Antique 1800s The Ethics Of The Dust by John Ruskin
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Dimensions 5.9" x 4" x 0.65" inches / Weight 230 grams / All measures are approximate / The book has some general scuffing, scratching, and other minor signs of wear but still in a remarkable good condition for the age. The book is in a Good Vintage condition.
The Ethics of the Dust: Ten Lectures to Little Housewives on the Elements of Crystallisation (1866), ISSUED by Rothschild & Co in an edition from probably 1889 or 1890. Tan cloth, gold stamped. "Electric Edition" stamped in lower right corner of top board. Inserted title page printed on tissue. The publisher was Rothschild Company, located at State Street & Van Buren St in Chicago. This was probably within the A.M. Rothschild Department Store, the original building having been completed in 1881. At the time, it was a retail center of Chicago, with numerous mercantiles and dry goods stores lining the street.
A presentation copy, inscribed on the half-title to one the "little housewives": "Constance Oldham with the Old Lecturer's affectionate regards. Christmas 1865." Constance was a family friend and his god-daughter, and at his suggestion she attended the boarding school Winnington Hall, in Cheshire. Ruskin had a special relationship with Winnington, and frequently stayed there, writing and relaxing: "He was more than a casual visitor to this school and special quarters were set aside for him. He was eager to help and advise Miss Bell, the headmistress, on the teaching of art and other matters related to the school. His lectures were greatly enjoyed by the children. Ethics of the Dust may be described as his teaching manual there.. .. Winnington was his tranquilizer" wrote Marget Spence in an essay on the correspondence between Ruskin and Oldham, published in the John Rylands library Journal, where the correspondence between the two is held.
John Ruskin (8 February 1819 – 20 January 1900) was the leading English art critic of the Victorian era, as well as an art patron, draughtsman, watercolourist, a prominent social thinker and philanthropist. He wrote on subjects as varied as geology, architecture, myth, ornithology, literature, education, botany and political economy. His writing styles and literary forms were equally varied. Ruskin also penned essays and treatises, poetry and lectures, travel guides and manuals, letters and even a fairy tale. The elaborate style that characterized his earliest writing on art was later superseded by a preference for plainer language designed to communicate his ideas more effectively. In all of his writing, he emphasized the connections between nature, art and society. He also made detailed sketches and paintings of rocks, plants, birds, landscapes, and architectural structures and ornamentation.