The Towers of Trebizond was published in 1956 to great acclaim, though puzzling reviewers and critics as to its genre. Alexandra Peat describes it as 'a modernist text published outside the historical parameters of modernism; a comical work that tackles a serious subject; a religious book written in a secular age', that has been 'either dismissed' as 'an Anglican book' or 'roundly ignored'. Paradox is a powerful rhetorical tool, a way of looking at the world from different perspectives, and Rose Macaulay was an adept at it. Rose Macaulay loved to collect quotations, a taste that sprang first of all from her love of words and of English prose and poetry, mostly of the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods, her favourites. A great number of the extracts she selected for The Minor Pleasures of Life are about religion, a theme she already explored in Some Religious Elements in English Literature (1931), and would touch upon again in Life among the English.