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John Ruskin's correspondence with Joan Severn: sense and nonsense letters

Dickinson, Rachel (2009) John Ruskin's correspondence with Joan Severn: sense and nonsense letters. Legenda. ISBN 9781905981908

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Abstract

The great Library Edition of the Works of John Ruskin spans 39 volumes and, over the course of the century, further compilations of his private diaries and letters have appeared: but the most important epistolary relationship of his later years, shared with his Scottish cousin Joan (Agnew Ruskin) Severn, has until now been entirely unpublished. These letters - more than 3,000 of them - have been challenging for Ruskin scholars to draw upon, with their baby-talk, apparent nonsense and unelaborated personal references. Yet they contain important statements of Ruskin's opinions on travel, on fashion, on the ideal arts and crafts home, on effective education and other questions: and Ruskin often used his letters to Severn as a substitute for his personal diary. In this important new edition, Dickinson presents an edited, annotated selection of a correspondence which, until now, has been almost inaccessible to scholars of Ruskin and of the Victorian period.

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