Now we have left the EU, it is worth remembering how deeply intertwined our literary culture has been with that of our continental neighbours. Beowulf, possibly the closest thing we have to a national epic, is a Danish saga related in Old English.
There would be no Chaucer without Petrarch; no Milton without Homer and Virgil; no Shakespeare without Ovid. Picking a mere 10 novels from the vast wealth on offer is an almost impossible task.
I have tried therefore to choose those that have had influence, or that are particularly original, or are relevant to our current trials. As with all lists, it is only a glimpse into something much, much wider. The Republic of Letters is a fluid, welcoming space: its boundaries will always be open.
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