I've been reading At Home by Bill Bryson, a book about the history of the 1851 parsonage that is his private residence in Hampshire, England. Bryson is a wonderful storyteller, and a keen social historian—and, as it happens, a fellow Iowan.
The book has me thinking a great deal about the Victorian period in English history. The Victorians were the first generation to grapple on a huge scale with the direct knowledge of a suddenly vast, cold, and empty universe; they turned the instruments of science on Nature, and it terrified them. Doubt crept in where there had been Faith, and they were haunted by it. So I thought that as an exercise we could take a representative text from the period and apply an Epicurean balm to the intellectual and emotional trauma that we find there. I'll have more to say myself when I get the time, but for now I'll just link to the text.
For your consideration; Dover Beach by the English poet Matthew Arnold.