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Literary Pursuits - Golding's Lord of The Flies

Golding's classic novel, written when he was a teacher in classrooms and staffrooms, was only saved from rejection by Faber by the luckiest chance. Sarah Dillon tells the story.

'Lord Of The Flies' was written when William Golding was a teacher at Bishop Wordsworth School, in a school exercise book in his spare time between and sometimes during lessons. Having already had three earlier books turned down for publication, this story was inspired by what he knew at first hand about how boys really behaved. The manuscript was only narrowly saved from rejection by rookie Editor Charles Monteith at Faber and Faber. After asking for substantial editorial changes, including cutting a whole section at the start of the novel, and altering the title, the tale of stranded boys descending into savagery on a desert island went on to become a classic. Sarah Dillon goes in search of the story of determined perseverance, compromise and incredible luck behind the publication of novel. All published extracts with permission of Faber and Faber Ltd, all published and unpublished extracts with permission of William Golding Ltd.

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