William Golding was born in 1911 and educated at his local grammar school and Brasenose College, Oxford. He published a volume of poems in 1934 and during the war served in the Royal Navy. Afterwards he returned to being a schoolmaster in Salisbury. Lord of the Flies, his first novel, was an immediate success, and was followed by a series of remarkable novels, including The Inheritors, Pincher Martin and The Spire. He won the Booker Prize for Rites of Passage in 1980, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1983, and was knighted in 1988. He died in 1993.