RUSKIN AND VICTORIAN INTELLECTUAL LIFE
Manuscripts of John Ruskin (1819-1900) from the Ruskin Library, University of Lancaster
Part 2: Correspondence with Joan Severn, 1864-1899
This project gives a fascinating insight into the life of one of the most important social and political commentators of the Victorian era, who also became one of its chief arbiters of taste.
The letters to and from Joan Severn (1846-1924), his cousin, provide an excellent foil to the diaries.
There are over 3,000 letters in total, mostly unpublished, and covering the period 1864-65, 1867-99. Starting as a correspondence between a teenager and an established icon of Victorian society, we witness the evolution of the relationship, with Joan Severn ending up as Ruskin’s primary carer.
These letters are a valuable source for anyone studying Ruskin's life and influence and are perhaps the best source we have for the latter years of Ruskin’s life.