One comes back to nineteenth-century novels again and again, largely because of the sheer beauty of the reasoning: happiness at last, achieved through the exercise of faithfulness and right thinking. That this was still possible if one were a lesser, even a fallen being, I doubted; nevertheless it continued to make a forceful impression. And there was always a marriage, seen as the right true end, and this I did not doubt. The fragmentation of present-day society had meant a loss of hope, so that those who harboured traditional leanings were largely disappointed.
The Rules of Engagement, Ch. 15