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Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies

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Lord of the Flies

by Golding, William

  • Used
  • near fine
  • Signed
  • first
Near Fine/Very Good
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This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Portland, Oregon, United States
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About This Item

London: Faber and Faber, 1954. First Edition. Near Fine/Very Good. First edition, first printing. An advance presentation copy inscribed by William Golding to his next-door neighbors and dated ten days before publication, reading "To Mr and Mrs Nelles with the author's regards 7/9/54" with his name not signed. Bound in original red cloth with titles in white on spine. Near Fine with slight fading to cloth, bleeding to edges of front paste down and several tiny spots to textblock edge. In a Very Good or better unclipped dust jacket with light bleeding from cloth to blindside, light waviness to front panel, light edge wear, short tear at bottom of front spine joint and two short splits to rear spine joint.

An allegorical tale of children stranded on a coral island and their disastrous attempt to govern themselves. It was Golding's first novel, who was a middle-aged school teacher when he wrote it. After reading an unrealistic story of stranded youth, he commented to his wife he could do better. He drew upon on his experience as a school teacher, and at one point even divided the children into two groups and told them to fight each other and observed. The manuscript was rejected by many publishers, and even the book's publisher Faber and Faber initially rejected it as well.

A lovely association copy from a then-unknown British school teacher on the cusp of becoming a major novelist, inscribing a copy of his soon-to-be published book to his next-door neighbors. The novel would become a titan of twentieth-century literature and would be named as one of the Modern Library 100 Best Novels, ranked number 41 on the editor's list and 25 by readers. In 1983, Golding was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his novels which, with the perspicuity of realistic narrative art and the diversity and universality of myth, illuminate the human condition in the world of today.


  Even though Lord of the Flies is a frequent submission on any banned books list, many high school students are first introduced to this classic piece of literature in their freshman English class. Using very young protagonists set in a harsh, wild environment, author William Golding's disturbing and engaging novel addresses the themes of human nature and personal welfare, often resulting in violence and murder. Despite its controversial subject matter, it is often considered one of the best novels of the 20th Century. Lord of the Flies turned Golding into a household name, and although Lord of the Flies was his most popular book, he remained a successful author long after its publication. In fact, Golding was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1983, where he remarked that he sought to “...illuminate the human condition in the world of today” through his novels. Published in 1954 in London by Faber and Faber,  Lord of the Flies  has sold over millions of copies worldwide. It has been translated into many languages, including Basque and Catalan. Evidently, even though the book focuses on the trials and tribulations of twelve young boys, the themes and archetypes resonate with all readers. 

Read More: Identifying first editions of Lord of the Flies


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Burnside Rare Books, ABAA US (US)
Bookseller's Inventory #
Lord of the Flies
Golding, William
Book Condition
Used - Near Fine
Jacket Condition
Very Good
Quantity Available
First Edition
Faber and Faber
Place of Publication
Date Published
0.00 lbs
1st UK, first state, printing, signed, advance, presentation copy, association copy
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Burnside Rare Books, ABAA

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About the Seller

Burnside Rare Books, ABAA

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Biblio member since 2010
Portland, Oregon
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About Burnside Rare Books, ABAA

Burnside Rare Books specializes in literary first editions and works of cultural and historic significance. We are located in Portland, Oregon and welcome visitors by appointment.


Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

Association Copy
An association copy is a copy of a book which has been signed and inscribed by the author for a personal friend, colleague, or...
First Edition
In book collecting, the first edition is the earliest published form of a book. A book may have more than one first edition in...
A book in fine condition exhibits no flaws. A fine condition book closely approaches As New condition, but may lack the...
Sometimes used as another term for dust jacket, a protective and often decorative wrapper, usually made of paper which wraps...
"Cloth-bound" generally refers to a hardcover book with cloth covering the outside of the book covers. The cloth is stretched...
The collective of the top, fore and bottom edges of the text block of the book, being that part of the edges of the pages of a...
When a book is described as being inscribed, it indicates that a short note written by the author or a previous owner has been...
The outer portion of a book which covers the actual binding. The spine usually faces outward when a book is placed on a shelf....

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