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The Novels that Shaped Our World - BBC2

(Image credit: BBC/IWC Media)

How have the subject of race and the fact of the Empire changed the novels we read? In its second episode, The Novels That Shaped Our World finds out

The second episode of The Novels that Shaped Our World reveals how race and empire have been represented and challenged by authors over the last 300 years (Saturday, 9.45pm, see our TV Guide for full details).

Don Warrington

Don Warrington is one of the readers

It begins with actor Robson Green reading from Robinson Crusoe, by Daniel Defoe, which is often considered to be the first novel written in English, to examine the relationship between Crusoe and his slave Friday.

MORE: Robson Green in Whats On TV

In 1852 Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe was published, transforming attitudes towards slavery.

Over a century later, another iconic American author, Toni Morrison, won huge acclaim for her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Beloved, also about the horrors of slavery.

Actors Don Warrington and Robbie Coltrane also read from more influential works about racism, power and injustice.

TV Times rating: ****