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Monday, 15 February 2016

Lord of the Flies

Following around 20 rejections from other publishers, the English teacher William Golding (1911-1993) sent a manuscript to Faber & Faber. It was again rejected by their reader, but was championed by Charles Monteith, a new editor at the firm. Monteith asked for some changes to the text and the novel was published on September 17, 1954 as Lord of the Flies.

Lord of the Flies tells the story of a group of schoolboys, marooned on a desert island following a plane crash and their decline from adolescent innocence to vengeful barbarism. The book is an allegory of  the ingrained cruelty of man and its title is a literal Hebrew meaning of the word "Beelzebub".

Cover art can or could be obtained from Faber & Faber. Wikipedia

Golding drew on the wartime ‘evil’ he witnessed in the Royal Navy for the story, and admitted having been a childhood bully. “I enjoyed hurting people,” he said.

Although it was not a great success at the time—selling fewer than 3,000 copies in the United States during 1955 before going out of print— Lord Of the Flies soon went on to become a best-seller.

When J. R. R. Tolkien sold the movie rights for Lord of the Rings, he forbade Disney from ever becoming involved.

The final song on U2's 1980 debut album Boy takes its title, "Shadows and Tall Trees", from Chapter 7 in the book.

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