Lord of the Flies

William Golding

Illustrated by Sam Weber

Introduced by Ian McEwan

One of the most influential novels of the 20th century, it is both a gripping thriller and an ingenious parable about the nature of civilisation.


This is our island. It’s a good island. Until the grown-ups come to fetch us we’ll have fun.

Following a plane crash, a group of schoolboys is left marooned on a tropical island. Their initial attempts at co-operation soon founder and, as the veneer of civilisation wears away, their primitive instincts are unleashed, with horrifying consequences. In the 19th-century novel The Coral Island by R. M. Ballantyne, this same scenario - boys on an uninhabited island - was portrayed as a wholesome adventure. In the hands of Nobel Prize-winning author William Golding, it becomes a powerful and disturbing tale of the dark side of human nature.

Production Details

Bound in printed and blocked cloth

Set in Minion

248 pages

Frontispiece and 5 colour illustrations

Plain slipcase

9˝ x 5¾˝ 

A gripping thriller and haunting parable

Golding was a schoolmaster for many years and, as one reviewer observed, knew ‘exactly what boys are like’. With their initial faith in ‘grown-ups’ and their attempts to cling to the familiar class system, the boys are instantly recognisable: Piggy is the voice of reason, whose advice is tragically ignored; Ralph is the egalitarian who tries to enforce order, building shelters and organising rescue signals. His authority is destroyed by Jack, the hunter, whose lust for blood propels the novel towards its brutal climax. The story is made more compelling still by Golding’s use of imagery: the conch shell, fragile sign of democracy; Piggy’s glasses, symbol of technology, and the Lord of the Flies itself – the terrifying beast that haunts their dreams, and originates from within the boys themselves.

‘Beautifully written, tragic and provocative’
  1. E. M. Forster

First published in 1954, Lord of the Flies has been translated into every major language, selling over 25 million copies in English alone. One of the most influential novels of the 20th century, it is both a gripping thriller and an ingenious parable about the nature of civilisation. The preface in this edition is by novelist Ian McEwan and includes a series of arresting illustrations by Sam Weber that perfectly capture the novel’s highly charged atmosphere.

‘The vivid realism with which he describes the disintegration of their untried and precarious civilisation under the pressure of raw nature carries the reader to the bloody climax’
  1. The Times


About Sam Weber

Sam Weber was born in Alaska, and grew up in Deep River, Ontario, Canada. After attending the Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary, Sam moved to New York to pursue illustration and attend graduate school at The School of Visual Arts. His work for The Folio Society includes Lord of the Flies (2009) and Fahrenheit 451 (2011). His illustrations for Dune were painted in oil on board, with the black-and-white chapter headings in ink and charcoal on paper.


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