Ruskin was repudiated and attacked by every circle and school. The Bishop repudiated his theology; the political economist his social teaching. But one vital fact soon emerged above the sea of criticism. That was the reception of his teaching by the working classes of this country. The appeal to their hearts and imagination was undoubted. They soon realised that one with sympathy for the lives they led was speaking to them

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281 pages, published in 2007

During the writing of this book, which began as a doctoral thesis, I have become indebted to many people. My first thanks must go to my supervisor at Royal Holloway, Professor Gregory Claeys, not least for encouraging my interest in Ruskin and in helping centrally to delineate the scale of the project. I am also very grateful to my back-up supervisor, Professor Penelope Corfield, for support and encouragement during the long haul of finishing a PhD. I would also like to thank the staff of the many libraries I have visited. These include the very helpful staff at the London Library, the archives of the London School of Economics, the Ruskin Library at Lancaster University, the British Library, Senate House Library, the Marx Memorial Library, the People’s History Museum and many other people who have answered my queries with great patience.

My thanks must also go to the Rev. Peter Thomson, for taking the time to talk to me about the tradition of Christian Socialism within the Labour movement, and to Dr. Ian Donnachie for expanding my knowledge of Robert Owen. And for practical help in putting this book together, the calm expertise of Richard Williams, Audrey Daly, Carolann Martin, Meg Davies and Elizabeth Munns has proved invaluable.

Two further debts must be acknowledged. The first, to my friend Thelma Stollar, for her constant encouragement and for introducing me to the London Library. The second, and most important, to my family, for their patience and wholehearted support during my research.