Ruskin among others

Raymond Williams

  • John Ruskin: The Early Years by Tim Hilton
    Yale, 301 pp, £12.95, May 1985, ISBN 0 300 03298 6

‘When I was an undergraduate in the early 1960s,’ Mr Hilton writes, ‘I was asked to understand that an interest in Ruskin was as foolish as an enthusiasm for modern art.’ This is incomprehensible, until it is observed from the cover note that Mr Hilton was at Oxford. Even so, either he was very unlucky or this is an example of that interesting and recurrent phenomenon in which a new generation discovers a well-known writer in its own terms and as it were originally. Mr Hilton goes on to speak – with reference to work in Oxford in the mid-1970s – of ‘the avant-garde of the new Ruskin studies’.

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