The two discussed Lovelock's hypothesis that the living matter of the planet Earth functions like a single organism and Golding suggested naming this hypothesis after Gaia the goddess of the earth in Greek mythology. Golding's later novels include Darkness Visible (1979) The Paper Men (1984) and the comic-historical sea trilogy To the Ends of the Earth comprising the Booker Prize-winning Rites of Passage (1980) Close Quarters (1987) and Fire Down Below (1989). 
In 1970 Golding was a candidate for the Chancellorship of the University of Kent at Canterbury but lost to the politician and leader of the Liberal Party Jo Grimond.
Sir William Gerald Golding CBE (19 September 1911 – 19 June 1993) was an English novelist poet playwright and Nobel Prize in Literature laureate best known for his novel Lord of the Flies. In 2008 The Times ranked Golding third on their list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945". He was also awarded the Booker Prize for literature in 1980 for his novel Rites of Passage the first book of the trilogy To the Ends of the Earth.