RUSKIN, John (1819-1900). Seven autograph letters signed, to Annie, Agatha, Mrs Bickwell, Miss Mackenzie, Miss Cooke, Denmark Hill, Chepstow, Brantwood and n.p., -1876 and n.d., together approximately 8 pages, 8vo (one letter neatly torn in two), and a letter by Ruskin's mother, Margaret, to Joanna [Agnew] (her companion), 16 June 1865.
Ruskin's correspondence includes two affectionate letters to 'my dearest Annie', and one to Agatha, presumably pupils at Margaret Bell's Winnington Hall School where Ruskin regularly sought refuge between 1859 and 1868 when relations with his parents became difficult. Writing to Annie, Ruskin talks of her 'new hiding place ... I'm so dull and stupid that I'm frightened out of my non senses at coming to Winnington ... the first thing I shall say when I get there will be -- Oh please hide me somewhere up in the garrets directly'. Signed 'your affecte Papa', Ruskin's playful letter is characteristic of those written to several female correspondents at the school where he had become a teacher in 1859. The remaining letters refer to arrangements, and to Ruskin's family: he replies to a letter from Mrs Birkwell, unsure if it had been meant for his father ('I believe I have no votes in the London orphan -- but my father has, for June, two ... I have given him the card with the boys name'). (8)