William Golding

Katy Yut

Timeline

  • September 19th, 1911- born in Cornwall

  • mother- advocated women's rights/ suffrage

  • father- schoolmaster


  • 1930- went to Oxford to study Natural Sciences

  • (his father pushed him towards science)

  • 1932- changed his major to English Literature

  • 1934- got a second-class degree

  • 1935- became a teacher of English and philosophy at Michael Hall in South London

  • teaching unruly boys inspired him for Lord of the Flies later



  • 1938- met Ann Brookfield, who he fell in love with

  • 1939- got married

    • was already engaged to his fiancé Mollie

  • 1940- first child, David, was born


  • 1940- left teaching temporarily to join the Royal Navy
  • 1941- 1945- served in the navy

  • "Anyone who moved through those years without understanding that man produces evil as a bee produces honey, must have been blind or wrong in the head."
  • his experience in the navy influenced his later writing


  • 1945- second child, Judith Diana, was born

  • 1952- started writing “Strangers from Within”

  • 1953- tried to find a publisher, but kept getting rejected

  • 1954- it was finally published by Faber and Faber

  • Charles Monteith grabbed it out of the rejected pile and salvaged it, claiming to see potential

  • a lot of changes and rewrites were made

  • title was changed from "Strangers from Within" to "Lord of the Flies"

  • 1958- his dad Alec was diagnosed with cancer, who died suddenly of heart attack after surgery on December 12

  • 1960- his mother died


  • 1961- him and his wife went to the US

  • 1962- stopped teaching and became a full time writer


  • 1983- awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature

    • used his fame for issues he was passionate about, like environmental concerns

  • 1985- moved back to Cornwall


  • 1988- was knighted by the Queen at Buckingham Palace


  • 1992- was told he had a malignant melanoma on his face, which he got removed

  • June 19, 1993- died of heart failure

Interesting Facts

  • bullied other kids during his childhood

  • later described himself as a brat and said "I enjoyed hurting people"

  • 20 years after publication he considered The Lord of the Flies “boring and crude. The language is O-level stuff.”

  • described himself in a journal as “a monster in deed, word, and thought.”

  • his life included sexual violence, alcoholic excess, shame, depression, and vanity

  • regularly depended on alcohol


  • held psychological experiments with the classes he taught

    • would split up the class into 2 groups

    • one group attacked a prehistoric camp

    • the other group defended it

Rape Incident

  • he was 18
  • he was an undergraduate at Oxford
  • tried to rape a 15 year old girl named Dora
  • he "felt sure she wanted heavy sex"
  • a year later she enticed him to have sex with her in a field near the school while his dad was watching through some binoculars
  • his older brother was also having sex with his girlfriend in the same field at the time
  • apparently he felt super guilty about it (according to his daughter)

As Viewed by his Daughter

  • “In many ways he was a very warm person, and tremendously funny. What’s strange is that no one believes that-- they think he was all doom and gloom.”


  • he often had a "feeling of self-contempt which came from very far back. Sometimes it was dealt with funnily, with self-deprecating jokes, but sometimes it was a much darker business which he couldn't live with. I know he referred to himself as a monster. Very occasionally I remember him behaving quite badly, being unkind, but that was very unusual and was usually when he had a lot to drink. He was in spurts a heavy drinker. Often he was happy not drinking at all. It was one thing or the other."


  • she wrote a memoir about her childhood and how she didn’t get enough from her parents and how they were too wrapped up in each other

Works Cited

Flood, Alison. "William Golding's daughter reveals his 'darker side' in new book." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 20 Sept. 2010. Web. 8 Mar. 2014. <http://www.theguardian.com/books/2010/sep/19/william-golding-daughter-memoir>.


Morrison, Blake. "William Golding by John Carey." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 5 Sept. 2009. Web. 8 Mar. 2014. <http://www.theguardian.com/books/2009/sep/05/william-golding-john-carey-review>.


The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. "Sir William Golding (British novelist)." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 7 Mar. 2014. <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/237863/Sir-William-Golding>.


Wainwright, Martin. "Author William Golding tried to rape teenager, private papers show." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 17 Aug. 2009. Web. 5 Mar. 2014. <http://www.theguardian.com/books/2009/aug/16/william-golding-attempted-rape>.


"William Golding." Goodreads. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Mar. 2014. <http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/306.William_Golding>.


"William Golding." About William Golding. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Mar. 2014. <http://www.william-golding.co.uk/>.


"William Golding." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 3 Apr. 2014. Web. 5 Mar. 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Golding>.


"William Golding Biography." Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 8 Mar. 2014. <http://www.biography.com/people/william-golding-9314523>.