Her own people were mostly miserable. They wrote long glum books and sang glum songs and went on glumly about the extent of winter and the sound of the rivers freezing and the shortage of meat – not just the serfs who had had every reason to feel thoroughly depressed, but the rich and privileged. They worried about their souls and stared deeply and hopelessly into the depths of themselves. Well, that was how they had always carried on in the past anyway. It might be different since the upheavals, but Aunt Irene doubted it – circumstances did little to alter the nature of populations. They were probably worse, if the truth were known.
Alice Thomas Ellis, The 27th Kingdom (1982)