A plane crashes on a desert island. The only survivors are a group of schoolboys. At first they revel in the freedom and celebrate the absence of grown-ups. Soon though, as the boys' fragile sense of order begins to collapse, their fears start to take on a sinister, primitive significance. Suddenly, the world of cricket, homework and adventure stories seems a long way away. The boys are faced with a more pressing reality - survival - and the appearance of a terrifying beast who haunts their dreams.
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, and also took part in the pursuit 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 Walcheren. 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.