William Golding was born in Cornwall, England on September 19, 1911. Although educated to be a scientist at the request of his father, he developed an interest in literature. At Oxford University, he studied natural science for two years and then transferred to a program for English literature and philosophy. He eventually became a schoolmaster at Bishop Wordsworth's School in Salisbury. During World War II, he joined the Royal Navy and was involved in the sinking of the German battleship Bismarck. After the war, he returned to Bishop Wordsworth's School and taught there until 1962. His first novel, Lord of the Flies, was published in 1954 and was made into a film in 1963. His other novels include The Inheritors, Free Fall, The Spire, The Pyramid, The Paper Men, Close Quarters, and Fire down Below. He won the Booker Prize for Rites of Passage in 1980 and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1983. He also wrote plays, essays, and short stories. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1988. He died on June 19, 1993.
Edward Morgan Forster was born on January 1, 1879, in London, England. He never knew his father, who died when Forster was an infant. Forster graduated from King's College, Cambridge, with B.A. degrees in classics (1900) and history (1901), as well as an M.A. (1910). In the mid-1940s he returned to Cambridge as a professor, living quietly there until his death in 1970. Forster was named to the Order of Companions of Honor to the Queen in 1953. Forster's writing was extensively influenced by the traveling he did in the earlier part of his life. After graduating from Cambridge, he lived in both Greece and Italy, and used the latter as the setting for the novels Where Angels Fear to Tread (1905) and A Room with a View (1908). The Longest Journey was published in 1907. Howard's End was modeled on the house he lived in with his mother during his childhood. During World War I, he worked as a Red Cross Volunteer in Alexandria, aiding in the search for missing soldiers; he later wrote about these experiences in the nonfiction works Alexandria: A History and Guide and Pharos and Pharillon. His two journeys to India, in 1912 and 1922, resulted in A Passage to India (1924), which many consider to be Forster's best work; this title earned the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. Forster wrote only six novels, all prior to 1925 (although Maurice was not published until 1971, a year after Forster's death, probably because of its homosexual theme). For much of the rest of his life, he wrote literary criticism (Aspects of the Novel) and nonfiction, including biographies (Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson), histories, political pieces, and radio broadcasts. Howard's End, A Room with a View, and A Passage to India have all been made into successful films.