint Columb Minor, Cornwall, England.
  • First Time Writing

    First Time Writing
    When William was just 12 years old, he attempted, unsuccessfully, to write a novel.
  • First Book Published

    First Book Published
    In 1934, a year before he graduated, William published his first work, a book of poetry aptly entitled Poems. The collection was largely overlooked by critics.
  • Following in Step Gives You Inspiration

    Following in Step Gives You Inspiration
    Eventually, he decided to follow in his father’s footsteps. In 1935 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.
  • Abandon Passion for War

    Abandon Passion for War
    Although passionate about teaching from day one, in 1940 Golding temporarily abandoned the profession to join the Royal Navy and fight in World War II.
  • Period: to

    Years at War

    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.
  • Back in Business

    Back in Business
    In 1945, after World War II had ended, Golding went back to teaching and writing.
  • Regret Rejecting Now?

    Regret Rejecting Now?
    In 1954, after 21 rejections, Golding published his first and most acclaimed novel, Lord of the Flies. The novel told the gripping story of a group of adolescent boys stranded on a deserted island after a plane wreck. Lord of the Flies explored the savage side of human nature as the boys, let loose from the constraints of society, brutally turned against one another in the face of an imagined enemy.
  • Relax and Watch

    Relax and Watch
    In 1963, the year after Golding retired from teaching, Peter Brook made a film adaptation of the critically acclaimed novel
  • Old but Still Winning

    Old but Still Winning
    Two decades later, at the age of 73, Golding was awarded the 1983 Nobel Prize for Literature.
  • Where's the Shield and Sword?

    Where's the Shield and Sword?
    In 1988 he was knighted by England’s Queen Elizabeth II.
  • Out with Old in with New

    Out with Old in with New
    In 1990 a new film version of the Lord of the Flies was released, bringing the book to the attention of a new generation of readers.
  • Can't Live Forever

    Can't Live Forever
    On June 19, 1993, Golding died of a heart attack in Perranarworthal, Cornwall. He was survived by his wife and their two children, David and Judith. After Golding passed away, his completed manuscript for The Double Tongue was published posthumously.