In Rites of Passage Edmund Talbot begins a journal to amuse his godfather, full of wit and disdain he chronicles the mounting tensions on the ancient warship, and their deadly resolution. In Close Quarters the ship is stuck in the doldrums, the passengers half-mad with fear and drink; as a ball is held, the ship begins to come apart at the seams. In Fire Down Below, the last stretch of the voyage takes place in even greater dangers. Patched up, battered by wind, storm and ice the ship is blown off course - and then a fire begins to smoulder below decks . .
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. A now rare volume, Poems, appeared in 1934. In 1940 he joined the Royal Navy and saw action against battleships, submarines and aircraft. He was present at the sinking of the Bismarck. He finished the war as a Lieutenant in command of a rocket ship, which was off the French coast for the D-day invasion, and later at the island of Welcheren. After the war he returned to Bishop Wordsworth's School in Salisbury and was there when his first novel, Lord of the Flies, was published in 1954. He gave up teaching in 1961.
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). Many of these subjects appear in his essay collections
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