There is some indication that Trollope was patronized for a while by an English nobleman with ulterior political motives. While Trollope can bog down modern readers (many authors who wrote in the 1800s were wordy)--
his religious satire in the series that is begun by this book is brilliant in how it exposes the tendency for institutions to become petrified but also the dangers of too-rapid change.
I think, personally, that it helps to understand America's political and religious climate by reading about the British model that preceded it.
For the more politically inclined series:
It's easy to see how political culture perpetuates itself, even if you don't believe in conspiracies, but especially if you do. *wink*
For pure escapism, anything by Dorothy Sayers and the Nero Wolfe series by Rex Stout:
old stuff; nothing amazing here. Time-tested.
it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--
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