Ruskin, John. The Storm Cloud of the Nineteenth Century: Two Lectures delivered at the London Institution, February 4th and 11th, 1884
Ruskin, John. The Storm Cloud of the Nineteenth Century: Two Lectures delivered at the London Institution, February 4th and 11th, 1884

Ruskin, John. The Storm Cloud of the Nineteenth Century: Two Lectures delivered at the London Institution, February 4th and 11th, 1884

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Ruskin, John. The Storm Cloud of the Nineteenth Century: Two Lectures delivered at the London Institution, February 4th and 11th, 1884. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1884. First American Edition.

Electrotyped and printed by the Rand, Avery, and Company, Boston, Mass.

Plain publisher's boards, paper-covered with the title, author, and "Price, 75 cents" on the front. Edges a bit worn with some surface loss of paper at the spine edges. 5 1/4 x 8 inches, recent private bookplate on front paste-down. 111 clean and unmarked pp., with an index, tight. Shadows on the paste-downs & ffeps from a removed paper book cover. Good. Hardcover.  [4103] $

John Ruskin (1819-1900), "English critic of art, architecture, and society who was a gifted painter, a distinctive prose stylist, and an important example of the Victorian Sage, or Prophet: a writer of polemical prose who seeks to cause widespread cultural and social change." - Encyclopedia Britannica.

These two lectures are categorized as early environmentalism - Ruskin writes of the smog of industrial society, that the phenomena of the changing clouds was dramatic and swift - and supports his subject with observations and facts from England and Europe. He declares the harmony of nature to be broken, and broken the world round. He encourages his hearers to keep the harmony of the creation in their hearts and lives, dependent upon God, even in the midst of such destruction.

The moral and ethical element of the lectures are sometime lost in the quick assumption to classify them as nascent environmentalism. A very good analysis is by Brian J. Day, “The Moral Intuition of Ruskin's ‘Storm-Cloud.’” Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, vol. 45, no. 4, 2005, pp. 917–933. Available at JSTOR.