James Lovelock 1919–2022

We are deeply saddened to hear of the death of Professor James Lovelock on his 103rd birthday. William Golding and Jim were neighbours in Bowerchalke, Wiltshire in the 1960s and became good friends from a shared love of science and literature. It was Golding who suggested the name Gaia, the goddess of the earth in Greek mythology, for Lovelock’s theory ‘that life on Earth is a self-regulating community of organisms interacting with each other and their surroundings’.

Judy Golding comments: ‘My father and Jim really enjoyed each other’s company.  As neighbours in Bowerchalke, they became good walking companions, and shared a love of imagining the future, speculating on scientific developments (especially the space race), and – above all – laughter.  I have never seen my father laugh so much with anyone else.’

Related topics

Related Resources

  • On the original manuscript of The Inheritors, Golding wrote that the 'centre symbol is the waterfall,…

  • Golding’s biographer, John Carey, writes that Savernake Forest, on the outskirts of Marlborough,Wiltshire, was the inspiration…