Gerald Golding was born in England in 1911. His family had progressive
ideas and his mother was active in the suffragette movement. His
father was a schoolmaster at the Marlborough Grammar School and
Golding attended this elite private school. He then went to Oxford
University where he studied Science following his father's wishes.
In his third year, he rebelled and switched to a literary education.
During this time he wrote a volume of poems that were published
as part of MacMillan's Contemporary Poets Series.
In 1935 he graduated from Oxford with a Bachelor of Arts in English.
From then until 1939 he worked as a writer and producer for a small
theatrical company in London paying for his living expenses through
a job as a Social Worker. In 1939 he began teaching English and
Philosophy in Salisbury. Later that year he married Ann Brookfield
and they had two children.
During the Second World War he joined the Royal Navy. The five years
that he spent in the Navy exposed him to the cruelty and savagery
of the world and human kind. Coming from a sheltered environment
of a private English School, Golding was unprepared for the violence
that he witnessed during the war.
After the war, he resumed his teaching career and worked at the
same school until 1961. He then took up writing full time and Lord
of the Flies, his first novel, was published in 1954. Publishers
had initially rejected this manuscript on twenty occasions, and
although this was not the first novel he wrote, it was the first
to be published.
Golding was a very quick and intense writer, because in 1955 his
book The Inheritors was published. This gives an account of how
violent, deceitful homosapiens achieved victory over the more gentle
In 1956 Pincher Martin was published which deals with the survival
of a Naval Lieutenant after a shipwreck during World War II. The
theme is similar to that portrayed in Lord of the Flies
Golding had books published on a yearly basis after this, right
up until his death in 1993.
received many awards among them being the prestigious British Booker
Prize Award in 1980 and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1983.
He received the C.B.E. and was knighted in 1988.