Interesting article in the Telegraph about how victorian novels tell us how to behave, ie act as social glue.
No surprises there, The Romans and the Greeks did it with myths, and then when they got too sophisticated for fiary stories, developed a set of philosophies - stoicism anyone?
Same is true for Confucius, Bhudda, the Koran, and so on, all encoding precepts of how people ought to behave.
So it's hardly surprising that the secular port modern middle classes use victorian novels to tell them how to behave, or dare one suggest, the glossy tv adaptions of those novels? So much more cultural and refined than soap operas or star trek.
However, besides being snarky, there's a point here. Story telling does reinforce ideas of how to behave, and given that society is increasingly secular in the UK and Australia it's hardly surprising that Victorian novels with their 'moral' themes serve as an exemplar, given their accessibility via glossy dramatisations, at least to the overwhelmingly female middle class audience for these dramatisations.
So, where do those people who are not middle class, not female, and not of an anglo cultural background get their exemplars from?