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    Sale 5822

    Fine Printed Books & Manuscripts including the Works of Charles Dickens

    1 June 2009, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 61

    RUSKIN, John (1819-1900). Seven autograph letters signed, to Joseph Watson [Secretary of the Literary and Philosophical Society, Newcastle], Mrs Scott, [Hardwicke] Rawnsley, William Tallack, Mr [Revely] and unknown recipients, Denmark Hill, Brantwood, Broadlands and n.p., 21 October 1854 - 8 July 1882 and n.d., together approximately 4½ pages, 8vo and 4to; two envelopes.

    Price Realised  

    RUSKIN, John (1819-1900). Seven autograph letters signed, to Joseph Watson [Secretary of the Literary and Philosophical Society, Newcastle], Mrs Scott, [Hardwicke] Rawnsley, William Tallack, Mr [Revely] and unknown recipients, Denmark Hill, Brantwood, Broadlands and n.p., 21 October 1854 - 8 July 1882 and n.d., together approximately 4½ pages, 8vo and 4to; two envelopes.

    Ruskin writes to his friend Rawnsley on a social question: 'this is a case in which law should instantly interfere. It compels children to go to school out of decent families -- why not off the roads? out of indecent ones? The only reason it is not done is that -- the lawgiver likes drinking too. He will get something to "cool" his tongue'. Other letters include references to lecturing ('a lecture is an awful thing to me ... I've written it so badly that if I don't remember how things fit in I shall get into a mess') and, in a letter to the prison reformer, William Tallack, an attack on the 'wishy washy humanities' in which his Society puts its faith, 'instead of believing God's prophets in their plain words'. (7)


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