A plane crashes on an uninhabited island and the only survivors; a group of schoolboys assemble on the beach and wait to be rescued. By day they inhabit a land of bright fantastic birds and dark blue seas, but at night their dreams are haunted by the image of a terrifying beast.
In this, his first novel, William Golding gave the traditional adventure story an ironic, devastating twist. The boys’ delicate sense of order fades, and their childish fears are transformed into something deeper and more primitive. Their games take on a horrible significance, and before long the well-behaved party of schoolboys has turned into a tribe of faceless, murderous savages.
William Golding was born in Cornwall in 1911 and was educated at Marlborough Grammar School and at Brasenose College, Oxford. Before he became a schoolmaster he was an actor, a lecturer, a small-boat sailor and a musician. In 1940 he joined the Royal Navy and saw action against battleships, submarines and aircraft. He was present at the sinking of the Bismarck.
Lord of the Flies was filmed by Peter Brook in 1963.
Golding listed his hobbies as music, chess, sailing, archaeology and classical Greek (which he taught himself). He won the Booker Prize for his novel Rites of Passage in 1980, and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1983. He was knighted in 1988. He died at his home in the summer of 1993.