Visiting Brantwood the Home of John Ruskin and His Grave (29.6.2010)

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Brantwood – Home of John Ruskin : Coniston

John Ruskin (1819-1900) was an Oxford Don and expert in archeology, architecture and bird life, amongst many other subjects. He also lived in London and worked at the British Museum for a time (indeed, he is considered the first person to hire working men to sweep the pavements for the public good, as well as opening a tea shop in the city).  He was a contemporary of Karl Marx (1818-1883), and was fervent (utopian) Socialist, who believed that the compassionate side of Christianity should serve as a blueprint for reforming working class society. Despite this tendency, I have not found any evidence that he had heard of Karl Marx during his lifetime. Nevertheless, John Ruskin believed that the working class should be taught to read and write, and that working class children should have an educational childhood prior to engaging in manual labour in their adult years. More than this, John Ruskin believed that society could be ‘progressed’ and made a better place by treating the working class with respect, and thereby giving them ‘hope’. I also visited the grave of John Ruskin (included here) and wrote a pamphlet (published locally) about its obvious and unusual symbolism. I was accompanied by ‘Liz’, by research assistant.

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