Faber and Faber’s 90th anniversary

Today marks the 90th anniversary of Golding’s publishers, Faber and Faber! The beginning of Golding’s relationship with Faber and Faber is the stuff of book history legend. Golding had sent the typescript of Lord of the Flies, then named Strangers From Within, to a number of publishers and all had rejected it. It was sent to Faber on 14 September, 1953, where it was once again rejected by a freelance reader. Her assessment of the manuscript was ‘Absurd & uninteresting … Pointless’.

However, a new young editor at Faber, Charles Monteith, picked the typescript out of the reject pile, and persuaded the committee to publish the book, when it was given its new title of Lord of the Flies. After the positive critical response, although with initially modest sales, Monteith was keen to see more of Golding’s work. The first draft of his next novel, The Inheritors, had been completed in an astonishing 29 days, and Monteith was thrilled when he was sent the typescript. It was published in 1955.

Monteith remained Golding’s editor throughout his life, and Faber and Faber remained his publishers. Golding’s final novel, The Double Tongue, was published posthumously, and it was dedicated to Monteith and Faber.

Happy birthday Faber and Faber!