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A History of Britain: the forces of nature

BBC2 ,Tuesday, May 28, 9-10pm

A virtuoso lesson from Simon Schama opens the final part of his history of Britain, as he contemplates the late 18th-century discovery of nature, the revolution in France and the British reaction to the terror. What a cast - Rousseau, Tom Paine, Wordsworth, Mary Wollstonecraft, Edmund Burke - and what a ferment of ideas, through which Schama succeeds brilliantly in steering his argument about reason and sentiment, political and industrial revolutions, progress, reaction and Romanticism. We can still feel the effect of these forces. The main outlines of the story may be well known, but there are some surprises, too.

ROBIN BUSS

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