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Books, Leather Bindings, John Ruskin, 8 Volumes, Antique,1871-84


John Ruskin (1819-1900)
Fors Clavigera — Letters To The Workmen And Labourers Of Great Britain
George Allen, Sunnyside, Orpington, Kent: 1871-84
8 volumes complete
Octavo, 8.75 x 5.75 inches
Full dark blue leather by Townsend, floral gilt decorated
$640, the set

Ruskin was a famous British author, artist and social reformer. The title page lists him as “John Ruskin, L.L.D., Honorary Student Of Christchurch, And Slade Professor Of Fine Art.” This set of works is sometimes called Ruskin’s one-man magazine, with letters dated from 1871 to 1884. Set comprised of 96 letters originally issued as separate publications but subsequently collected into these 8 volumes of 12 letters each. In this series of papers his social philosophy is fully discussed. The writings include autobiographical and biographical tracts, stories and translations, as well as studies in art and botany, etc. Ruskin scholar Dinah Birch calls Fors Clavigera Ruskin’s “most controversial and personal text… disturbing and endlessly fascinating.” With occasional full page plates and in-text illustrations by Ruskin, which Birch says are “essential for the understanding of his argument.” Volume 8 also contains illustrations by the famous British illustrator Kate Greenaway (1846-1901).

Product description continues below.


Full dark blue leather, front and rear with blind tooled panels, gilt tooled flower corner pieces, beveled edges, spines with raised bands and gilt tooled flower decorations marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. These volumes are all uniformly bound by “Townsend.” Volumes 1, 4, and 7 have binders name stamped on the inside of front boards.

Condition: An impressive work from one of England’s most influential cultural authors. Some scuff marks and slight color fading to boards, color fading to spines due to sunning but still very attractive, very minor fine cracks to hinges, occasional scattered light foxing.


“Fors Clavigera.” Columbia University Press.

Additional information


19th Century