In 1953, William Golding was a provincial schoolteacher, writing books in his breaks, lunch hours and holidays. His work had been rejected by every publisher he sent it to - until an editor at Faber pulled his manuscript off the rejection pile. This was to become Lord of the Flies, a book that would sell in its millions and bring Golding worldwide recognition.
Drawing almost entirely on materials that have never before been made public, John Carey sheds new light on Golding. Through hundreds of letters, unpublished works and Golding’s intimate journals, Carey draws a revelatory and definitive portrait of an extraordinary man. In an absorbing and compelling narrative, he reveals a many-sided figure: a war-hero, a reclusive depressive who considered himself a ‘monster’, a family man, a victim of fears and phobias who battled against alcoholism, and a writer who trusted the imagination above all things.