RUSKIN, JOHN (1819-1900, art critic, author, poet, artist and social reformer)
While Ruskin was at Jephson's clinic, out of boredom he wrote what was to be the most popular of his books, the short story for children called The King of the Golden River, 'a fairly good imitation of Grimm and Dickens, mixed with a little true Alpine feeling of my own', written in fulfilment of a promise to a little girl, Effie Gray, who seven years later was to become his wife. After he left Dr Jephson's care he went to visit the Rev. W. L. Brown at his parish in Wendlebury, to talk about his religious vocation, the question of whether he should take orders being pressing. He left Wendlebury doubting his suitability for a life in the Church (Tim Hilton, John Ruskin; the Early Years, 1985). The present letter shows that Ruskin was exercised about these matters while at Leamington, but his decision seems already to have been made..
This letter has remained unpublished: not in E.T. Cook and A. Wedderburn, The Library Edition of The Works of John Ruskin, 39 volumes, 1903-1912, nor has it been found published elsewhere.