William Golding

  • Birth

    William Golding was born in Saint Columb Minor, a small village in Cornwall, England. His mother was named Mildred and his father was named Alex. Mildred was a suffragette (someone who campaigned for the women's right to vote). Alex was a schoolmaster in town.
  • Early Life

    Early Life
    When he turned 12 he tried (unsuccessfully) to write a novel. Up until this point he had been taught by his dad Alex (the schoolmaster).
  • College

    Starting in 1930 Golding attended Brasenose College at Oxford University. He originally studyed science like his rationalist father had wanted. He stayed in that program for 2 years before switching to English literature which was his true passion.
  • First Book

    First Book
    His first book was a book of poems published in 1934 in his last year of college. He named it simply Poems. It was published sometime after the summer of 1934.
  • Period: to

    Early Career

    During this time period Golding worked in an actor and writer with Shakespeare and the Greeks as his prime influences. In 1939 he took up his first teaching post as and English and philosophy teacher in an all boys' school.
  • Marriage

    Golding married Ann Brookfield in Falmouth, Cornwall. Ann was the future mother to David(1940) and Judith(1945).
  • Period: to

    Royal Navy

    He joined the Royal Navy in the 40's and fought during WWII at sea. He spent a short time in New York. His love of the sea developed through this time. He also saw the brutality and inhumanity of humans.
  • Lord of the Flies

    Lord of the Flies
    Golding wrote and published Lord of the Flies in 1954. He was influenced by the time he spent in the war- encountering first hand the barbarity in men. Fun Fact: The book was rejected 21 times before getting published, but they regret that decision!
  • Period: to

    Other Works

    During this last part of his life Golding wrote several other books including The Inheritors('55)(his personal favorite), Pincer Martin('56), The Paper Men('84), etc.
  • Awarded Nobel Prize

    Awarded Nobel Prize
    In 1983 Golding won the Novel Prize in literature for his insight on the duality of humans observed in his book Lord of the Flies. Since it was published it's become a classic read found in school curriculums everywhere.
  • Knighted

    In 1988 Golding was knighted by Elizabeth II for his work in literature. This is where he gets his surname Sir
  • Death

    Golding lived out the rest of his life in Perranarworthal, Cornwall with his wife where he continued writing till his death. He eventually died of a heart attack in his home. After his death, his completed manuscript for The Double Tongue was published posthumously.