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Lord of the Flies manuscript on display

books Updated: Nov 07, 2011 12:19 IST

PTI
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For the first time, the original manuscript of the classic novel 'Lord of the Flies' by Nobel Prize-winning author William Golding, is being displayed at the Bodleian Library in Oxford.

The novel, initially titled 'Strangers from Within', was rejected by at least 10 publishers before it was accepted by Faber and Faber, and went to become one of the classics.

The manuscript is on loan from the Estate of the William Golding and the exhibition, which runs until December 23, marks the centenary of the author's birth.

It has been curated by his daughter Judy Carver, a university release said.

Golding was awarded the Nobel prize for Literature in 1983.

The rich exchange of correspondence between the author and his editor Charles Monteith will be represented in the display by two letters on loan from Faber and Faber.

The first letter is written by Golding when he submitted the manuscript.

In the other letter dated December 30 1953, Monteith expresses his doubts about the initial title.

He went through another 19 title suggestions before the novel was finally published a year later under the title 'Lord of the Flies'.

An Oxford University alumnus, Golding went on to publish 11 more novels as well as a play, two books of essays, many reviews, and a journal of his travels in Egypt.

First editions of his novels - signed by the author himself and inscribed to his parents, wife and children - will also be on display in the Bodleian.

Carver said: "The story of the publication of Lord of the Flies is a fascinating one...through his subsequent novels readers can explore the rich, surprising and often comic world of my father's imagination".

Richard Ovenden, Deputy Librarian, said: "For more than five decades millions of readers throughout the world have been stimulated by Golding's literary insight, power, and originality.

"We hope that readers of today will have the opportunity to come and visit the display and see for themselves Golding's creative process at work in the pages of this manuscript: one of the literary masterpieces of the 20th century."