For immediate release


(Victoria, BC – March 28, 2006) Visitors to have been quick to point out notable omissions from Melvyn Bragg’s list of hugely influential books to be featured in his new ITV series – Twelve Books That Changed The World.

When asked if Melvyn had missed any ground-breaking books, the responses stretched from the Koran to Canterbury Tales to Don Quixote to Das Kapital – none of which made his list.

The TV series begins on Shakespeare’s birthday (April 23) and will feature:

  • Principia (1687) by Isaac Newton
  • Married Love (1918) by Marie Stopes
  • The Magna Carta (1215)
  • The Rule Book of the Football Association (1863)
  • The Origin of the Species (1859) by Charles Darwin
  • On The Abolition of Slavery (1789) by William Wilberforce
  • A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) by Mary Wollstonecraft
  • Experimental Researches on Electricity (1839) by Michael Faraday
  • King James Bible (1611)
  • Patent Specification for Arkright’s Spinning Wheel (1769) by Richard Arkwright
  • First folio (1623) by William Shakespeare

Visitors to made the following suggestions:

The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer – suggested by Conor in Luton
“It enabled the world's leading nation for three centuries to see itself in a rich and varied way, made criticism and irony normal, and established a comic outlook as a component in English life.”

The Koran – suggested by Thariq in Birmingham
“Look at the world today. No book has impacted the lives of so many on a daily basis. Any list that does not include this is a superficial one.”

The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien – suggested by Istvan in Cheltenham
“It changed my world because it showed what an imagination is capable of. It changed the world because many have tried to imitate but none have managed to equal or surpass Tolkien's work.”

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes – suggested by Vicente in London
“It helps human kind to understand it is OK to dream when we are awake, that we all dream, that we do it to escape from the dark sides of life in search of love and adventure… fairness and completion. The book encouraged people to read and encouraged literature, and in turn literacy.”

Manifesto of the Communist Party by Marx & Engel – suggested by John
“It changed the political landscape of the 20th century.”

Das Kapital by Karl Marx - suggested by Stuart in Gloucester and many others
“It led to the killing of tens of millions and enslavement of hundreds of millions of people. Bad history, bad economics and bad philosophy.”

The Female Eunuch by Germaine Greer - suggested by Liz in Brighton
“It fired up the second wave of the Women's Liberation movement in the 1970s which has had a huge effect on women and society since.”

Baby and Child Care by Dr Benjamin Spock – suggested by Penelope in London
“It changed attitudes to children as individuals who deserved care and gave women more confidence as mothers.”

Treatise of Human Nature by David Hume – suggested by Frank in Edinburgh
“It changed forever how men look at personal identity and at the world of cause and effect like two billiard balls striking each other and whether we can be sure the sun will rise tomorrow.”

The Waste Land by TS Eliot - suggested by Val in Durban, South Africa
“The face of poetry changed from the verses that had preceded Eliot's poetry to strong sensitive poems which revealed the world as it was and is. It had an effect on everyone who read it.”

Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse – suggested by Phil in Hastings
“Together with Hesse's other work, it probably influenced even Kerouac, and set the whole 'flower-power' era of the 1960s moving - an amazing period for those who were around.”

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare – suggested by Fred in Oxford
“It’s a classic for romantics.”

Etudes sur la Vin by Louis Pasteur – suggested by Martyn in London
“This book placed biochemistry on a sound scientific footing for the first time.”

The Book of Mormon – suggested by Nora in Stockport
“It resulted in the creation of a new and controversial sect of Christianity. It requires the reader to accept its teaching purely on faith as there is no evidence whatsoever, anywhere for any of the events it describes.”

Silent Spring by Rachael Carson – suggested by Jenni in London
“Carson was the first scientist to effectively communicate the message that progress had a price. By documenting the dangers to the environment and to health posed by advances in technology, she kicked off the modern environmental movement.”


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