London, South Kensington
13 November 2008
RUSKIN, John (1819-1900). Two autograph letters signed ('John Ruskin' and 'J. Ruskin'), to an unidentified recipient ('little Daisy', 'Marguerite', possibly two people), Brantwood, 26 May and 10 June 1887, together 5 pages, 8vo (light spotting throughout, second letter torn along central fold).
A shared appreciation of spring flowers; Ruskin's correspondent, Daisy, has sent him some blue flowers, prompting him to gather blue milkwort (with his 'little woodgirl') at Brantwood. He ponders on the name of her town ('Monk's town... I love Monks very dearly -- they have been my very faithful friends -- except an Italian servant or two'). In the letter addressed to 'Marguerite' Ruskin writes, 'I only meant to "scold" Miss Martin for being careless of herself but I need not ... since she has you all, loving her, to take care of her ... [I] was afraid she couldn't manage Irish girls -- I know I never could. They always managed me'. He continues on the beauty of Coniston Lake, his garden and his 'library full of pretty books'.
The recipient or recipients were presumably pupils of the Whitelands training college in Chelsea, where Ruskin had befriended a member of staff, Miss Martin, who is mentioned in both letters. (2)
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