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John Ruskin's Correspondence with Joan Severn: Sense and Nonsense Letters (Legenda Main Series)

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It was at Langdale also that Ruskin initiated his scheme for the spinning of linen and the development of what would be known as the Langdale Linen Industry, thus providing work for the villagers. Brantwood has a number of services and facilities available for disabled visitors throughout both the house and some of the gardens. For Ruskin’s view of the classes and their raison d’etre, see LE 32.284-87. For another letter where he describes how nourishing sessions with the children were, see Webling: 51-2. For his regular visits to and his teachings in the Coniston schools, see Dawson.

i.e., draw figures in the nude, a practice employed for millennia to ensure that the body is accurately rendered. About two weeks after Ruskin’s return from the continent, Gordon came to dinner at Denmark Hill on Friday 12 August; this was a moment of welcome respite and "pleasant rest" ( Diaries, II, 700). He was invited again for dinner on Wednesday 12 October 1870 and was "delightful" ( Diaries, II, 705) with Joan Agnew and Lily Armstrong, the attractive young Irish girl whom Henry James met in 1869. Lily Armstrong (later Mrs Kevill-Davis) was a former pupil of Winnington School and she remained a lifelong friend of Ruskin. Ruskin had a short overnight stay at Gordon’s rectory in Easthampstead on the night of Thursday 27 October 1870, returning home on the Friday and experiencing a "various quarrel on the way" ( Diaries, II, 705). For whatever reason, Ruskin was concerned that he had not written to Gordon, perhaps to thank him for his hospitality on 27-28 October. He notes in his diary of 3 November: " Must write to Gordon" ( Diaries, II, 706).

Immerse yourself in the world of John Ruskin, the famous writer, artist and social reformer. Discover his legacy through displays and activities in the house, gardens and estate.

The house affords a unique opportunity to look into the daily life of one of England’s most important social and cultural figures. The atmosphere at Brantwood is special, and because so many of Ruskin’s possessions remain, it feels as if the man himself has just stepped out into the garden! Gordon read the letter, almost certainly in The Times, and was prompted to respond not only to Ruskin but also to Joan Severn. In his letter to "My dear Ruskin", he expressed his approval: It has been my extensive experience that this same reaction occurs on the western side of the Atlantic.St. Wulfran, Abbeville, Seen from the River by John Ruskin. 1868. Graphite, ink, watercolour. and bodycolour on white paper, 34.3 x 50.2 cm. Collection: Lancaster (1100). Christopher Newall points out that that, “was the most finished and ambitious of several large drawings of the collegiate church of St. Wulfran that Ruskin made during a stay in Abbeville from 25 August to 21 October 1868,” represents St. Wulfran's “at a time of day when there was no direct sunlight upon it, so that all the colours of the stone from which it was made, and the tiles of its roof, are suffused into a soft and muted range of warm greys and mauves” (184). By Train – The nearest train stations are Windermere (trains to Oxenholme on the West Coast Main Line) and Ulverston. In Switzerland in 1869, harnessing the snow waters of the Alps for humanitarian purposes had been one of Ruskin's preoccupations. From Brieg, on 4 May 1869, he wrote of his concerns: “I have been forming some plans as I came up the valley from Martigny. I never saw it so miserable, and all might be cured if they would only make reservoirs for the snow waters and use them for agriculture, instead of letting them run down into the Rhone, and I think it is in my power to show this” (19.lv). Ruskin was also instrumental in a scheme to provide a fountain with fresh drinking water in the village of Fulking, in Sussex; similarly, Pritchard's fountain was equally important to the people of Broseley.

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