Decorative Initial There can be no doubt possible as to the greatest writer on art in the Victorian age that position belonging absolutely . . . to John Ruskin, born 1819, which has not only pervaded the world with his theories and led, rightly or wrongly (and sometimes both together), the generations of his time, but added to such wealth of beautiful writing, expressed in the nobiest language and full of the purest sentiment, as few writers of the time have equalled This is not to say that he has always been a safe or even just guide. He has, like other men, a world of prejudices, dislikes and aversions, which he does not like most other men, attempt to subdue in public, but which — with an amiable egotism and high, yet not unjustifiable, sense of his own worthiness to form a opinion, and of the unusual opportunities he has had to enable him to do so — he sets forth without disguise, not only praising what he loves, but denouncing what he hates with the force of infallibility. He is of the Boanerges order, an apostle of love, and full of the most amiable qualities, yet always ready to call down fire from heaven to consume those who follow another standard, or go by different rules from his. [507-8]


Oliphant, Mrs. [Margaret] . The Victorian Age of English Literature. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1892.

Last modified 27 November 2004