William Golding’s footsteps: Salisbury

It feels a million miles away from the pressures of London strolling through the fields of Salisbury, Wiltshire. Caught in the pause, I take this photograph and reflect that novelist William Golding is rumoured to have enjoyed this very walk.


In 1935 Golding started teaching English and philosophy at Bishop Wordsworth’s School in Salisbury. His experience of teaching unruly young boys would later serve as inspiration for his novel Lord of the Flies. The novel told the gripping story of a group of adolescent boys stranded on a deserted island after a plane wreck. Lord of the Flies explored the savage side of human nature as the boys, let loose from the constraints of society, brutally turned against one another in the face of an imagined enemy. Riddled with symbolism, the book set the tone for Golding’s future work, in which he continued to examine man’s internal struggle between good and evil. Since its publication, the novel has been widely regarded as a classic. Golding was brought up in a politically radical family. His father, (Alec Golding) was a science master at nearby Marlborough Grammar School, a socialist who advocated science-inspired rationalism His mother, Mildred was a campaigner for female suffrage.

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