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'This was a different voice; not the voice of the people. It was the voice of other'.

The Inheritors

Golding considered this his finest novel and it is a beautifully realised tale about the last days of the Neanderthal people and our fear of the ‘other’ and the unfamiliar. The action is revealed through the eyes of the Neanderthals whose peaceful world is threatened by the emergence of Homo sapiens.

The struggle between the simple Neanderthals and the malevolent modern humans ends in helpless despair, although there is perhaps some hope for the continued presence of Neanderthals in our modern world. Featuring similar themes to Lord of the Flies, although with very different content, this is a book about the breakdown of a civilisation and uncompromising savagery.

‘Powerful and provocative … Each time I revisit The Inheritors I find something new’. – Penelope Lively.

Golding discusses the conflict between the Neanderthals and the New People.

Listen to William Golding's interview comments on The Inheritors

View Judy Golding introducing The Inheritors

Timeline

Neanderthals

Golding’s vision of the Neanderthals’ world being disrupted, and eventually destroyed by the ‘New People’ (Homo Sapiens) has been proven to be accurate. Recent scientific […]

Explore & Search

Waterfall

On the original manuscript of The Inheritors, Golding wrote that the ‘centre symbol is the waterfall, the time stream, the fall, the second law of thermodynamics’. […]

News & Articles

May 2018 News Round-up

Round-up of William Golding in the news in May 2018! The Inheritors was included in the New York Times recommended books on Neanderthals and our early ancestors. The […]