Reading Jan Morris’s 1984 travel book “Journeys”, I came across an amusing passage.
Writing of the great 13th century Wells Cathedral in Somerset, and noting its tiny handful of parishioners, she concluded, “It crossed my mind, indeed so ubiquitous were the symptoms of restoration, that the cathedral’s chief function had become its own repair”.
That was nearly half a century back since whom the decline of the Anglican church has it now on death’s door.
I took the mickey out of this situation in my novella “Heaven Sent”, published last year.
Reading old travel books is always fascinating, even when as with Journeys they’re only half a century old. They bring home how rapidly the world has changed in a host of ways, often amusing.
For example I have a 1920s book by an American travelling through the Caribbean, including a chapter titled “The Darkie Problem”. Imagine the fuss that would erupt by that today.