William golding 1983

William Golding's Life

  • Birth

    William Golding was born September 19, 1911, in Saint Columb Minor, Cornwall, England. He was raised in a 14th-century house next door to a graveyard. His mother, Mildred, was an active suffragette who fought for women’s right to vote. His father, Alex, worked as a schoolmaster.
  • First Publication

    First Publication
    William published his first work, a book of poetry aptly entitled Poems, in 1934, a year before he graduated from Brasenose College at Oxford University. The collection was largely overlooked by critics.
  • Graduation

    In 1935, Golding graduated from Oxford with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a diploma in education.
  • Marriage

    On September 30, 1939, William Golding married Ann Brookfield, an analytical chemist.
  • Teaching

    In 1939, after college, Golding took a position teaching English and philosophy at Bishop Wordsworth’s School in Salisbury.
  • Royal Navy

    Royal Navy
    In 1940 Golding temporarily abandoned teaching to join the Royal Navy and fight in World War II. While in the Royal Navy, Golding developed a lifelong romance with sailing and the sea. During World War II, he fought battleships at the sinking of the Bismarck, and also fended off submarines and planes. Lieutenant Golding was even placed in command of a rocket-launching craft.
  • After WWII

    After WWII
    In 1945, after World War II had ended, Golding went back to teaching and writing.
  • Lord of the Flies

    Lord of the Flies
    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.
  • Royal Society of Literature

    Royal Society of Literature
    Following the publication of his best-known work, Lord of the Flies, Golding was granted membership in the Royal Society of Literature in 1955.
  • The Inheritors

    The Inheritors
    Golding published "The Inheritors" in 1955. It was a depiction of how the violent, deceitful Homo sapiens achieved victory over the gentler Neanderthals. Although this novel is the one readers have the most difficulty understanding, it remained Golding's favorite throughout his life.
  • Pincher Martin

    Pincher Martin
    Golding published "Pincher Martin" in 1956. It concerns survival after shipwreck. Navy lieutenant Christopher Martin is thrown from his ship during combat in World War II. He finds a rock to cling to, and the rest of the story is related from this vantage point, detailing his struggle for survival and recounting the details of his life.
  • Freefall

    Golding next published his novel "Free Fall" in 1959. Unlike his first three novels, Free Fall is told with a first person narrator, an artist named Samuel Mountjoy. Golding uses the character Mountjoy to comment on the conflict between rationalism and faith.
  • Retirement

    In 1961, William Golding retired from teaching at Bishop Wordsworth's School to write full time.
  • The Spire

    The Spire
    Golding published the novel "The Spire" in 1964. A fourteenth-century Dean of Barchester Cathedral decides that God wants a 400-foot-high spire added to the top of the cathedral, although the cathedral's foundation is not sufficient to hold the weight of the spire. The novel tells the story of the human costs of the spire's construction and the lessons that the Dean learns too late.
  • Nobel Prize for Literature

    Nobel Prize for Literature
    At the age of 72, Golding was awarded the 1983 Nobel Prize for Literature.
  • Sir William Golding

    Sir William Golding
    In 1988, at the age of 77, Golding was knighted by England’s Queen Elizabeth II.
  • Death

    Golding spent the last few years of his life quietly living with his wife, Ann Brookfield, at their house near Falmouth, Cornwall, where he continued to toil at his writing. On June 19, 1993, Golding died of a heart attack in Perranarworthal, Cornwall.