RUSKIN, John (1819-1900). The Works, edited by E. T. Cook and Alexander Wedderburn, London: George Allen, 1903-12. 39 volumes including index volume, large 8° (240 x 165mm). Half titles, titles printed in red and black, engraved plates, some coloured or tinted, facsimile manuscripts, illustrations, separate morocco wallet containing prospectus for the work, advertisements, 2 facsimile letters and a 3-PAGE AUTOGRAPH LETTER FROM JOHN RUSKIN TO GEORGE ALLEN. Original half burgundy morocco gilt by John S. Deed & Sons, Ltd. (vol. VI rebound in uniform style, extremities lightly rubbed, spines a little faded). Provenance: Croydon College of Art (library labels on front free endpapers). "LIBRARY EDITION", LIMITED TO 2,062 COPIES.
Ruskin's letter to "Allen", on paper headed "Brantwood, Coniston, Lancashire" and dated 7th August 81, concerns both personal and business matters, but refers principally to his continuing work on Stones of Venice ("I am writing a new final chapter of Stones of Venice - which is coming [along] nice and gingerly ...") and his desire to see it produced in a Pocket Edition "... with no 'notes and correspondence'." A typed note attached to the prospectus states "By the courtesy of the Executors of the late Mr. George Allen we are able to include, with each of the few remaining sets offered to purchasers of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, a personal memorial of Ruskin in the shape of an autograph letter selected from among those written during a period of many years to the late Mr. George Allen. Each of these letters bears on some matter of interest in connection with one or other of the writings now for the first time published in their entirety in the Library Edition."
SEE PLATE II for an illustration of the first page of Ruskin's letter. (39)