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Episode summary: The Rural Idyll? Last year the National Trust produced a controversial report which revealed that 93 of its properties have direct links to colonialism and slavery. In this programme, Laurie Taylor talks to Corinne Fowler, Professor of Post Colonial Literature at the University of Leicester, whose new study engages directly with this painful history, uncovering the countryside’s repressed colonial past and its relationship to notions of Englishness. How have pastoral mythologies in English literature served to erase the story of Empire? In what ways do contemporary writers of colour offer a challenge to uncritical celebrations of our ‘green and pleasant’ land? They’re joined by Paul Readman, Professor of Modern British History at King’s College London, whose recent research considers the relationship between landscape and English national identity, from the rural to the urban. Thinking Allowed is produced in partnership with the Open University. Producer: Jayne Egerton

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