Lord of the Flies Published
The 17th of September 1954 AD
If not quite such a late developer as Daniel Defoe , William Golding left it unusually late to make his mark as a writer, though when he did so it was with a bang as he published his greatest book, Lord of the Flies.
William Golding had produced a volume of poetry in 1934, but then worked in theatre, served with some distinction in the navy through WWII , and taught at Bishop Wordsworth’s School in Salisbury from 1945 to 1961. His loathing for that last role is reflected in the subject matter of Lord of the Flies, where boys isolated on a desert island rapidly descend into barbarity and tribalism.
Faber & Faber published his first novel, having previously rejected it. The book has become a classic of 20th century English literature, regularly featured in the exam syllabus for those taking GCSEs and ‘A’ Levels.
William Golding was knighted in 1988, having been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1983; joining a list of British authors that then was limited to Rudyard Kipling , John Galsworthy , Bertrand Russell , and Winston Churchill . It is intriguing, and for those of a certain age inspirational, that Golding’s first novel was published when he was 43; but salutary that Kipling won his Nobel Prize when just 41.
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