Ruskin, the Bible, and the Death of Rose La Touche: A ‘torn manuscript of the human soul’

Zoë Bennett

in The Oxford Handbook of the Reception History of the Bible

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199204540
Published online May 2011 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

 Ruskin, the Bible, and the Death of Rose La Touche: A ‘torn manuscript of the human soul’

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As an exercise in reception history, this article reads John Ruskin's personal appropriation of the gospel texts in an 11th or 12th-century Greek Gospel Lectionary, within the context of his outlook as an intellectual and a public figure in Victorian Britain. Ruskin read and learned the Bible article by article as a child at his mother's knee; of which he said: ‘this maternal installation in my mind of that property of articles, I count very confidently the most precious, and, on the whole, the one essential part of all my education’. By this process his mother ‘established my soul in life’, and ‘she gave me secure ground for all future life, practical or spiritual’. His writings, from all periods of his life, are peppered with biblical quotations.

Keywords: reception history; John Ruskin; Greek Gospel Lectionary; gospel texts; biblical quotations

Article.  6083 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Religious Studies ; Christianity

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