The Spire by William Golding is a study of bringing the near-impossible into being.
Dean Jocelin has a vision: that God has chosen him to erect a spire on his cathedral. His mason advises against it, for the old cathedral was built without foundations. Nevertheless, the spire rises octagon upon octagon, pinnacle by pinnacle, until the stone pillars shriek and the ground beneath it swims. Its shadow falls ever darker on the world below, and on Dean Jocelin in particular.
‘Astounding . . . So recklessly beautiful, so sad and so strange . . . Holds such a place in my soul that it’s more or less a sacred text’ Sarah Perry
Across the east end of the nave of Canterbury Cathedral, where I was a volunteer guide for over a decade, there is a stone strainer arch erected by Prior Thomas Goldstone 500 years ago. It is a kind...Read more
Infinite Depths . . .
William Golding’s is not a large oeuvre: fifteen books, a play, an unfinished novel. Rereading everything, I am struck by the modesty of the pile through which I have worked, and the brevity of the...Read more
. . . and Tempests and Doldrums
William Golding was the only writer I have ever pursued. An Angry Young novel I wrote in three weeks when up at Cambridge, The Breaking of Bumbo, outsold Lord of the Flies that year for Faber &...Read more