What a man does defiles him, not what is done by others …

Rites of Passage

Rites of Passage is the first book in Golding’s ‘A Sea Trilogy’.

Sailing to Australia in the early years of the nineteenth century, Edmund Talbot keeps a journal to amuse his godfather back in England. Full of wit and disdain, he records the mounting tensions on the ancient warship, where officers, sailors, soldiers and emigrants jostle in the crammed spaces below decks.

Then a single passenger, the obsequious Reverend Colley, attracts the animosity of the sailors, and in the seclusion of the fo’castle something happens to bring him into a ‘hell of self-degradation’, where shame is a force deadlier than the sea itself.

Rites of Passage won the Booker Prize in 1980.

Judy sets the scene for the epic voyage to Australia

Listen to Judy Golding discussing Rites of Passage

View Judy Golding introducing Rites of Passage


Nobel Prize for Literature

In 1983, Golding was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

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BBC Adaptation: To the Ends of the Earth

In 2005 the BBC produced a mini-series adaptation of Golding’s A Sea Trilogy, called To the Ends of the Earth. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Edmund Talbot, […]

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Judy Golding in new book on Writers and their Mothers

Judy (Golding) Carver has written a chapter ‘William Golding’s Mother’, in a new collection entitled Writers and their Mothers, edited by by Dale Salwak. An edited version […]