iPlayer Radio What's New?
On Now : Afternoon on 3
Playing: String Octet in E flat major Op.20 by Felix Mendelssohn
Image for John Carey

Sorry, this episode is not currently available on BBC iPlayer Radio

John Carey

The Essay, Golding Remembered Episode 2 of 5

15 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 20 September 2011

William Golding's biographer John Carey examines the famous novelists complex and changeable relationship with religion and the way this was reflected in his novels.

Golding was brought up in an atheistic household, but his Second World War experiences made him devoutly religious. His stance on religion fluctuated throughout his life - at one point he believed in Gaia the Earth goddess. It was Golding who suggested the name Gaia to his friend James Lovelock, for Lovelock's hypothesis on the Earth.

In writing the biography, John Carey was granted unique access to letters, journals and unpublished works - material which has never before been made public. Here he sketches a revelatory portrait of a man with many sides: war hero, schoolteacher, family man.

In this series, the Essay marks the centenary of William Golding's birth (19th September 1911), with five programmes looking at different aspects of the novelist's work and life.

William Golding is known for novels including Lord of the Flies, The Inheritors and The Spire. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1983, the Booker Prize for Rites of Passage in 1980 and was knighted in 1988. He died in 1993.

Producer: Caroline Hughes


Free downloads

  1. Image for BBC World War One

    BBC World War One

    BBC Radio brings you stories of the war that changed who we are, with documentaries exploring the…

  2. Image for Music and Culture of WW1

    Music and Culture of WW1

    Highlights of BBC Radio 3’s special programmes to mark the WW1 centenary. Classical music, art,…

  3. Image for Radio 3 Essay

    Radio 3 Essay

    Authored essays from leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond,…

  4. Image for Spirit of Schubert

    Spirit of Schubert

    BBC Radio 3 tells you everything you need to know about Franz Schubert. These free downloads will…

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss