Henry Townsend, a black farmer and former slave, has an unusual mentor—William Robbins, perhaps the most powerful man in antebellum Virginia’s Manchester County. Townsend becomes proprietor of his own plantation—as well as of his own slaves. When he dies, his widow, Caldonia succumbs to profound grief and things begin to fall apart at their plantation. Families who had once found love beneath the weight of slavery begin to betray one another and the known world also unravels. Join librarians Janice Angliss and Amy Gretchyn as they lead a discussion of this novel that weaves together the lives of freed and enslaved blacks, whites and Indians, allowing the reader to gain a deeper understanding of the multidimensional world created by the institution of slavery. Copies of The Known World are available at the Reference desk.