Welcome to “Why Ruskin”

The intent of this website is to introduce its readers to the remarkable thought of the great 19th Century British Art and Social Critic, John Ruskin. Even though his is hardly a household name these days, it is my deep and enduring belief that Ruskin’s brilliant thought and carefully worked out ideas (always encased in glorious prose) still retain great relevancy for our modern days, offering new ways of thinking about and, quite possibly, if put into practice, alleviating or lessening many of the troubles which still beset us. But there is second level to Ruskin’s genius, his unparalleled ability to make the beauty of this world and life come alive. I am hopeful that, after reading some of the posts that follow you might be inclined to agree with these assessments.

If you are a First Time Visitor, I recommend you begin by reading the First Post: “An Introduction to this Site” (just click on this link). Using a number of Ruskin’s best quotes, this initial offering outlines the site’s history and goals. If, after reading it, you’d like to read other Posts, scroll up to the top of this screen and, under the banner, chose the Page, “Previous Posts in Sequence.” This will bring you to a list of all the site’s posts; chick on any one and you will be taken to it. The other Pages listed under the banner, “Writing Ruskin,” “Talks and Walks,” “Ruskin Resources,” and “Ruskin’s Life: A Radical Revision” will be self-explanatory as you open them.

The ten most recently published Posts can always be found in the right hand column. Click on any one and you will be taken to it. If you’d like to be notified of  new Posts as they publish, as I hope you will, click on the “FOLLOW” button at the top of the column and just type in your email address. (Questions, suggestions, or comments always welcome.) Also in the right column you will find a feature that allows you to view “Previous Posts by Topic,” and a very useful search engine (type in a word or phrase you are interested in).

If you’d like to read an overview explaining how I came to admire Ruskin as much as I do, complete with examples showing why I think that judgment is sound, you can have a look at my essay,  “Why Ruskin?”  The lovely drawing below–there are hundreds more (many are reproduced in the following Posts)!–is Ruskin’s


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WHY RUSKIN has been silent for quite some time, our last post being put up on November 3, Election Day in the U.S. There’s been good — rather, bad– reason for the hiatus. On November 7, I suffered a stroke, this followed by 6 days in hospital, and 3 weeks in a rehab facility. I am now repairing, if slowly, at home, a great blessing to be with my blessed wife, Jenn Morris, as my constant helpmate. The stroke was hemorrhagic but the bleeding was not nearly as severe as it might have been, one more blessing. Some damage on the left side, now lessening somewhat because of the body’s intrinsic and wonderful desire to heal itself. In time, the experts tell me, with perseverance, patience, and dedicated exercise, I might get back to where I was before all this happened. May it prove so!!

Life, my mother was fond of saying, has a way of throwing you curveballs just when you think you’ve seen it all! Indeed!! Happily, certainly from our point of view, the contentious election in the U.S. resolved itself to America’s, democracy’s, and the world’s benefit. I have no doubt that under our current circumstances and world stresses, Mr. Ruskin, who resolutely never voted in his life, (distrustful of the wisdom of popular rule as he was), would have applauded the outcome. We have less than a month before the official, world-altering transfer of power occurs.

I have been much heartened by the numerous messages of support and well-wishing I have received from many who are following Why Ruskin. My abiding thanks to you all.! By this time in life I see myself as a fairly tough old bird who can deal, however haltingly, with the new hurdles he encounters in his path. Rest assured that I am, daily, attempting to do so. Why Ruskin is on break, and will, in due course, be back, hopefully at full strength. I have about five posts bubbling about in my head, and, once I can again type properly, will share them, my goal in ongoing retirement being, as from its first day, to use the time remaining to me to do all I can to make the world safe for the genius and abiding goodness that inheres in John Ruskin.

In the meantime, do continue to be well out there in our Brave, if exceedingly Strange, new world! May your days be merry and bright in this festive season!



genius and conzmmate goodness that is

johmn Ruskin, the time reman

UNexpectedly, Ruskin met his beloved,”Sacred Soster, his “Sorella,” in Florence in the waning months of 1884.

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