Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger introduces Orwell’s masterpiece in this striking new edition.
Lord of the Flies
Illustrated by Sam Weber
Introduced by Ian McEwan
One of the most influential novels of the 20th century, William Golding’s Lord of the Flies is presented as a unique Folio Society edition, illustrated by Sam Weber and introduced by Ian McEwan.
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. Nobel Prize-winning author William Golding’s powerful and disturbing novel is given a startling new interpretation in this illustrated edition. Award-winning artist Sam Weber explores the themes of anarchy, camaraderie and the dark side of human nature in a series of six extraordinary illustrations, while his striking binding design depicts a pivotal scene in the book.
Bound in printed and blocked cloth
Set in Minion
Frontispiece and 5 colour illustrations
9˝ x 5¾˝
First published in 1954, Lord of the Flies has been translated into every major language, selling over 25 million copies in English alone. The classic childhood fantasy of a carefree existence without adult intervention has captured the imagination of older and younger readers alike; the descent into anarchy revealing a horrifying but inevitable truth about human nature. In his fascinating preface, Booker Prize-winning author Ian McEwan relates his own relationship with the novel; its discovery having such a profound effect on his 13-year-old self that he remembers, ‘the double thickness cardboard covers’ and that ‘it was the kind of book that crackled when first opened’.
‘Beautifully written, tragic and provocative’
- E. M. Forster
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.
Born in Cornwall in 1911, William Golding attended Marlborough Grammar School and went on to study English Literature at Oxford University. He worked as a teacher but took a break from the classroom in 1940, when he joined the Royal Navy to fight in World War Two. When he returned to teaching he also focussed more on writing and, after 21 rejections, his first and best-known novel The Lord of the Flies was finally published in 1954. Golding was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1983 and in 1988 he was knighted. He died in Cornwall in 1993.
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.
Ian McEwan is a critically acclaimed author whose works have been translated into over thirty languages. Educated at the University of Sussex and the University of East Anglia, his first published work, the collection of short stories First Love, Last Rites (1975), won the Somerset Maugham Award. As well as Atonement (2001), his novels include The Child in Time, which won the 1987 Whitbread Novel of the Year Award, Enduring Love (1997), Amsterdam, which won the 1998 Booker Prize, Saturday (2005), On Chesil Beach (2007), Sweet Tooth (2012) and The Children Act (2014). His most recent novel is Nutshell (2016).
You May Also Like
Never has a plague-ravaged world been so brilliantly depicted. Dark, edgy and eerily prophetic, Oryx and Crake is the blistering page-turner from Margaret Atwood that is making its stunning Folio debut.
The book that launched a phenomenal global franchise, Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park is a rip-roaring, fact-filled, rollercoaster read and this illustrated Folio Society edition is the T-Rex of them all.
The sci-fi adventure that launched a global franchise, Planet of the Apes is given a timely Folio release with David de las Heras’s spectacular artwork and a thought-provoking introduction by primatologist Frans de Waal.
Cormac McCarthy’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Road is presented as a Folio collector’s edition, with artist Gérard DuBois’s beautiful and desolate illustrations and Michael Chabon’s New York Review of Books essay. Winner of the Moira Gemmill Illustrator of the Year Prize at the V&A Illustration Awards 2022.