William Golding’s Lord of the Flies was published in 1954 — sixty-five years ago. Its role in popular as well as literary culture has been extraordinary, with episodes of The Simpsons and South Park embracing both the story and its characters. As well as two films, a stage dramatisation, radio adaptations, and a ballet for boys, the book has been translated into at least thirty-five languages and has retained a very steady position in school curriculums. ‘Like something out of Lord of the Flies’ has become a familiar description of everything from street riots to a children’s birthday party.
Judy Golding will explore the role of the book today as well as some of its many interpretations. Its warnings, sadly still relevant today, speak to us all. In a sense, the book now belongs to its readers.
Judy Golding was born in 1945, the second child of William Golding and his wife Ann. Judy went to the University of Sussex and afterwards to Oxford, where she met her husband, then a US citizen. She worked at Oxford University Press and at Jonathan Cape, and went freelance while raising the couple’s three sons. She has done a master’s degree in IT and was a school governor for six years.
After her father’s death in 1993, she took over as CEO of William Golding Limited, the company her father founded in 1961, which manages his rights and promotes his works.
Tickets are £8 for adults and £5 for students, bookable in advance or pay on the door.