Golding, who won the Nobel Prize in 1983, three years after bagging the Booker for Rites Of Passage, admitted trying to rape a 15-year-old schoolgirl when he was an 18-year-old student at Oxford, according to a forthcoming biography by John Carey.
The schoolgirl put up a fierce resistance. But they had sex two years later, according to Golding, who nevertheless called her "depraved by nature" and "sexy as an ape" in his unpublished memoir, Men, Women & Now. He wrote it for Ann, his wife of 50 years, to explain his “monstrous” character.
He also confessed how, later as a schoolteacher, he got schoolboys to fight among themselves. His first and most famous novel, Lord Of The Flies, is about a group of schoolboys who turn savages when marooned on an island after a plane crash.
Carey, a literary critic and an emeritus professor of English literature at Oxford, had access to the previously unseen archive of Golding, who died in 1993, aged 81. It comprises three unpublished novels, two autobiographical works and a journal of two million words written over 20 years, says the Sunday Times.
Golding, who studied natural science before switching to English literature at Oxford, admitted he used “a certain measure of experimental science” as a schoolteacher to see what happened when boys were given more liberty. “I gave them more and my eyes came out like organ stops as I watched what was happening.”
Once he took a group of schoolboys on a field trip near Salisbury and got them to form two gangs – one to attack a neolithic enclosure and the other to defend it.
The schoolboys in Lord Of The Flies also break up into two warring groups.
Carey's biography throws new light on the novel which was published after many publishers rejected it, says the Sunday Times. It adds: