May 29, 2022

Golding’s 'Lord of the Flies' Manuscript Displayed for the First Time at Bodleian Libraries

The exhibition opened today at the Bodleian Libraries (Oxford University).

From the Oxford Web Site:

William Golding’s manuscript of his classic novel Lord of the Flies, on loan from the Estate of William Golding, will be on public display for the first time. Curated by his daughter, Judy Carver, the Bodleian exhibition marks the centenary of the author’s birth.

The Lord of the Flies and beyond… display also includes a revised typescript of the novel. This was rejected by at least ten publishers before it was finally accepted for publication in September 1953 by the young editor Charles Monteith from Faber and Faber.  He spotted the potential of the novel, which was initially entitled Strangers from Within.  The rich exchange of correspondence between the author and his editor will be represented in the display by two letters on loan from Faber and Faber. The first letter is written by Golding when he submitted the manuscript. In the other letter dated 30 December 1953, Charles Monteith expresses his doubts about the initial title. He went through another 19 title suggestions before the novel was finally published a year later under the title Lord of the Flies.


The author’s life will be depicted in a selection of pictures from the family archive which will show Golding at different stages of his life: as a two-year old toddler on the beach near Newquay, where he was born; playing piano in his family home as a teenager; as a lieutenant in the Royal Navy in October 1944; and on various other occasion with his family to whom he was always very closed.

Also on display will be a selection of translations of Lord of the Flies as a testimony of how his novel has touched generations of children worldwide.

Read the Complete Announcement

See Also: Lord Of The Flies manuscript to go on display (via BBC News)

See Also: New App: Bodleian Libraries Treasures Now Available on Mobile

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.