In the 18th century, James Hargreaves invented the Spinning Jenny, and Richard Arkwright pioneered the water-propelled spinning frame which led to the mass production of cotton. This was truly revolutionary. The cotton manufacturers created a whole new class of people - the urban proletariat. The structure of society itself would never be the same.
It would no doubt be very sentimental to argue - but I would argue it nevertheless - that the peculiar combination of joy and sadness in bell music - both of clock chimes, and of change-ringing - is very typical of England. It is of a piece with the irony in which English people habitually address one another.
Everyone writes in Tolstoy's shadow, whether one feels oneself to be Tolstoyan or not. His influence on the dissident writers of the Soviet Uniton was enormous. Figures like Grossman or Solzhenitsyn, although their language is less elevated, were dominated by a Tolstoyan desire to use fiction to tell the truth of history.