On this day in history : 17th September 1954 – William Golding’s ‘Lord of the Flies’ is published by Faber and Faber, in London – a book familiar to many of us from our school days….

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Original UK book cover – Fair use

The plot of Lord of the Flies centres around a group of school boys marooned on an uninhabited island after a plane crash…. It is about the boys’ survival and how they attempt to govern themselves – and explores how quickly society breaks down without any form of proper authority or establishment….

Lord of the Flies was the first novel by Sir William Gerald Golding CBE (19th September 1911 – 19th June 1993) – who was a British novelist, playwright and poet…. At first, when Golding first submitted his manuscript, the book was rejected by Faber and Faber – but after catching the interest of Charles Monteith, a new editor at the firm – and who advised on some changes to the text – the novel was published…. It was slow to make an impact but eventually became an international bestseller – and has been in the 100 best novels of the Modern Library and listed at No.70 on the BBC’s best 100 English language works….

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Sir William Golding CBE, in 1983 – Photographer unknown – CC BY-SA 3.0

Lord of the Flies has twice been made into an English language film; in 1963 directed by Peter Brook and again in 1990, this time directed by Harry Hook…. In 1975 a Filipino version was released, directed by Lupita A. Concio…. In August 2017 plans for a further film were announced by Warner Bros….this time to feature an all female cast…. A concept that was not very well received – as the general feeling being that it goes against the grain of the story’s original aim of exploring the theme of male power and the fight for dominance and leadership….

Golding was incredibly sensitive to reviews and criticism of his work – even being known to leave the country when his latest book was about to be published…. I don’t know about you – but Lord of the Flies is one of those books that has stayed ingrained in my memory….

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Pere Ubu via Flickr

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