An intriguing report reveals changing patterns in religious belief around the world.
The UK is seeing a drop in religious belief and rising secularism. However, this is not unique to the Anglican Church – which might come as a relief to Trollope. The trend is Europe-wide.
That said, Trollope’s Barsetshire series focussed on the clergy at a time a significant change within the Church of England when such changes were important to the majority of his readers. The high church v low church debate we see in Barchester Towers is important and relevant to the everyday lives of his readership. How they publicly expressed their (largely) unquestioned belief was a major issue.
This report suggests that for the majority in the UK this would no longer be the case.
Where might Trollope look, if he were writing now, to capture the zeitgeist? what profession might he focus upon?
In the USA, John Grisham has made a career out of novels about lawyers – arguably reflecting the pre-occupation of the world’s most litigious society.
A possibility for a modern day Trollope in the UK might be the media industry. There would then surely be a place for Tom Towers and Quintus Slide – with a plot revolving around phone-hacking.
To read more about the report go to: