Obituary: Sir William Golding

WILLIAM GOLDING will go down in history as a fine novelist, writes Stephen Quigley (further to the obituary by Stephen Medcalf, 21 June). But some of us will remember him simply as 'Scruff', a sensitive, rather modest schoolmaster who seemed a little preoccupied at times and who was rumoured to have failed at many attempts to get a book published.

But it was he who gave some of us our first insights into the earthiness of Shakespeare and the subtlety of the English language. He also got us to begin thinking about ethical matters by recommending that at the end of the day we make a practice of briefly reviewing the good things and the not so good things we had done during that day.

We who were still at Bishop Wordsworth's when Lord of the Flies was published will recall the buzz that spread through the school when its importance began to emerge. We had an inkling we were in at the beginning of something great. But try as we might we could identify no one in the story, not the sad, intelligent Piggy, certainly none of the ultimate villains, and regretfully not even the heroic Ralph, with anyone we knew.

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