There is something strange about watching the news, specifically when they greet viewers just joining from overseas when it is last thing at night in your mind, now I get to watch the same shows on BBC News that I used to drop off to, with my morning coffee. Had I been up late watching, I would have certainly forgotten to check out The Hundred Stories That Shaped the World by the next morning.
I’m not sure if this flew under the radar back home or not but for those of you not familiar, here is the catch up. In April the BBC polled authors, academics, journalists, critics, translators in 35 countries to nominate five works of fiction that they felt had changed or shaped history. The top ten with the most votes were as follows:
1. The Odyssey (Homer, 8th Century BC)
2. Uncle Tom’s Cabin (Harriet Beecher Stowe, 1852)
3. Frankenstein (Mary Shelley, 1818)
4. Nineteen Eighty-Four (George Orwell, 1949)
5. Things Fall Apart (Chinua Achebe, 1958)
6. One Thousand and One Nights (various authors, 8th-18th Centuries)
7. Don Quixote (Miguel de Cervantes, 1605-1615)
8. Hamlet (William Shakespeare, 1603)
9. One Hundred Years of Solitude (Gabriel García Márquez, 1967)
10. The Iliad (Homer, 8th Century BC)
The other 80 books of the list, and the author’s reasons for picking the top ten can all be found here and is well worth a look. As I never usually bother to ask pointed questions, as I know you lot are intelligent enough to pick up on my unspoken cues and will always give me good comments, I may as well, for novelty’s sake, indulge in doing just that for once.
What fictional books do you believe have changed or shaped history, and/or the works that have changed or shaped your personal views upon life? Did the Harry Potter series really deserve to be on the list? Feel free to add and answer our own questions as well, such is my generosity.