Sir William Gerald Golding (19 September 1911 – 19 June 1993) was an English novelist, poet, playwright and Nobel Prize in Literature laureate, best known for his novel Lord of the Flies. He was also awarded the Booker Prize for literature in 1980 for his novel Rites of Passage, the first book of the trilogy To the Ends of the Earth.
Golding was awarded both CBE and later elevated to a Knight Bachelor. In 2008, The Times ranked Golding third on their list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945".
William Golding was born in his grandmother's house, 47 Mountwise, St Columb Minor, Cornwall and he spent many childhood holidays there. He grew up at his family home in Marlborough, Wiltshire, where his father (Alec Golding) was a science master at Marlborough Grammar School (1905 to retirement). Alec Golding was a socialist with a strong commitment to scientific rationalism, and the young Golding and his elder brother Joseph attended the school where his father taught. His mother, Mildred (Curnroe), kept house at 29, The Green, Marlborough, and supported the moderate campaigners for female suffrage. In 1930 Golding went to Oxford University as an undergraduate at Brasenose College, where he read Natural Sciences for two years before transferring to English Literature.
Golding took his B.A. (Hons) Second Class in the summer of 1934, and later that year his first book, Poems, was published in London by Macmillan & Co, through the help of his Oxford friend, the anthroposophist Adam Bittleston.