An Idiosyncratic Dictionary – by John Ruskin
From Aesthete to Ziffern, Baby-Language to Verbosity, Badgers to Railway Stations: this gloriously serendipitous dictionary presents the life, times and strong opinions of John Ruskin (1819-1900) – art critic, patron, draughtsman, watercolourist, social thinker and philanthropist. Michael Glover’s delightful A-Z distills the essence of Ruskin, revealing a lighter side to the man known for his 39 volumes of ponderous prose. When off his guard, Ruskin could write pithily and amusingly, but he was also a fascinating amalgam of self-contradictions. Combining judiciously selected extracts from Ruskin’s writings with the author’s wittily insightful interpretations, this book is essential reading for all those curious to know what Ruskin did with a cyanometer, why he hated iron railings and the Renaissance, and how Proust’s admiration of the man was tinged with distrust.
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