William Golding (1911-1993) was a Booker and Nobel Prize-winning author, best known for his first novel, Lord of the Flies, published originally in 1954 and adapted for film in 1963. His other works include The Inheritors (1955), Pincher Martin (1956), The Spire (1964), Rites of Passage (1980), The Double Tongue (published posthumously in 1995) a now rare volume, Poems (1934) and the essay collections The Hot Gates and A Moving Target. Golding was educated at Marlborough Grammar School and at Brasenose College, Oxford. Before his writing career, Golding was a schoolmaster. He was also a keen actor, musician and small-boat sailor. In 2008, The Times ranked Golding third on their list of The 50 greatest British writers since 1945. John Gray is a political philosopher, author and former School Professor of European Thought at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His books include Seven Types of Atheism, False Dawn: the Delusions of Global Capitalism, Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and The Death of Utopia and The Silence of Animals: On Progress and Other Modern Myths. Gray contributes regularly to The Guardian, The Times Literary Supplement and the New Statesman, where he is the lead book reviewer.