William Golding at his home in Cornwall, late 1980s. Photo: William Golding Ltd, on behalf of the photographer.

Golding’s literary legacy shines in Exeter

Nobel Prize winning novelist and Cornwall’s most famous literary son, the late Sir William Golding, is being celebrated by the University of Exeter at a special memorial lecture on Thursday 5 March.

Golding’s daughter, Judy Carver is showing her support by attending and sponsoring the inaugural lecture organised by the University’s Centre for South West Writing.

The keynote speaker is the highly respected literary critic, poet and former editor for Faber and Faber, Craig Raine, who knew Golding and interviewed him on several occasions. The special lecture is open to the public and starts at 5pm in the Queen’s Building on the Streatham Campus in Exeter.

Following a visit from Judy Carver to the University’s Cornwall Campus last year, a relationship has started between the University and the Golding family. This has added to the students’ appreciation of the British novelist and further strengthens the connection between the great English novelist and the South West.

Professor Nick Groom said, ‘Judy generously shared the ideas that her father expressed in his work and his relationship to Cornwall. This collaboration with the Golding family allows the students to focus on literature in the South West and supports the English MA where there is a focus on the links between literature, place and identity.’

Further connections are being developed through the University’s Special Collection archives where a number of letters from Golding about his most well known novel, Lord of the Flies, and the making of Peter Brook’s film, form the basis of a growing collection. Golding’s personal copy of The Plays of Christopher Marlowe in which he has inscribed his name and extensively annotated in pencil is also part of the archive.

Professor of English, Tim Kendall, credits Golding for having turned him into a prolific reader. When in his early teens his mother brought home a library copy of Golding’s fifth novel, The Spire he was hooked: ‘I finished it in one sitting, and immediately started again. I was drawn in by the drama surrounding the building of the cathedral spire. It was the first time I appreciated how addictive great literature can be.’

Professor Kendall will be speaking on William Golding and War at the Daphne du Maurier Festival on the 14 May at 2.30 in Fowey Town Hall, as part of the public lecture series given by the University of Exeter.

The collaboration with William Golding Limited, a private company founded by Golding in 1961 and run by the Golding family, enhances research carried out in the University’s Centre for South West Writing (Exeter) and the soon to be established Centre for Literatures of Identity and Place on the University’s Cornwall Campus.

Date: 4 March 2009

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