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By J. Bradley

The subject and scope of the chronology concentrate on the lifestyles (in naked define) and guides (in temporal order) of John Ruskin (1819-1900). As art-critic, social commentator, architectural pupil, geologist, botanist, water-colourist, lecturer, letter-writer and prose stylist, Ruskin stands forth as possibly the pre-eminent Victorian polymath. His advocacy of paintings and artists, his braveness within the face of antagonistic, uninformed feedback and his enlightened compassionate perspectives of the human situation show Ruskin as 'not of an age yet for all time'. those attributes the Chronology endeavours to signify.

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Yet certainly in the earlier stages of their courtship JR seems ill at ease and fraught with stress and tension. To escape this he spends a month, from mid-November to midDecember, at Folkestone, part of the time accompanied by his parents. But his nervous excitement is evident in writing a friend he has to give up work of any kind' (24 November). Indeed, these six months seem a curious mixture of hectic, highly-strung anxieties, which are reflected in IR's letters as they spill forth in sharp, broken phraseology, incomplete sentences, passionate avowals of love interspersed with fragmentary thoughts as well as accounts of his reading and even of domestic trivia.

2 (Wed) Writes JJR of the considerable success of the first lecture. 6 In a compelling letter to his father, JR sets forth his impressions of ECGR, Millais and himself associating their situation with aspects of Richardson's Sir Charles Grandison. 10 Millais leaves Edinburgh for London. 12 JR and ECGR move from the Royal Hotel into Swain's Private Hotel, 5 Albyn Place. 21 ECGR goes to Bowerswell. 27 JR sends JJR an amusing account of the prominent Edinburgh intellectuals lionising him. 28 In refusing Lady Maxwell's invitation, JR regrets his immediate departure for Perth, his wife and her family.

30 At Geneva. It is worth noting that ]R's reading on this tour was of Dante, Aristophanes, the Bible (constantly), Rousseau and Carlyle: these writers and many others inform his work. 1849 23 May 2 (Tues) From Chambery JR writes a brief but gruelling account of challenging the Grande Chartreuse. 3-6 Writes ECGR a rich description of warring Italians, of underclass living conditions, of the Grande Chartreuse (of which he executes a fine drawing) and of the arrival of his old school friend Richard Fall; he also alerts her to reading about Venice.

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