The Spire by William Golding

‘Ad majorem Dei Gloriam’ – ‘To the greater glory of God’ is the motto of the Society of Jesus. It can also be understood as the aim of constructing all the buildings and creative works of art which are really hymns in stone, word and music to the divine.

Golding ( gives us Dean Jocelin who determines to construct a 400 foot spire above his cathedral. Is the effort really an exercise in vanity, though? Vanity is the deadliest of the sins and Golding shows how evil and corruption are coiled right at the heart of piety. The explanation of medieval building techniques is particularly compelling. The Spire was published in 1964.

William Golding

224 pages in Faber and Faber paperback edition.

ISBN 978-0571225460

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