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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  • There are over 3,000 letters in total, mostly unpublished, and covering the period 1864-65, 1867-99.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.

Ruskin

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