William Golding The Spire

ISBN 13: 9780151847402

The Spire

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Dean Jocelin has a vision: that God has chosen him to erect a great spire on his cathedral. His mason anxiously advises against it, for the old cathedral was built without foundations. Nevertheless, the spire rises octagon upon octagon, pinnacle by pinnacle, until the stone pillars shriek and the ground beneath it swims. Its shadow falls ever darker on the world below, and on Dean Jocelin in particular.

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About the Author:

William Golding was born in Cornwall in 1911 and was educated at Marlborough Grammar School and at Brasenose College, Oxford. Before he became a schoolmaster he was an actor, a lecturer, a small-boat sailor and a musician. A now rare volume, Poems, appeared in 1934. In 1940 he joined the Royal Navy and saw action against battleships, and also took part in the pursuit of the Bismarck. He finished the war as a Lieutenant in command of a rocket ship, which was off the French coast for the D-Day invasion, and later at the island of Welcheren. After the war he returned to Bishop Wordsworth's School in Salisbury and was there when his first novel, Lord of the Flies, was published in 1954. He gave up teaching in 1961. Lord of the Flies was filmed by Peter Brook in 1963. Golding listed his hobbies as music, chess, sailing, archaeology and classical Greek (which he taught himself). Many of these subjects appear in his essay collections The Hot Gates and A Moving Target. He won the Booker Prize for his novel Rites of Passage in 1980, and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1983. He was knighted in 1988. He died at his home in the summer of 1993. The Double Tongue, a novel left in draft at his death, was published in June 1995.

Review:

In the 14th century, when men broke their backs and lost their lives toiling with stone to build the great cathedrals, Den Jocelin is visited by an angel who tells him to erect a spire upon a building that has no foundations. Despised as a lunatic and self-deceiver, Jocelin's will forces the spire upwards, course by course, until the pillars begin to sing and the earth to crawl. Golding's exposition of one man's struggle with the noble and ignoble sides of his nature confirmed him in 1964 as a writer of fantastic imaginative power, and the magic of this book is still extraordinarily potent to me today. (Kirkus (UK))

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Golding, William
Published by Harcourt (1964)
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William Golding
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