The King of the Golden River Or the Black Brothers: A Legend of Stiria

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Pallas Athene, 31 янв. 2013 г. - Всего страниц: 64
A classic Victorian fairy tale is presented with original illustrations and a specially commissioned essay Ruskin wrote this fable in 1841 as a lighthearted present for his young cousin, Effie, and seven years later he married her. The marriage was famously disastrous; but before it fell apart the Ruskins allowed the story to be published, and it almost instantly became one of the most popular children's works of its time. The great illustrator Richard Doyle contributed more than 25 full pages and vignettes in his characteristically romantic but sharp-edged style. The first literary fairy tale in English (as opposed to collected folk tales), Ruskin himself said it was "a fairly good imitation of Grimm and Dickens, mixed with some true Alpine feeling of my own." Later he spoke of the value of the traditional tales, with their power "to fortify children against the glacial cold of selfish science;" and indeed many have, like the great critic Northrop Frye, seen it as an introduction to the radical theories of economics and the passion for the environment that were Ruskin's lasting legacy. More than that, it remains a powerful and effective fable about Man's dual capacity for destructiveness and redeeming love, with a hero, villains, and as strange a brace of fairy-tale creatures as one could hope to meet. Simon Cooke's essay explains the book's importance in the history of children's writing, illustration, and publishing, and in the context of Ruskin's own development.

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John Ruskin (1819–1900) was a leading Victorian-era art critic, philanthropist, and philosopher. He heavily influenced such disparate figures as Frank Lloyd Wright, Ghandi, T. S. Eliot, W. B. Yeats, Tolstoy, William Morris, Oscar Wilde, and Louis Sullivan. Simon Cooke is the author of Reading Victorian Illustration and has had essays published in such journals as Brontë Studies, Dickens Quarterly, Dickens Studies Annual, Victorians Institute Journal, and Victorian Periodicals Review.

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