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The Hot Gates

Golding begins the book with his essay on the Battle of Thermopylae -- the heroic last stand of the 300 Spartans under Leonidas in 480 B.C.E. against the entire Persian army. Golding's reasons for choosing 'The Hot Gates' (the English translation of Thermopylae) as the title for the whole collection are perhaps explained by a few sentences from this essay:

'Neither you nor Leonidas nor anyone else could foresee that here thirty years' time was won for shining Athens and all Greece and all humanity.'

'A little of Leonidas lies in the fact that I can go where I like and write what I like. He contributed to set us free.

Golding listed his hobbies as music, chess, sailing, archaeology and classical Greek (which he taught himself). Many of these subjects appear in his essay collections The Hot Gates and A Moving Target.

John Carey's new biography of William Golding

John Carey

Drawing almost entirely on materials that have never before been made public, John Carey, the distinguished writer and critic, sheds new light on Golding. Through hundreds of letters, unpublished works and Golding's intimate journals, Carey draws a revelatory and definitive portrait of an extraordinary man. In an absorbing and compelling narrative, he reveals a many-sided figure: a war-hero, a reclusive depressive who considered himself a 'monster', a family man, a victim of fears and phobias who battled against alcoholism, and a writer who trusted the imagination above all things.

Follow the link below to hear 'audio snippets' where Carey reads from his highly praised new biography.

William Golding: The Man Who Wrote Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies

Peter Brook LoF still Ralph

Lord of the Flies, published in 1954, is Golding's best known work, selling over a milliion copies so far worldwide. John Carey's new biography William Golding is the first study of 'The Man Who Wrote Lord of the Flies'. Follow the link below to buy this book, first published by Faber & Faber in 2009, and now out in paperback.

Buy John Carey's definitive biography in paperback