BBC Series To Kick Off Year Long Celebration of Literature

It looks like UK audiences are going to get a taste of something like The Great American Read.

The BBC is to host a year-long celebration with new programming across the BBC tv channels, radio stations and on their website. One of the new shows will be a “landmark” BBC2 series, The Novel That Shaped Our World, which will broadcast this fall. 

This is all according to the British magazine, The Bookseller:

The three-part series “will examine the novel from three perspectives: empire and slavery, women’s voices, and working class experiences”, arguing that the novel has always been “a revolutionary agent of social change”. Episode one will examine responses to race and empire, from Robinson Crusoe and Uncle Tom’s Cabin to Things Fall Apart and Wide Sargasso Sea. Episode two explores women and the novel, from Richardson’s Pamela and the work of Jane Austen to Mary Shelley and Virginia Woolf, and on to Zadie Smith and Arundhati Roy. The final episode will look at the class struggle explored in novels, from Dickens, Gaskell and Hardy to Robert Tressell’s The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist, and on to the group of working class writers that began to write their own stories in post-war Britain. Broadcast dates are yet to be unveiled.

There will also be a The Novels That Shaped Our World Festival, a collaboration between the BBC, libraries and reading groups, covering a list of 100 novels which have had an impact over the last three centuries, chosen by broadcaster Mariella Frostrup, authors Juno Dawson, Kit de Waal and Alexander McCall Smith, Bradford Festival Literary Director Syima Aslam and TLS editor Stig Abell. The panel will appear on BBC Radio 2’s Book Club with Jo Whiley, and the 100 English-language novels will be discussed at an event hosted by Whiley at the British Library on 8th November.

You can read the full article on the news here.

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