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William Golding and the Archive (EAS3189)

StaffProfessor Tim Kendall - Lecturer
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level6
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks;

Module aims

  • To enable you to situate these texts within their historical context and to facilitate your appreciation of the relationship between artistic creativity and other forms of imaginative activity (e.g., dreaming).
  • To encourage you to consider the processes by which Golding developed his novels from their initial idea through (often multiple) drafts and revisions, to the published form.
  • To stimulate you to frame your readings of Golding’s fiction within a range of contextual frameworks, for example: other post-war novelists, the political landscape, discussions of multiculturalism, the rights of women and homosexuals, and modern psychoanalytical understandings of to the human mind.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of William Golding’s work
  • 2. Enter into contemporary scholarly conversations in literary criticism and relate those debates to Golding’s writing
  • 3. Compare and contrast primary texts written by William Golding, making connections between different texts across the module
  • 4. Consider the issue of (specifically, British) nationhood in relation to Golding’s post-war fiction

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 5. Demonstrate an advanced ability to analyse works of fiction and to relate their concerns and their modes of expression to their historical context
  • 6. Demonstrate an advanced ability to interrelate texts and discourses specific to their own discipline with issues in the wider context of cultural and intellectual history
  • 7. Demonstrate an advanced ability to understand and analyse relevant critical ideas, and to apply these ideas to literary texts

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 8. Through seminar work and presentations, demonstrate advanced communication skills, and an ability to work both individually and in groups
  • 9. Demonstrate appropriate research and bibliographic skills, an advanced capacity to construct a coherent, substantiated argument, and a capacity to write clear and correct prose
  • 10. Through research for seminars and essays, demonstrate advanced proficiency in information retrieval and analysis
  • 11. Through research and writing, demonstrate an advanced capacity to make critical use of secondary material, to question assumptions, and to reflect on the learning process

Syllabus plan

Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is envisioned that it will cover some or all of the following topics:

The module will take a roughly chronological approach to Golding’s fiction, but will intersperse discussion of other published and unpublished materials such as journals and short stories. There will be regular recourse to Golding’s manuscripts as a way of discussing the nature of creativity and the evolution of each novel from first idea to published book.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching22Two-hour seminars devoted to discussion of the main texts, and matters arising, for that week.
Scheduled learning and teaching11One-hour seminars devoted to consultation and study of Golding’s manuscripts. Each week’s teaching will always be in a three-hour block.
Guided independent study33Study group preparations and meetings
Guided independent study70Seminar preparation (individual)
Guided independent study164Reading, research and essay preparation

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay (re: manuscripts)503000 words1-7, 9-11Written feedback plus tutorial follow-up
Essay 503000 words1-7, 9-11Written feedback plus tutorial follow-up

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Essay (re: manuscripts)Essay (re: manuscripts)1-7, 9-11Referral/Deferral period
EssayEssay1-7, 9-11Referral/Deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Golding’s novels to purchase (all Faber):

  • Lord of the Flies (1954)
  • The Inheritors (1955)
  • Pincher Martin (1956)
  • Free Fall (1959)
  • The Spire (1964)
  • The Pyramid (1967)
  • Darkness Visible (1979)
  • The Paper Men (1984)
  • The Sea Trilogy (1990) [comprising Rites of Passage (1980), Close Quarters (1987), and Fire Down Below (1989)].
  • The Double Tongue (1995)

Selected Secondary Texts (all available in the library):

  • Carey, John. William Golding: the Man who Wrote Lord of the Flies. Faber, 2009.
  • Carey, John (ed.). William Golding: the Man and his Books. Faber, 1986.
  • Gindin, James. William Golding. Macmillan, 1988.
  • Gregor, Ian and Kinkead-Weekes, Mark. William Golding: a Critical Study of the Novels. 3rd ed. Faber, 2002.
  • McCarron, Kevin. William Golding. Northcote House in association with the British Council, 1994.
  • Page, Norman (ed.). William Golding: Novels, 1954-67: a Casebook. Macmillan, 1985.
  • Tiger, Virginia. William Golding: the Dark Fields of Discovery. Calder and Boyars, 1974.
  • Peter Brook (dir). Lord of the Flies (film). 1963.

Please note that the above is an indicative list of texts only, and may be subject to change each year. An up-to-date reading list for the current year can be found on ELE.

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

A module pack containing fugitive materials will be made available to students via the ELE site.

Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date


Key words search

William Golding, Archives, Editing, Twentieth Century, Novel