[London / New York]: [George Allen / Longmans, Green, & Co., Printed at the Ballantyne Press, Edinburgh], . Limited Edition. Vellum. One of 400 copies, unnumbered (plus eleven on vellum), 8vo - over 7.75” to 9.75” tall, 164 pp. Near fine. Item #17070307
John Ruskin (1819-1900), the epitome of an educated, cultured Victorian, was a leading author, social thinker, philanthropist, art critic, and art patron who touched on subjects as varied as geology, architecture, mythology, ornithology, literature, education, botany, and political economy. He wrote essays, treatises, poetry, lectures, travel guides, manuals, letters, and even a fairy tale; in all of his writing, he emphasised the connections between nature, art and society. This work was intially published in parts in 1860; however, the ideas presented were ahead of their time and generated enough public outcry that the publishers ceased publication; Mr. Ruskin then published the essays himself in book form in 1862. When Ruskin decided to set up a publishing house of his own in 1871, he enlisted his student/assistant, George Allen (1832-1907) to run it. By 1890 Allen opened a London publishing house and, while expanding the scope of work, continued to publish Ruskin's works through the library edition which appeared from 1903 to its completion after his death in 1911 - the publishing firm remains with us today through the current publisher of George Allen and Unwin. "Unto This Last" had a remarkable effect, greatly inspiring Gandhi and his nonviolent activism after he discovered the book in 1904. This volume once owned by Kathleen Lockhart Manning (1890-1951), composer and opera singer; she was born in Hollywood and died in Los Angeles; according to a note written beneath her name, we assume she purchased this book at the Satyr Book Shop, also located in Hollywood. ***DESCRIPTION: Bound in full vellum with a gilt coat of arms encircled by the word "Today" written three times (Ruskin's motto) on the front cover, gilt lettering on the spine, yapped edges, fore- and bottom edges uncut, Kathleen Lockhart Manning's name written on the front pastdown with the date Oct. 16, 1946, at the bottom the note referred to above regarding Satry's Book Shop, a few preliminary leaves unopened, first pages of Preface and each of the four essays with ornately decorated borders, decorated initial capitals and marginal headings in red throughout, ornate publisher's device on the colophon page of George Allen, Ruskin House, at 156 Charing Cross Road, vintage bookseller ticket on the rear pastedown (Paul Elder & Co., San Francisco); paper with the watermarks of the same device and motto as on the front board, with the initials "JR" and "Unbleached Arnold" beneath, octavo size (approximately 8" tall), pagination: (i)-xii, (1)-151, colophon (152), limited edition of 400 copies, unnumbered. ***CONDITION: Near fine overall, the vellum boards are bright and other than a few light spots on the spine are clean, the gilt on the front and spine is bright, the text block is strong and square, the hinges solid, the interior pages are clean and bright; the vellum boards have the usual bowing, some foxing to the bottom edge of the text block, some very light foxing to the endpapers and front flyleaf, the silk ties are all but perished with half of one laid in at the rear. ***POSTAGE: International customers, please note that additional postage may apply; please inquire for details. ***Swan's Fine Books is pleased to be a member of the ABAA, ILAB, and IOBA and we stand behind every book we sell. Please contact us with any questions you may have, we are here to help.