Account of a Tour on the Continent

Texts of the “Account” are transcribed from manuscript witnesses according to the guidelines of diplomatic transcription presented in Editorial and Encoding Rationale and Methodology: Documentary Editorial Practices and Encoding, while texts from published versions of the “Account” (extending from the nineteenth‐century versions through Works, ed. Cook and Wedderburn [1903]) are transcribed as originally edited. Facsimiles are supplied for manuscript witnesses as well as for nineteenth‐century published versions prior to the widely available Poems, ed. Collingwood (1891) and Works, ed. Cook and Wedderburn (1903).
In the Detailed Lists of Witnesses, witnesses of individual poems, essays, and figure descriptions are listed as they appear sequentially in their respective manuscripts or published versions. Additionally, witnesses are grouped as manuscript corpuses for MS IA, g.1, MS IA, g.2, and MS VIII, respectively. (The isolated witnesses found in MS VII and in MS XI do not form corpuses in a meaningful sense; see Editorial and Encoding Rationale and Methodology: 〈teiCorpus〉 Markup and the Tension between Works and Corpora.) In the fair copy, MS IX, Ruskin grouped poems, essays, and illustrations into corpuses formed around places—the major destinations of the tour—and for purposes of the Witness List, it is practical to constrain the digital formation of corpuses to those sub‐groups. (For MS IX, there is in fact no material justification for collecting its sub‐groups into a single, grand corpus, since Ruskin never provided a comprehensive title or title page for the whole—or one that has survived [see Information about the “Account” Lost owing to Curatorial Treatment of Manuscripts].)
The first published version of the “Account”“Fragments from a Metrical Journal”, edited by Thomas Pringle for Friendshipʼs Offering; and Winterʼs Wreath . . . for MDCCCXXXV (ca. November 1834)—is a 2‐poem sequence forming a corpus. Arguably a textual descendant predicated on this all‐verse version, the first published version to attempt an approximation of Ruskinʼs comprehensive design for the work—[Account of a Tour on the Continent], edited by W. G. Collingwood for Poems (1891)—is a 28‐poem sequence that also forms a corpus. But for the same practical reasons governing the representation of MS IX, the digital formation of corpuses is constrained to Ruskinʼs composite‐genre sub‐groups by place name in [Account of a Tour on the Continent] edited by E. T. Cook and Alexander Wedderburn for Works [1903] and [Account of a Tour on the Continent] edited by David C. Hanson for ERM.
Detailed Lists of Witnesses
In Poems (1891), W. G. Collingwood printed the title, Account of a Tour on the Continent, without square brackets, his symbol for declaring editorial intervention. Nonetheless, the title apparently originated with him, as Ruskin assigned no title to the sequence as a whole in any of the extant manuscripts (see Poems [4o, 1891], 1:119, 281; Poems [8o, 1891], 1:119, 282). Accordingly, in ERM, when the main title is fully spelled out, it is given without quotation marks, in keeping with the guidelines given in The System of Title Citation for Works. In commentary about the work, however, for convenience in the course of discussion, a short title is used with quotation marks (i.e., the “Account”) in order to avoid confusion with surrounding text.
It is possible that the fair copy of the “Account” in MS IX once held a title or at least a page designated for one, but that the evidence has been lost owing to the manner of the manuscriptʼs curation. According to an annotation in the hand of Alexander Wedderburn, after the time when W. G. Collingwood first described the manuscript (around 1890) “blank pages” were “removed” (see Manuscripts). There remains in the manuscript a blank page (11r) followed by a stub of a leaf where a title for the “Account” might logically have been placed (see also MS IX: Description).
In another, more minor discrepancy respecting the editorial title for the work as a whole, both Poems (1891) and the Library Edition cite the title in their respective tables of contents as “Account of a Tour on the Continent in 1833, but the title pages of the work in these editions lack the extension containing the date (Poems [4o, 1891], 1:xv, 119; Poems [8o, 1891], 1:xix, 119; Ruskin, Works, 2:xii, 340).
What titles Ruskin did supply refer only to individual verse and prose sections of the work. In the initial stage of composition, when Ruskin appears to have conceived the work as a sequence solely in verse (see Composition and Publication), the titles in MS IA, g.1 referred to individual poems, each named for the place described in the poem. Later, when he expanded the work by adding prose essays and graphic illustrations, these initial titles became section headings, each now naming the place which in most cases is described with a poem, a prose essay, and drawings.
When two selections from the “Account” were published in the literary annual, Friendshipʼs Offering, in late 1834 (see Composition and Publication), the selections were subsumed together under the title, “Fragments from a Metrical Journal” (Friendshipʼs Offering; and Winterʼs Wreath . . . for MDCCCXXXV, 317–19). The responsibility for assigning this title is unknown.
Because the “Account” is incomplete, and Ruskin failed to entitle several of the individual verse and prose pieces drafted in MS VIII (and even neglected entitling the last two sections he compiled as fair copy in MS IX), Collingwood invented titles for the untitled verse that he included in his arrangement of the work; and the editors of the Library Edition followed suit. In both editions, these titles are indicated as editorial using square brackets, but this practice was not carried out consistently. Some of these editorial titles are very convincingly what Ruskin had in mind, based on internal evidence; others were probably a guess. The editors appear not to have made studious use of the most authoritative source of Ruskinʼs titles for sections he left incomplete or undrafted—his List of Proposed Additional Contents for the “Account”, which he compiled on the back endboard of MS VIII at about the time he abandoned composition of the work.
Since the earlier editorsʼ speculative titles have become familiar, in ERM these are supplied in square brackets following a first‐line title. This practice is also used to supply otherwise untitled poems or essays with Ruskinʼs probable intended titles found in his List of Proposed Additional Contents. Additional clarification is provided in textual glosses where needed.
Composite verse and prose travelogue, illustrated with drawings in imitation of published engravings and lithographs.
As proposed in Composition and Publication, Ruskin and his father appear originally to have conceived the genre of the work as a travelogue solely in verse—a version represented by a manuscript now bound in MS IA, and designated in ERM as MS IA, g.1. The work returned to this characterization as an all‐verse travelogue, when selections were excerpted and revised under the title, “Fragments from a Metrical Journal” (see Title). By this time, however, the scenario of a “Metrical Journal” was imaginary, since Ruskin had developed the work into a composite genre that included prose and graphic elements, along with poetry, in its MS IX version.
Facsimiles by permission of John Ruskin Collection, General Collection, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Transcriptions of texts and commentary © David C. Hanson. In commentary, material quoted from Diary of Mary Richardson, 1833; and John James Ruskin, Account Book (1827–45), © The Ruskin, Lancaster University.
MS IA and MS VIII contain draft of verse and prose sections for the “Account”, and MS IX contains Ruskinʼs fair copy of the composite‐genre version. MS VII and MS XI include fair copy of a few sections in an unidentified hand.
Information Lost about the “Account” owing to Curatorial Treatment of Manuscripts
As mentioned in Title, MS IX was significantly altered after the time when W. G. Collingwood first described the manuscript. According to his “Preliminary Note on the Original MSS of the Poems”, Collingwood counted “pp. 25–111” for the “Account”, of which “about a third” of the pages “were filled with prose and verse in a good ‘copperplate’ hand, and with inserted drawings illustrating . . . [the] tour of the year before” (Poems [4o, 1891], 1:265; Poems [8o, 1891], 1:266–67). On a slip with this printed description pasted onto it, which is tipped between the front endpapers of MS IX, Alexander Wedderburn annotated Collingwoodʼs description of “about a third of the book” being devoted to the “Account”: “Most of the blank pages have been removed & the book replaced in its old cover”. (Wedderburn does not identify the responsibility or explain the purpose for this treatment. His use of passive voice leaves open the possibility that someone besides himself was responsible—Joan Severn, for example, who owned the manuscript—and therefore one cannot necessarily take him at his word that the removed pages were completely blank.) Since Wedderburn does not specify (and may not have known) specifically which “blank pages” were removed, evidence may have been destroyed of how many blank leaves Ruskin may have left in various places to allow for insertion of text and/or drawings in portions of the “Account” that he left incomplete.
As explained in MS IX: Description, remaining stubs suggest that the removed pages did not necessarily form a continuous segment of the original notebook, but may have included leaves taken from between blocks of Ruskinʼs text. Drawings may also have been detached from their original positions where they were pasted between blocks of text and resituated. Rearrangement of drawings seems especially likely in the case of the gallery of untitled drawings that presently follows the page on which Ruskin abandoned his fair copy of the text. He may have assembled this gallery himself after he gave up expectation of completing the fair copy, but it seems at least equally probable that he originally placed the drawings on pages, now removed, where he planned for surrounding text. See also Missing and Unidentified Drawings for the Composite‐Genre Illustrated Travelogue (MS IX) and Related 1833 Tour Sketches.
Context was also lost respecting manuscripts bound in MS IA, which contains two manuscripts associated with the “Account”—those designated in ERM as MS IA, g.1, and MS IA, g.2. These manuscripts were not originally contained in MS IA, but were collected and bound along with other miscellaneous manuscripts by the editors of the Library Edition (see MS IA: Provenance). Prior to this arrangement, W. G. Collingwood was familiar with these two manuscripts when editing the “Account”, as indicated by various textual details in his copytext of poems published in Poems (1891). He did not, however, document where and in what state he originally found them, and any such context was lost when they were later bound with the MS IA miscellany.
The Status of Manuscripts in W. G. Collingwoodʼs Editorial Approach to the “Account”
Collingwood also largely neglected to identify the source of his copytext for particular poems. Apart from his general rule of adopting copytext from previously published versions, where available (a rule that applied to only three poems from the “Account”), he drew on what he vaguely designated as “originals”. His sources can be reconstructed easily enough; for example, MS IA, g.2, is the sole extant source of two poems, “Passing the Alps” and “Milan Cathedral”, both of which are included in Collingwoodʼs version of the “Account”. In the Library Edition, for all its dependency on the Poems (1891), Cook and Wedderburn were more attentive than Collingwood in documenting the manuscript sources used for copytext or to identify variants. For example, Collingwood rewrites a line of the poem “Calais”, justifying the innovation by what he considers “neither rhyme nor reason” in an unidentified “original” (i.e., MS IA, g.1). The faulty line, he decides, is a mis‐transcription of a line from a “rough copy, now lost”, the existence of which is entirely suppositious, but which he declares to have been somehow “insufficiently altered”. The editors of the the Library Edition reject Collingwoodʼs rewritten line, finding merit in Ruskinʼs “fatherʼs copy” of “Calais” (i.e., MS IA, g.1, which is partly in the hand of John James Ruskin, with interlinear revisions by John), and they cross‐check the line with Ruskinʼs “fair copy” (MS IX) (Poems [4o, 1891], 1:280–81; Poems [8o, 1891], 1:282; Ruskin, Works, 2:341 n. 2).
Collingwoodʼs editorial approach to the “Account” and its manuscripts values editorial intervention over documentary text, even though he cherishes manuscripts. Throughout the 1891 Poems, he consistently awards priority and adheres faithfully to previously published versions of texts—in the case of copytext for the “Account”, deferring to earlier editorsʼ interventions that resulted in texts as published in Friendshipʼs Offering and Poems (1850). He pays comparatively little deference to texts as found in manuscripts, allowing himself latitude that presumably was taken by his predecessors (e.g., John James Ruskin along with W. H. Harrison), as well as editors of annuals, such as Thomas Pringle), and holding himself to an editorial principle that can at best be summarized as aesthetic preference. Creative writing is justified, if he can discern “neither rhyme nor reason” in a line, and the design of the 1891 Poems rules over the reconstruction of the “Account”, which is presented as a work solely in verse, despite Ruskinʼs intentions for a composite verse, prose, and graphic work, as reflected in his fair copy. Collingwood labored to construct an accurate manuscript chronology in the “Preliminary Note on the Original MSS of the Poems”, resulting in a deservedly influential document in the history of Ruskin editing and manuscript curation, but his concept of an “original manuscript” entailed no responsibility to apply that chronology meaningfully to the editing of a given work by reconstructing its compositional history.
Thus, for example, in editing the “Account”, Collingwood drew the main copytexts of “Andernacht” and “St. Goar” from their publication as “Fragments from a Metrical Journal”, subordinating their manuscript texts to endnotes containing what he calls their “first sketch” or “first draft” (the terms are apparently interchangeable), conceding that “it may be interesting to compare the two versions” (manuscript and publication) in order to show, “if for nothing else, . . . that the young poet could polish when he chose, and that he would have eliminated the slipshod grammar and faulty rhymes if he had prepared the rest of his juvenile verses for publication”. It seems not to have struck Collingwood that the interest in comparing published and manuscript versions lay, not in copyediting corrections (Ruskinʼs manuscript texts, draft or fair copy, contain remarkably few errors of this kind), but in differences of diction, economy, and formal elements influenced by the respective projects to which the versions belonged. The term first sketch or first draft belies the manuscript versions of “Andernacht” and “St. Goar” in particular, which are not “slipshod” sketches or drafts but exacting fair copies—the MS IX versions transcribed in a “copperplate” hand directly or indirectly from the MS IA, g.1, versions, a manuscript that itself appears to be a presentation copy (purpose unknown). Regardless, for Collingwood, the varieties of manuscript textual witness collapse into “originals” versus “polished” versions, the former disarmed of textual authority and open to seemingly limitless editorial intervention, and the latter given unquestioned authority though abstracted from the social history of editors, publishers, and printers that bestowed the authority in the first place (what Ruskin supposedly would have wrought for himself, had he “chose”) (Poems [4o, 1891], 1:281–83; Poems [8o, 1891], 1:283–85).
In place of this missing textual history, Collingwoodʼs edition substitutes a documentary history of artifacts, a “study of these ancient Codices, and of their Palæography”, resulting in “a complete sequence of the phases of Mr. Ruskinʼs handwriting from the earliest period”. The paleography, witnessed in the edition by photogravures of specimens of Ruskinʼs boyhood hand, is meant to pique the “curiosity” of collectors, those who want “to collect [Ruskinʼs] boyish writings and to learn the story of his youth”. Possession of these physical specimens imparts the illusion of a textual history, satisfying “a peculiar interest in watching development, in witnessing growth” (Poems [4o, 1891], 1:261, xix; Poems [8o, 1891], 1:282, v). Just as important as the physical manuscripts for Collingwood, as records of Ruskinʼs hand, are the drawings. To embellish his edition of the “Account”, however, Collingwood passed over the obvious choice of Ruskinʼs handmade illustrations for the MS IX fair copy, drawn in the manner of steel‐engraved vignettes, in favor of pencil sketches taken during the 1833 tour. For Collingwood, the correlative of a “first sketch” manuscript poem was a picturesque sketch taken on the spot; and an “original”, in word or picture, meant an experience. Ultimately, the story of “development” that he wishes to tell is the persistent presence of that experience (see Composition and Publication).
Date of Composition
None of the manuscripts is dated by Ruskin.
Initiation of the Project
Presumably, a terminus a quo for composition is established by the familyʼs departure for the Continent shortly after John James Ruskinʼs 10 May 1833 birthday, and it is possible that Ruskin began composition no earlier than following their return home in late September 1833. Neither of these possible termini a quo can be ruled out by the physical evidence of what is likely the earliest extant manuscript, MS IA, g.1. This manuscript, which is written in the hands of both father and son, conceivably could date even from the journey itself (see Composition and Publication).
If one chooses the return home to Herne Hill as the terminus a quo for MS IA, g.1, that date would fall a few days after 19 September 1833, which was the date when the family reached Boulogne, according to John Jamesʼs travel diary (Diary of John James Ruskin, 1833–46, 74). A few more days would have been required in order to transact business and cross the Channel at Calais.
Strong evidence in MS VIII shows that Ruskin labored on both draft and fair copy of the “Account” through the first third of 1834, the period when he normally prepared anniversary poetry for his fatherʼs May birthday—the poems, namely, “The Address” and “The Vintage”, along with another poem, “The Crystal Hunter”, which he mentions in a 22 February 1834 letter to his father as having been “brought to a standstill, else should be sent” (Burd, ed., Ruskin Family Letters, 280; and see MS VIII: Contents, b.2).
Ruskin probably started the important stint of draft contained in MS VIII around the time of his 8 February 1834 birthday, when he received certain books that can be associated with the onset of this draft (see Benchmark Acquisition of Influential Illustrated Travel Publications). The draft consists of sole extant witnesses of poems and prose relating to the Alpine and Italian stages of the tour, intermixed with draft witnesses of prose that Ruskin was simultaneously folding into the MS IX fair copy along with the essaysʼ corresponding poems (composed earlier) on the French, Belgian, and German stages of the tour. This stage of composition can be dated approximately between his fifteenth birthday on 8 February and his fatherʼs forty‐ninth birthday on 10 May (see also Drafting the Composite‐Genre Travelogue (MS VII, MS VIII, MS XI).
The evidence of overlap between Ruskinʼs activities of drafting in MS VIII and fair‐copying in MS IX yields somewhat narrower dating. In the MS VIII draft, the fact that the fifteenth and seventeenth items in the sequence form draft of the prose essay, “Brussels” suggests that by this point Ruskin had fair‐copied in MS IX the full composite sections of verse, prose, and drawings for “Calais”, “Cassel”, and “Lille” (no drafts of the prose essays for the latter two sections are extant; see Drafting the Composite‐Genre Travelogue [MS VII, VIII, XI]). These first sixteen pages of MS IX fair copy and inserted drawings, while a complex undertaking, do not represent an enormous labor, so it is conceivable that Ruskin started work on the MS IX fair copy very near the onset of the MS VIII draft.
Some very tenuous evidence exists that Ruskin extended work on this stage of simultaneous drafting and fair‐copying until much later into the year, past September 1834. In the prose section of “Brussels”, Ruskinʼs description of a distant view of the city resembles features in an engraved view of the subject based on a drawing by J. M. W. Turner (1775–1851), an engraving that Ruskin could not have seen prior to its publication in September 1834 (see the gloss on Ruskinʼs description of the cathedral towers in “Part of Brussels” [part 1]). However, the similarity between Ruskinʼs and Turnerʼs prospects could be coincidental, whereas the evidence for dating the draft of this prose section of “Brussels”, which occurs in MS VIII, weighs heavily in favor of an earlier date, between February and May 1834.
Abandonment of the Project
The MS VIII stint of draft terminates physically where it runs up against a recto page containing draft of Ruskinʼs ekphrastic and topographical poem, “Saltzburg”, commissioned for Friendshipʼs Offering; and Winterʼs Wreath . . . for MDCCCXXXV. Because W. G. Collingwood dated this poem from toward the end (October‐December) of the Ruskinsʼ 1835 tour of the Continent, he argued that Ruskin must have inserted its draft on a page of MS VIII that he had left blank following the draft of the “Account”. As argued below in Composition and Publication, however, the draft of “Saltzburg” falls physically in a logical place in MS VIII, if the poem is properly dated as 1834. Its placement at the point where the MS VIII “Account” draft abruptly ends indicates that the commission for Friendshipʼs Offering—of “Saltzburg” along with a poem drawn directly from the “Account”, “Fragments from a Metrical Journal”—deflected Ruskin from his illustrated tour poem, and that he probably never returned to the project with sustained energy.
The latest possible date when the editor of Friendshipʼs Offering; and Winterʼs Wreath . . . for MDCCCXXXV, Thomas Pringle (1789–1834), could have accepted revised contributions and corrected proofs was August 1834. It likely that Ruskin turned his attention to this exciting commission some months earlier than Pringleʼs absolute deadline; and given the overlap in MS VIII of the final extant draft for the “Account” with draft of poetry for John Jamesʼs 10 May 1834 birthday, it is reasonable to place Ruskinʼs abandonment of the compositional process around April 1834. As an additional confirmation of these dates with the physical evidence, this final cluster of draft in MS VIII includes pieces intended for “Heidelberg”—the section of the “Account” that Ruskin left incomplete when he broke off fair-copying altogether in MS IX.
Thus, if the versions of the first five poems of the “Account” in MS IA, g.1, can be assigned a terminus a quo of composition in the last quarter of 1833, and the draft of “Saltzburg” in MS VIII (no witness survives of Ruskinʼs draft revision of “Fragments from a Metrical Journal”), can be assigned a terminus ad quem in August 1834—but with corroborating evidence moving back the terminus ad quem to May 1834—we are left with about October 1833–April 1834 for Ruskinʼs evolving conception, draft, and fair‐copying of the “Account”.
Starting at about the point at which Ruskin broke off drafting and fair‐copying, he turned to the back endpapers of MS VIII to list Proposed Additional Contents for the “Account”. In the first of two lists, Ruskin details in sequential order the remaining place‐name, composite sections he intended to complete, starting with the last three he did complete in fair copy—“Andernacht”, “Ehrenbreitstein”, and “St. Goar”—followed by the section he left incomplete in fair copy, “Heidelberg”. Ruskin must therefore have begun compiling this list at about the point when he broke off to revise the poems “Andernacht” and “St. Goar” for for “Fragments from a Metrical Journal”, probably about April 1834. A more definite date can be attached to the second list, in which he details the illustrations that he planned to copy from published sources for each of the planned sections in the first list. Since this second list begins with “Heidelberg”, it is logical to suppose that he started compiling the list after he had left off fair‐copying that section in MS IX, with the poem completed but only a few lines of the prose essay copied. The “Heidelberg” sectionʼs layout leaves spaces to be filled by illustrations, which are described in the second list as gothic scenes that Ruskin almost certainly planned to copy from The Pilgrims of the Rhine by Edward Bulwer‐Lytton, a book that John James Ruskin purchased in June 1834, according to his Account Book (John James Ruskin, Account Book [1827–45], 34v; and see List of Proposed Additional Contents for the “Account”—Illustrations [“Heidelberg”]).
Benchmark Acquisitions of Influential Illustrated Travel Publications
A benchmark that Ruskin associated with his composition of the “Account” is his acquisition of the 1830 illustrated edition of the topographical poem Italy by Samuel Rogers (1763–1855). According to his story in the autobiography, Praeterita, it was the gift of this book for Ruskinʼs thirteenth birthday in February 1832 along with the familyʼs acquisition by subscription a year later, in April 1833, of Facsimiles of Sketches Made in Flanders and Germany by Samuel Prout (1783–1852) that prompted the Tour of 1833 (Ruskin, Works, 35:79). The Ruskins did bring home Proutʼs folio in April 1833, but it is absurd to imagine that it prompted Margaretʼs suggestion that the family “should . . . go and see some of [the wonderful places] in reality”, and that forthwith “there were two or three weeks of entirely rapturous and amazed preparation” for such a journey. As John Dixon Hunt points out, a letter by Ruskin from 21 March 1831 indicates that the Ruskins had been planning their “Switzerlandish outlandish tour to Italy” for at least two years (Ruskin, Works, 35:79; Burd, ed., Ruskin Family Letters, 286 n. 1, 253; and Hunt, The Wider Sea, 48).
The more elusive date is when the Ruskins acquired the 1830 edition of Italy. The question is of some interest, since, as argued in Composition and Publication and Discussion: Sources and Influences, Ruskinʼs “Account” underwent a development similar to that of Rogersʼs Italy—evolving from an all‐verse to a composite‐genre work. In the autobiography, Ruskin admits that he has “told this story so often” about the influence of Rogerʼs book and its revelation of Turnerʼs art, “that I begin to doubt its time”. In Praeteritaʼs typically dramatizing fashion, Ruskin declares that “the main tenor of my life” was set on 8 February 1832 by the birthday gift from his fatherʼs business partner, Henry Telford (d. 1859). “It is curiously tiresome that Mr. Telford did not himself write my name in the book, and my father, who writes in it, ‘The gift of Henry Telford, Esq.,’ still more curiously, for him, puts no date: if it was a year later [i.e., 8 February 1833], no matter” (Ruskin, Works, 35:79).
In fact, the date range for acquaintance with Rogersʼs Italy is even wider. In a non‐illustrated edition, Rogersʼs poem had been in the Ruskin household since 1828 at the latest (Burd, ed., Ruskin Family Letters, 188 n. 4). This happens to be the year when Rogers published “Part the Second” of the poem; and growing disgusted over the workʼs tepid reception, he bought out remaining copies of both that volume and “Part the First”, and destroyed them (Rogers, Italy [1828]; Rogers, Italy [1823]; and see Samuel Rogers [1763–1855]). Thus, even before Rogersʼs poem achieved popularity in the illustrated edition, the Ruskins could count themselves among the select number of appreciative readers of the work in its original form; and it is possible that Telfordʼs gift of the 1830 edition contributed to the familyʼs travel plans even earlier than Ruskin remembered. The first mention of “our Switzerlandish outlandish tour to Italy” occurs in the family letters for March 1831, a month after Ruskinʼs twelfth birthday (Burd, ed., Ruskin Family Letters, 253).
More significant than the year when Rogersʼs work first helped to shape expectations for the journey, however, is a confirmation of its special influence immediately following the familyʼs return from the Continent. According to Van Akin Burd, John James purchased a copy of Italy in October 1833, notably soon after the familyʼs September return home (Ruskin Family Letters, 286 n. 1). Actually, the October entry in John Jamesʼs personal accounts ledger records a purchase that was germane specifically to the “Account” rather than to the Continental tour generally. The entry reads “Plates Italy 28/6” (John James Ruskin, Account Book [1827–45], 29v); and although the lack of Rogersʼs name renders identification uncertain, the term plates suggests a portfolio of its plates alone. As Jan Piggott explains, “the publishers of almost all the books illustrated with Turner vignettes made the engravings better known and made more profit by selling portfolios of prints from the plates. These were available in ranks of quality and price: engraverʼs proofs; on India paper; before and after lettering; and on varying sizes of paper—even on the absurdly large Colombier folio—to satisfy the competitiveness of connoissures” (Turnerʼs Vignettes, 24). While Rogersʼs strictly poetic influence on the “Account” was certainly considerable (see Sources and Influences—Rogersʼs Poetry), it was the ekphrastic influence of book illustration by Turner, Stothard, Prout, and others, and the materiality of the print culture conveying their artistry, that particularly inspired Ruskinʼs project, especially its expansion into a composite‐genre, illustrated version—an expansion that mimics Rogersʼs own reconception of his work (see Samuel Rogers [1763–1855]).
(John Jamesʼs expenditure of 28/6 leaves in doubt what sort of object he acquired. The price of separate proofs, according to Rawlinson, ranged from £2/12/6 for Imperial 4o to £3/13/6–4/4/0 for Colombier with or without lettering. The cost of a copy of the 1830 Italy ranged 25/–30/ depending on binding—comparable to John Jamesʼs outlay. Notably, he used the term plates, not proofs, perhaps indicating something less than a collectorʼs item. Whatever the quality of this item, it must have served as Ruskinʼs source for the titles of the vignettes, since Italy was published without a list of illustrations: only the artistsʼ and engraversʼ names, lettered on the engravings themselves, identify the illustrations. For Ruskinʼs probable adoption of one of Turnerʼs titles, see “Passing the Alps” and its contextual glosses; and see also Rawlinson, Engraved Work of J. M. W. Turner, 2:232, 1:lxxviii–lxxxi; Hunnisett, Steel‐Engraved Book Illustration in England, 187–88; and Herrmann, Turner Prints, 183.)
A few illustrated travel publications influenced the composition of the “Account” when it was already underway. On his 8 February 1834 birthday, Ruskin received two books, Illustrations of the Passes of the Alps (1828–29) by William Brockedon (1787–1854), and Voyages dans les Alpes (1779–96) by Horace‐Bénédict de Saussure (1740–99) (Burd, ed., Ruskin Family Letters, 278, 280 n. 1). Brockedon had an immediate impact on Ruskinʼs Alpine descriptions, especially in his plan for illustrating the Swiss sections of the work (see List of Proposed Additional Contents for the “Account”—Illustrations [Table 2]). Another influence at a later stage of composition—again, most directly on the planned illustrations—was The Pilgrims of the Rhine by Edward Bulwer‐Lytton (1803–73), acquired by John James Ruskin in June 1834, just in time to provide Ruskin with ideas for illustrating “Heidelberg” (John James Ruskin, Account Book [1827–45], 34v). Also referenced in the List of Proposed Additional Contents—Illustrations is Samuel Rogersʼs 1834 illustrated edition of Poems, which the publisher released in December 1833 (Clayden, Rogers and His Contemporaries, 2:84–86).
Date of Publication
W. G. Collingwood attributed the first published version of writing for the “Account”, “Fragments from a Metrical Journal”, to 1835, taking this date from the literary annual in which it appeared, Friendshipʼs Offering; and Winterʼs Wreath . . . for MDCCCXXXV. He neglected to account for the fact that the title pages of annuals always carried the year following the actual year of publication, since they were produced for gift‐giving during the holiday season of Christmas and New Yearʼs. In addition, Collingwood was befuddled by his assumption that the second poem by Ruskin in this volume of Friendshipʼs Offering, “Saltzburg”, must have dated from the Ruskin familyʼs visit to Salzburg, which occurred toward the end of their Continental Tour of 1835, since it was evidently inconceivable to Collingwood that Ruskin could have written about a place he had never seen. In fact, Ruskin based his poem, not on first‐hand experience, but on an engraved vedute, which, like many writers commissioned to supply letterpress for the annuals, he described ekphrastically with the support of whatever information about the place could be gleaned from other published sources. The “1835” volume of Friendshipʼs Offering was released for sale in November 1834, a full year prior to the Ruskinsʼ visit to Salzburg, and so of course his composition of both “Saltzburg” and “Fragments from a Metrical Journal” occurred even earlier in that year (see Collingwood, Life and Work of John Ruskin, 1:59–60; and Poems [4o, 1891], 1: 280–83 n. 28, n. 30, and n. 32; Poems [8o, 1891], 1: 282 n. 28, 283–85 n. 30 and n. 32).
The next published appearance of a work derived from the “Account” was the inclusion of the poem, “Ehrenbreitstein: Fragment from a Metrical Journal (Ætat 16)”, in Poems by J.R. (1850). The first publication of the “Account” considered as a project in itself, and not “fragments” derived from it, was the all‐verse version arranged by Collingwood (a version that, in Ruskinʼs realization, never extended beyond the sequence of the five poems in MS IA, g.1): this version was published in 1891 (Poems [4o, 1891], 1:119–63, 280–83; Poems [8o, 1891], 1:119–63, 282–85). A version truer to Ruskinʼs conception of a composite‐genre work followed in 1903, included in the second volume of the Library Edition, edited by E. T. Cook and Alexander Wedderburn (Ruskin, Works, 2:340–87). For more on the circumstances of publication, see Publication below.
Composition and Publication
Ruskin left the “Account” incomplete, abandoning the fair copy in mid‐sentence, with much existing draft remaining to be incorporated, and much more proposed composition to be undertaken according to his grand scheme for extension of the work (List of Proposed Additional Contents for the “Account”). Arguably, however, the work should be viewed less as the “unfinished folly” that Ruskin retrospectively mocked in Praeterita and more as a project exhibiting his rapid development as a writer (Ruskin, Works, 35:81). The manuscripts show a work undergoing transformations, with each stage of development displacing the former. The “Account” served its purpose by repeatedly capping its goals until the project was rendered obsolete by publication of poems derived from it, announcing the emergence of Ruskinʼs first significant public persona, “J.R.”
The hypothesis advanced here is that Ruskin developed the work in fairly distinct stages, from a verse travelogue in the eighteenth‐century topographical manner—as represented by MS IA, g.1, a collaboration with John James Ruskin—to a composite‐genre, illustrated travelogue that reflected the material culture surrounding the ekphrastic and travel‐related publishing of the 1830s. Finally, Ruskin found himself being brought forward as a published author, credited with two works in the fashionable literary and artistic annual, Friendshipʼs Offering. To form one of these published works, “Fragments from a Metrical Journal”, he revised a pair of poems selected from “Account”. The title suggests a reversion to the initial conception of the “Account” as a verse sequence. To form the second work, the topographical and travel poem, “Saltzburg”, he did not adapt material directly from the “Account”, but he deployed strategies learned from the ekphrastic and composite‐genre character of the workʼs advanced stage of composition. Draft of “Saltzburg” also reveals Ruskin venturing to define a persona behind the initials J.R. attached to the published poems.
The Verse Travelogue (MS IA, g.1)
The first known stage of composition is represented by a manuscript, consisting of two sheets, which is designated in ERM as MS IA, g.1. The manuscript was bound in MS IA, in the course of preparing the Library Edition (see also The Composite‐Genre Travelogue [MS IA, g.2]; and for a full physical description, see MS IA: Contents, section g).
Apparently reflecting a collaboration, the manuscript is in the hands of both John and John James Ruskin, and contains a fair copy, with corrections, of five poems, which sequentially narrate the familyʼs first stage of their journey, taking them through northern France and Belgium. Each poem is entitled by a significant destination along this route: “Calais”, [“Cassel”] (untitled in this manuscript, but titled as such in a later fair copy), “Lille”, “Brussels”, and “The Meuse”. No title identifies the sequence as an entity.
The case for this manuscript as the earliest extant piece of the “Account” project is based on the fact that its in‐line and interlinear insertions, deletions, substitutions, transposition of lines, and other revisions are incorporated into the MS IX fair copies of these poems (see, e.g., the textual and contextual glosses attached to the transcripts of the five poems), and on the fact that Ruskinʼs sequence of drafting the prose essays that correspond to the five poems, as witnessed in the MS VIII draft, necessarily situates the MS IA, g.1 texts as existing prior to both the drafts and the fair copies of these essays (see Drafting the Composite‐Genre Travelogue [MS VII, VIII, XI]).
I interpret this manuscript as witnessing an all‐verse version of the travelogue, composed with some degree of collaboration by father and son. As discussed in Date of Composition, the manuscript is undated, and it remains an open question whether it was composed during the May–September 1833 journey itself, or following the familyʼs return home around 20 September.
The recto of sheet 1 of the manuscript begins with the poem, “Calais”, entitled as such, and in the hand of John James Ruskin. On the verso, John James continued with the poem, [“Cassel”] (untitled, and therefore identifiable as a new poem following “Calais” only on the grounds of the two poemsʼ separation in the MS IX fair copy). At line 19 of [“Cassel”], Johnʼs hand takes over (not Margaretʼs, whose terminal letters are typically formed differently than what prevails here). Ruskin carries the poem onto sheet 2 of the manuscript (evidence, along with their physical similarity, that the two sheets form a single manuscript), filling recto and verso with the continuation of [“Cassel”], “Lille”, “Brussels”, and “The Meuse”.
The physical manuscript bears the appearance of a self‐standing fair copy, which was later subjected to revision. No other extant manuscript belonging to the “Account” project consists solely of verse, and the arrangement of lines on the page indicates more care than in a draft. On sheet 1, John Jamesʼs large, eighteenth‐century hand takes up the full width of the paper for each line, and John sustained his fatherʼs single column, but in narrower scope and a smaller hand. On the verso of sheet 2, however, John stacked the lines in double columns, as if imitating printed verse (although he inserted the final poem in the sequence, “The Meuse”, sideways in space remaining on the recto of sheet 2, rather than starting a third sheet). The few substitutions—all apparently in Johnʼs hand, although not certainly so, especially in the case of overwriting—are mostly interlinear, made as strikethroughs with insertions above or below the line, with only a few instances as in‐line revisions, suggesting that these changes formed a distinct stage of this manuscriptʼs development, following its original purpose as a fair copy. Moreover, in the margins of both sheets, Ruskin numbered the lines of the poems sequentially and continuously (1–173); that is, he did not begin his line numbering anew with each poem, suggesting that he regarded the poems as forming a sequence.
It is possible that John James originally authored “Calais” and at least the first 18 lines of [“Cassel”], which are in his hand, and that John thereafter took over the composition, revising some of his fatherʼs lines in the process. This scenario cannot be absolutely proven, but neither can Cook and Wedderburnʼs assumption that sheet 1 of the manuscript bears witness to John Jamesʼs “copy” of his sonʼs original verse (Ruskin, Works, e.g. 2:341 n. 2). On the evidence of substitutions in Johnʼs hand, it is notable that in‐line revisions occur solely in lines written originally in his hand, whereas his revisions of lines written originally in John Jamesʼs hand occur solely as interlinear or overwriting, possibly suggesting that John had no part in a first stage of composing this sheet.
Further research is required to gauge the extent and nature of father and sonʼs collaboration. It is at least evident that the material witness of this manuscript indicates some degree of poetic collaboration by father and son, and it is noteworthy that this collaboration took place within the frame of the Augustan verse travelogues that prevailed in John Jamesʼs youth, rather than the manner of Rogers, Scott, Byron, Dickens, and the jobbing prose writers that dominated the scene during Johnʼs first decade as an author. In effect, this sequence of five poems stands vis‐à‐vis the composite‐genre work that the “Account” became, as does the classical verse of Samuel Rogersʼs Italy vis‐à‐vis that workʼs repackaging in 1830 as an up‐to‐date, illustrated travelogue featuring the newly invented steel engraving (see Hanson, “Ruskin in the 1830s”).
The Composite‐Genre Travelogue (MS IA, g.2)
In a second stage of composition, Ruskin reconceptualized and elaborated the work as a composite‐genre rather than as a solely verse travelogue. This stage is epitomized in brief by a folded sheet, designated in ERM as MS IA, g.2. Like MS IA, g.1, the manuscript was bound as part of MS IA in the course of preparing the Library Edition (see The Verse Travelogue [MS IA, g.1]; and for a full physical description, see MS IA: Contents, section g).
The manuscript appears to be a semi‐fair copy, with corrections, and it is entirely in Ruskinʼs hand. The contents, unlike those of MS IA, g.1, are non‐sequential relative to the actual tour, but they do appear selected to represent the major regions into which the tourʼs itinerary was broadly divided. The contents also mix genres, introducing a prose essay, which is placed first in the group: “Calais”. With this essay representing the tourʼs point of entry to the Continent (as does the essayʼs verse counterpart in MS IA, g.1), there follow four poems, which seem to form two geographically related pairs: “Passing the Alps” and “Milan Cathedral”, representing the southern and Alpine regions that occupied the second half of the tour; and “Andernacht” and “St. Goar”, representing the Rhine journey that occupied the first half. It is not clear why the manuscript positions the two pairs in a topographical order that is the reverse of the familyʼs encounter with these places, as they journeyed down the Rhine to the Black Forest, and then crossed the Alps and descended to the Italian lakes and Milan.
This suggestion of an organizational feature is conjectural, as no title identifies the five pieces as an entity, and the purpose of the manuscript is unclear. The manuscript is undated, but it must have pre‐dated the MS IX fair copy, which incorporates its corrections and substitutions in the prose essay, “Calais”, and in the poems “Andernacht” and “St. Goar”. The manuscript is the sole surviving witness for the other two poems, “Passing the Alps” and “Milan Cathedral”, the MS IX fair copy having been abandoned toward the end of sections describing the Rhine journey, before the sequence could arrive at the crossing of the Alps. The manuscriptʼs place in the evolution of the “Account” appears to be a transitional one between the all‐verse and the fully developed composite‐genre versions, since it contains a mix of genres (albeit no graphic illustrations) as well as a selection of works about destinations that seems strategically chosen. The audience and occasion of the manuscript will, however, probably always remain obscure.
In the ongoing process of composition of the “Account”, MS IA, g.2 must have been a precursor not only to the fair copy in MS IX (which incorporates the prose essay, “Calais”, in its opening section), but also to the drafts of other poems and essays found in MS VIII. The early occurrence of the two pairs of poems in MS IA, g.2 suggests that these works served as imaginative and compositional cruxes for Ruskin. The pairing of the poems “Andernacht” and “St. Goar” was formed around a contrast of gothic sublime and domestic beauty, respectively, that Ruskin carried forward to the MS IX fair copy (in which he elaborated the pairing with a third, middle section, “Ehrenbreitstein”, designed to bridge the contrasting modes using a geographical analogy of a confluence of two rivers, the Rhine and the Moselle). Ultimately, he refined the pairing for publication under the title, “Fragments from a Metrical Journal” (see Publication: Friendshipʼs Offering (November 1834)). In the pairing of “Passing the Alps” and “Milan Cathedral”, Ruskin established another figure important to the development of the “Account”, that of crossing a divide between natural and supernatural phenomena. The figure of a crossing that is humanly transformative appears to have been suggested to him by Samuel Rogersʼs poem, “The Alps”, in Italy (see Drafting the Composite‐Genre Travelogue [MS VII, VIII, XI]; and see also the contextual glosses attached to “Passing the Alps”).
The two pairs of poems presented imaginative cruxes also in the process of drafting and fair-copying. In the MS IX fair copy, the trio of composite‐genre sections, “Andernacht”, “Ehrenbreitstein”, and “St. Goar”, were the last texts that Ruskin completed, before abandoning the fair copy in the middle of their following section, “Heidelberg”. Oppositely, in MS VIII, the corresponding prose essays, “Andernacht” and “St. Goar”, occur very near the onset of this manuscriptʼs extensive stint of draft for the “Account”, even though the labor of assembling and fair‐copying these particular sections lay far ahead in the process (given that, in the sequence of MS VIII draft, these prose essays are succeeded by other draft essays that would first have to incorporated into the fair copy, well before reaching these points on the lower Rhine; see Detailed Lists of Witnesses: MS VIII). Then, in another compositional crux, immediately after composing the prose essays “Andernacht” and “St. Goar” near the start of MS VIII draft, Ruskin turned from the figure of contrasting aesthetic modes to develop the trope of mountain crossing in drafts relating to the Alps—i.e., “There is a charmed peace, that aye” [“The Alps from Schaffhausen”], “Via Mala”, “Splugen”, “The Summit”, and “The Descent” (see Drafting the Composite‐Genre Travelogue [MS VII, VIII, XI]; see also MS VIII: Contents, section b, list b.1).
The Composite‐Genre Illustrated Travelogue (MS IX)
In the MS IX fair copy, Ruskin fully assembled verse and prose text along with graphic illustration. Drawing on verse and prose draft in the two MS IA manuscripts and in MS VIII, Ruskin formed topographical sub‐sections describing major destinations along the familyʼs tour. Each section typically consists of a poem in the picturesque mode, followed by a prose piece in a comic or anecdotal mode. The texts are encased between vignette illustrations at the head and the tail of the section—typically, just as in Rogersʼs Italy, a landscape vignette at the head, and a figure vignette at the tail—and in some sections additional illustrations internally separate the verse and prose blocks of text. The illustrations, which Ruskin drew on separate slips and pasted into blank spaces left to accommodate them between text blocks, mimic the appearance of engravings or lithographs that he found in published models. The work as a whole is untitled and undated in MS IX. For a physical description of the ledger that Ruskin adapted to this purpose, see MS IX.
Ruskinʼs selection of places for the completed travelogue from among all those that the family visited can be viewed in the Chronology and Map (to come) of the 1833 tour, which plots the route through all the places mentioned in the 1833 travel diary kept by Ruskinʼs cousin, Mary Richardson (1784–1848), and in the 1833 diary kept by John James Ruskin. See also the List of Proposed Additional Contents for the “Account”, which Ruskin listed on the back endpapers of MS VIII as destinations he intended to describe in the travelogue, had he carried on with the work.
Ruskinʼs aim in the composite‐genre project clearly was to imitate the print culture of travel literature of his day. For the text, he used a cursive “copperplate” hand, justified left and right; and for the page layout, he adopted the plan of the 1830 edition of Samuel Rogersʼs (1763–1855) Italy, with a vignette‐style illustration placed at the top of the first page of each section, followed by the place‐name header (imitating even Rogersʼs choice of typeface and font), which serves to identify the sectionʼs verse, prose, and additional illustrations—all lacking titles of their own. In several instances, he drew illustrations in the manner of steel‐engravings, a new technology featured in Rogersʼs Italy (1830) and Poems (1834) as well as in the more recent literary annuals.
Specifically, he followed Rogers in heading sections with vignettes of landscape subjects, adapted directly or drawn after the manner of J. M. W. Turner (1775–1851), and in concluding sections with vignettes of figure subjects, drawn in the manner of Thomas Stothard (1755–1834). Ruskin also copied illustrations directly from Samuel Proutʼs (1783–1852) lithographs for the Facsimiles of Sketches Made in Flanders and Germany (1833), and in at least one instance he attempted to capture the watery appearance of lithography in contrast to the stipled pen strokes he used to imitate engraving (Liège). In some headpiece vignettes, Proutʼs influence competed with Turnerʼs, Ruskin choosing architectural subjects over landscapes, and drawing these with Proutʼs crumbly lines in contrast to the atmospheric effects of the Turneresque vignettes (e.g., Aachen Cathedral). Overall, in its graphic and “typographic” effects, the MS IX fair copy is much more varied and playful in its response to print culture than has usually been acknowledged. As both a work and an artifact, the fair copy represents an advance over the earlier manuscript instantiations of the “Account” by exploring ekphrasis and topographical description as principles both of expansion and interrelation. (See Discussion: Sources and Influences; and Hanson, “Ruskin in the 1830s”).
As a direct result of this deliberate, curious, and playful course of self‐training in the print culture of his decade, the 1830s, Ruskin debuted as J.R., supported personally by some of the professionals whom he imitated in the “Account” (see Discussion: Mentors). It was likely because he was distracted by the opportunity to publish in Friendshipʼs Offering; and Winterʼs Wreath . . . for MDCCCXXXV, and not because he merely neglected or grew bored with his project, that Ruskin abandoned the fair‐copying, leaving the MS IX version incomplete (see Abandonment of the Project). As physical evidence of this cause for Ruskinʼs ceasing fair‐copying, the MS VIII draft of the “Account” abruptly terminates where it runs up against draft for “Saltzburg”, one of the two poems that Ruskin prepared for publication in Friendshipʼs Offering. This evidence was misinterpreted and misdated by W. G. Collingwood, who thereby obscured the important causal link between the “Account” as Ruskinʼs self‐apprenticeship in the print culture of illustratred accounts of travel and his debut as a writer in this genre.
While no evidence identifies precisely when Ruskin began the MS IX fair copy, the manuscript must postdate MS IA, g.1, and MS IA, g.2, since the fair copy incorporates his revisions to those manuscripts; and he likely commenced fair‐copying not long before February 1834, when he started the stint of draft in MS VIII—the sequence of that draft gradually converging with the pace of the fair‐copying (see Initiation of the Project).
The interruption in the fair‐copying in MS IX accorded with the termination of the draft in MS VIII because, by that time, the two compositional processes were closely in sync. In MS IX, the text breaks off in mid‐sentence near the start of the prose essay on “Heidelberg”. In MS VIII, the draft of this prose piece occurs intermittently in the section mingling draft of the “Account” with droft of poems for John Jamesʼs 1834 birthday (i.e., MS VIII: Contents, b.2; see the drafts, “Cont. Heidelberg” [“Heidelberg” prose, part 1], and “All has yielded to it from time immemorial” [“Heidelberg” prose, part 2]). Just so, Ruskinʼs draft of the poem, “Heidelberg”, the last of the completed fair‐copied texts in MS IX, occurs intermittently toward the end of the section of of MS VIII that is devoted solely to draft of the “Account” (i.e., MS VIII: Contents, b.1, which precedes the section that mingles draft of the “Account” with poetry in the making for John Jamesʼs birthday; see the drafts, “Smiling from those bright rays kiss” [“Heidelberg” poem, part 1], and “Continuation Heidelberg” [“Heidelberg” poem, part 2]. In this same section of MS VIII, Contents, b.1, Ruskin was also composing the poem, “Ehrenbreitstein”, along with the poem, “Heidelberg”, indicating that at that point he was readying materials for fair‐copying the trio of sections that precede the “Heidelberg“ section—“Andernacht”, “Ehrenbreitstein”, and “St. Goar”.
Missing and Unidentified Drawings for the Composite‐Genre Illustrated Travelogue (MS IX) and Related 1833 Tour Sketches
In the current state of MS IX, several gaps separate blocks of text, indicating where Ruskin intended to paste illustrations. In most cases, it is now largely impossible to determine which of these gaps were left blank because Ruskin never made a drawing to fill them, and which are empty because, as he commented in 1885 in Praeterita, “many [drawings] have since been taken out” (Ruskin, Works, 35:81). Drawings could also have been lost (or, for that matter, restored) between 1885 and 1903, when Cook and Wedderburn described the manuscript for the Library Edition.
Following the recto (48r) of MS IX containing the incomplete fragment of the prose essay, Heidelberg, seven successive rectos (49r–55r) exhibit a gallery of eight drawings of mountain and lake scenes, as described in Ruskin, Works, 2:364 n. 1. Since the blank versos facing each of these seven pages obviously would have been inadequate to contain verse and prose of the length that fills the earlier, fully fair‐copied sections of the “Account”, it is clear that Ruskin did not place these drawings with the intention of flowing text around them. Rather, he or someone else at some time prior to 1903 decided that no more fair‐copying would be forthcoming, and that the remaining blank pages may as well be used in part to assemble this gallery. The drawings are untitled, but a case for their subjects and intended placement, had Ruskin completed the work, is proposed as part of the ERM corrected and completed version of the “Account”.
According to W. G. Collingwood in his “Catalogue of Drawings by Mr. Ruskin (1829–1859)”, there existed “twenty‐eight original vignettes on white paper in imitation of Turnerʼs vignettes in Rogersʼ Poems; of which The Jungfrau, published in Poems, 1891, is a specimen; with others from Prout and Turner” (Collingwood, Life and Work of John Ruskin, 1:238). Twenty‐eight is an accurate count of the drawings presently in place in MS IX, if the gallery of eight unidentified vignettes is included. Given that Collingwood published his catalogue as an appendix to his Life and Work of John Ruskin in 1900, his count pushes back to that year the terminus ad quem (prior to the publication in 1903 of the second volume, Poems, of the Library Edition) for any drawings having been removed from MS IX. Twenty‐eight cannot, however, be the total drawings that Ruskin prepared to illustrate the “Account”, whether additional drawings were ever affixed in MS IX or not. For example, Collingwood mentions The Jungfrau, which is not included in this count: its current location is unknown, but it must have been either originally separate or removed from MS IX in order to be photogravured for Collingwoodʼs Poems (1891). Another vignette, a “miniature” copy of the Hôtel de Ville, Brussels, as lithographed by Samuel Prout is documented in the catalogue of the Ruskin Exhibition held in Coniston, 21 July–8 September 1900 (Collingwood, Ruskin Exhibition, no. 10; see Drawings from the Tour of 1833). The location of this vignette is also unknown, but it would have been in addition to the twenty‐eight.
As explained in Information Lost about the “Account” owing to Curatorial Treatment of Manuscripts, between 1891 (when Collingwood published a description of MS IX) and 1900 (which we can now establish as the terminus ad quem), supposedly “blank” pages were removed from the manuscript. Prior to this treatment, the vignette The Jungfrau may have been pasted onto a leaf where Ruskin had calculated that the section would fall (The Jungfrau), which he intended the vignette to illustrate. (The same may have been the case for the eight drawings now formed into a gallery, which may originally have been placed throughout the ledger awaiting the surrounding text.) There is also a possible case of a drawing having been affixed to a page where it does not belong (see Vignette, Mountain Prospect Drawing [Heiligenberg?]).
In the current state of the manuscript, the gap most likely to have originally held a vignette, which has since been removed, is the space left for a vertical drawing above the section title of Brussels. We have Ruskinʼs own testimony that he completed a “copy from Proutʼs wonderful drawing . . . to ‘illustrate’ my diary of that first Continental Travel”, as he explained in his “Notes on My Own Drawings and Engravings” when he exhibited this drawing as part of the 1878 exhibition of his collection of Turner drawings at the Fine Art Society (Ruskin, Works, 13:505). Even with this record of provenance, however, ambiguity surrounds the identity of this drawing, the location of which is unknown (see “miniature” copy of Proutʼs Hotel de Ville, Brussels). Another gap in MS IX that might once have been filled is the vertical blank space above the section heading of Cologne. Ruskin may have intended to fill this space with a reduction of the travel sketch, “Church at Cologne (see Drawings from the Tour of 1833). Unlike the vignette for Brussels, however, no vignette version of this image is recorded. As a reverse case, a vignette does exist in MS IX, Cassel Hôtel de Ville and Market Square, which Ruskin may have based on the tour sketch, Hotel de Ville, Cassel.
To identify lost or unidentified drawings, and make a case for Ruskinʼs intended placement of drawings, the starting place is the Lists of Proposed Additional Contents for the “Account” (Table 2, Illustrations), where Ruskin listed the drawings he proposed either to invent himself or to copy from a printed source. The list of proposed illustrations begins, however, with the section Heidelberg and provides no evidence about gaps left in already fair‐copied sections in MS IX (see The Plan for Completion of the Work—The Lists of Proposed Additional Contents for Account of a Tour on the Continent).
In the Proposed Additional Contents, Ruskin refers to drawings of his own invention not by the title of the vignette illustration—since he did not entitle his vignettes—but often by the title of an 1833 tour sketch on which he planned to base the illustration. The known tour sketches are listed in Drawings from the Tour of 1833. A representative example of such drawings survives in a sheet of pen‐and‐ink drawings made by Ruskin in connection with the 1833 journey, now held by the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and catalogued as Six Swiss and Italian Views. The sheet contains five landscape views (plus an architectural subject on the verso), each of which Ruskin captioned according to their respective locales. These captions, which are inscribed in a cursive hand, and which follow the curve of the base of a sketch as if forming a part of it, closely resemble the caption used to entitle another drawing from the 1833 tour, “Ancient Fortress and Rocky peak. / Above the vale of Balstall [i.e., Balsthal], Jura, which is held by the Ruskin Library, Lancaster, and reproduced in Walton, Drawings of John Ruskin (p. 15). The caption feature, along with some other consistencies of style peculiar to the 1833 sketches, is revealing, since Ruskin reworked “Ancient Fortress and Rocky Peak” to form a readily identifiable vignette among those included in the gallery at the end of MS IX, Vignette after “Ancient Fortress and Rocky peak / Above the vale of Balstall”. The latter version, like all of Ruskinʼs vignettes, lacks a caption, since he recognized that the vignette form seeks a more integrated and imaginative relation with text than the distinctness of an illustrative plate with its lettering of title, artist, and engraver (a stage of production separate from the engraving of the image itself). Thus, we are provided with a basis for distinguishing tour sketches, like those in the Boston sheet, from drawings that Ruskin intended specifically to insert into the fair‐copy “Account”—even though as Walton remarks, the tour sketches themselves resemble “school copies rather than records of things seen, and . . . were probably elaborated in hotel rooms or at home” (p. 14).
The sheet containing the Balsthal and Mont Blanc drawings is 8 1/2 × 5 inches, as compared with the Boston sheet at 9 1/16 × 11 9/16 inches, but the former contains two mountain scenes stacked vertically, whereas the latter holds five mountain sketches (plus a smaller undeveloped architectural subject) arranged horizontally. One can imagine Ruskin cutting the five smaller drawings into separate slips and inserting them directly as vignettes into MS IX, but the presence of a caption seems to be decisive in distinguishing these 1833 tour sketches from vignettes intended for the “Account”, as well as differences in size and style. For the approximately 8 × 6 1/2–inch MS IX ledger (see MS IX: Description), many of the tour drawings would have required a full page or exceeded its limits. While Ruskin did use full or nearly full page spaces in MS IX for his imitations of Prout lithographs, thereby registering the much larger dimensions of the originals relative to the exquisite steel‐engraved vignettes after Turner that he imitated from Rogersʼs Italy (see Hanson, “Ruskin in the 1830s), he considerably scaled down “Ancient Fortress and Rocky Peak” for its vignette version. There are also distinct differences in drawing style between the tour sketches and the vignettes. Walton characterizes the tour sketches as “composed with schematic distinctions of tone and form from plane to plane in an eighteenth‐century manner that probably derived from [Charles] Runciman” (p. 14). The vignettes—at least the later, recognizably Turner‐influenced vignettes, as exemplifed by the transformation of “Ancient Fortress and Rocky Peak” into Vignette after “Ancient Fortress and Rocky peak / Above the vale of Balstall—omit the dark foreground rocks and vegetation that frames the sketches; and they use Turneresque lighting effects to suffuse and lend drama to the orderly, restrained planar logic of the sketches.
Drafting the Composite‐Genre Travelogue (MS VII, MS VIII, MS XI)
MS VIII is a notebook that Ruskin had used for rough copy of imaginative writing, largely poetry, since 1831, and that he would continue to use for drafting verse and prose through 1836, and possibly as late as 1838. The draft relevant to the “Account” includes verse and prose intended for the composite‐genre version, which Ruskin must already have had underway in MS IX. The draft in MS VIII pertains mainly to the Rhine journey, the first sighting and crossing of the Alps, the tour in northern Italy, and the tour of Switzerland. The draft is notably homogeneous compared to the miscellaneous contents that precede it in the notebook, the “Account” draft being interrupted by and becoming jumbled with other works only after Ruskin had composed approximately twenty‐five items related to the tour. Toward the end of the stint, the draft becomes intermingled with poems related to John Jamesʼs upcoming 10 May 1834 birthday (see MS VIII: Contents, Section b.2, and compare the preceding Section b.1).
Since Ruskin did not entitle the draft in MS VIII (or anywhere else) as belonging to the “Account”, a starting point cannot be definitively ascertained. Following the ode for John Jamesʼs 1833 birthday, “My Fatherʼs Birthday: The Month of May”, there occurs the verse, “Oh are there spirits, can there be”, which contains no place names connecting the poem to the topographical content of the “Account”. However, the next piece in the notebookʼs sequence—a prose draft that Ruskin entitled here as “Source of the Arveron”—can be securely anchored in the List of Proposed Additional Contents for the “Account”, which includes that title. In ERM, “Oh are there spirits” is treated as belonging to the “Account” project, on the grounds that its positioning in the MS VIII can be persuasively read as announcing a major theme connected with “Source of the Arveron”Ruskinʼs spiritual associations with the Alps in general and with the Chamonix valley in particular. (In the overall plan for the “Account”, this theme culminates in an invocation of spiritual beings in the poem “Chamouni” and in the essay “Chamouni”. As further evidence tying “Oh are there spirits” to the “Account” draft following it, the poem is included in the system of Line Numbering for the project. It is unclear, however, where the poem should be situated in the “Account”, or whether Ruskin had a specific destination in mind when he drafted it.)
It is logical that the draft sequence related to the “Account” commences following draft of the 10 May 1833 birthday ode for John James Ruskin, “My Fatherʼs Birthday: The Month of May”, since the family set off on the Tour of 1833 following that anniversary. (According to the 1833 diary of Ruskinʼs cousin, Mary Richardson, they departed for Dover at “half past nine“ on May 14 [p. 1].) W. G. Collingwood was incorrect to suggest, however, that “the prose and verse description of . . . [the 1833 tour] was begun” in this manuscript notebook (Poems [4o, 1891], 1:264; Poems [8o, 1891], 1:265). While the MS VIII sequence does represent the most extensive development of the composite‐genre version to survive in draft, Collingwood neglected to analyze how this manuscript must have been preceded by MS IA, g.1 and MS IA, g.2 in the genetic development of the work, even though he was familiar with these other manuscripts. Yet Ruskin did not, it is true, simply pick up in MS VIII where he had left off composing verse and prose for the composite‐genre version in previous extant manuscripts. By starting the draft in MS VIII with the “Source of the Arveron”, Ruskin was casting forward to a projected conclusion of the “Account”—a complement to beginning MS IA, g.2 with a prose essay, “Calais” about the onset of the tour.
The prose essay headed by the title “Source of the Arveron” describes an episode that occurred at the end of the Ruskinsʼ tour, during their stay in Chamonix. Ruskin probably meant the title to apply also to the untitled poem following the essay, “I woke to hear the lullaby” [“The Arve at Chamouni”]. As Collingwood correctly indicates by his invented title, “The Arve at Chamouni”, the poem describes the Arve River flowing through the valley of Chamonix. In other words, Ruskin intended this opening title of the “Account” draft as a section heading for prose and verse—a unit in the already fully developed composite version of the work. This increased complexity in composition at the start of the MS VIII draft is significant, not only as additional proof that Ruskin initiated this stint at a stage when he had already conceived of the “Account” as a composite‐genre work, but also as an indication of the design and thematic coherence he imagined for the work—albeit a plan that he never completed the fair copy.
The hike to the glacier source of the Arveron River was a popular activity for tourists in Chamonix. In Ruskinʼs telling, the excursion suggests a quest for poetic origins: led by local children acting as guides, the walk to the “source” reveals a Hippocrene‐like, spiritual place of inspiration. In this notion of a spiritual poetic source, Ruskin drew together multiple ideas, including the trope of crossing mountains into a sacred bourne, a theme that he had already broached in draft of “Passing the Alps”, based on Samuel Rogersʼs “The Alps” in Italy. Moreover, as explained in Discussion: Sources and Influences and Mentors, Ruskinʼs recent correspondence in mid‐February 1834 with the writer James Hogg (ca. 1770–1835), who had invited the youth to his farm in the Yarrow Valley of the Scottish Borders as an act of poetic mentoring, prompted in Ruskin a pastoral “reverie” about poetry and place. It is owing to this spiritualization of the journey at the start of the MS VIII draft that a thematic case can be made for counting “Oh are there spirits, can there be”, with its suggestions of liminal spaces between nature and the supernatural, as part of the “Account”.
The convergence of these themes suggests a date of mid‐ to late‐February 1834 for the start of the MS VIII draft, since Ruskin replied to Hoggʼs invitation to Scotland on 13 February. Moreover, on his 8 February birthday, he received two books that influenced his Alpine descriptions—Illustrations of the Passes of the Alps (1828–29) by William Brockedon (1787–1854), and Voyages dans les Alpes (1779–96) by Horace‐Bénédict de Saussure (1740–99) (Burd, ed., Ruskin Family Letters, 278, 280 n. 1; and see Benchmark Acquisitions of Influential Illustrated Travel Publications). Immediately following draft of the composite prose essay and poem, “Source of the Arveron”, Ruskin drafted the prose essays, “Andernacht” and “St. Goar”, thus dovetailing the start of composition in MS VIII with MS IA, g.2, which contains the corresponding pair of Rhine journey poems as well as the pair of poems introducing the trope of mountain crossing, “Passing the Alps” and “Milan Cathedral”. (At this stage, however, fair‐copying in MS IX would have lagged well behind the Rhine sections of the “Account”; see below, and also Initiation of the Project.)
Ruskin carried on in MS VIII to develop the trope of mountain crossing in a cluster of poems describing the entry to Italy via the Splügen Pass, a cluster that, according to the List of Proposed Additional Contents for the “Account”, was meant to be introduced in fair copy by the poem, “Passing the Alps”. It appears that Ruskin intended “Passing the Alps” to serve as a fulcrum between a cluster of pieces about the approach to the Alps from Schaffhausen, and a cluster about the crossing at Splügen. The latter cluster was to consist of pieces or composite sections entitled “The Via Mala”, “Splugen”, “The Summit”, and “The Descent”, all of which are represented by poems in the MS VIII draft (see ERM Revised and Completed Sequence of [Account of a Tour on the Continent]). Rogers situates “The Alps” as a retrospective reflection on the experience of crossing, rather than a prospective one as Ruskin planned, but it is clear that the younger poet modeled his sequence on Rogersʼs approach to the mountains. (In Italy, the approach plays out topographically coming from the west, in the poems “The Great St. Bernard” and “The Descent”, rather than coming from the north as the Ruskins did.) Ruskinʼs poems lack the pedantic historical references with which Rogers labors his verse; instead, the youth (who was in any case inadequately learned to make such allusions) allowed the verse to unfold by tracing the landscape itself, coupling the description, if with anything, with a reverential topic, such as the sabbath setting of “There is a charmed peace, that aye” [“The Alps from Schaffhausen”].
Along with drafting these pieces in MS VIII to frame large‐scale conceptions of form and theme, Ruskin carried on with additional draft of prose sections to match with poems already composed about places in France, Belgium, and Germany. After the drafts of the prose essays, “Andernacht” and “St. Goar”, the next prose sections to appear are those for “The Meuse”, “Cologne”, “Brussels” (“Part of Brussels” [part 1] and “Part of Brussels” [part 2]), and “Aix la Chapelle”, suggesting that, by this point of composition in MS VIII, Ruskin had fair‐copied in MS IX the entire composite sections of verse, prose, and drawings for “Calais”, “Cassel”, and “Lille”. (Draft versions of the prose essays for “Cassel” and “Lille” are not extant.)
The probable mid‐ to late‐February 1834 date for Ruskinʼs commencement of the “Account” draft in MS VIII accords well with a trajectory of this writing toward a terminus ad quem among the drafts of poetry preparing for his fatherʼs 10 May 1834 birthday. As the sequence of “Account” draft proceeds from poems about mountain crossings to poems about Italy, the ongoing intermixing of draft relating to points in northern Europe suggests that Ruskinʼs drafting was gradually converging with his fair‐copying in MS IX. Growing prominent toward the end of the main stint of draft for the “Account” (MS VIII: Contents, section b, list b.1) and throughout the stint of draft mixed with birthday writing (MS VIII: Contents, section b, list b.2) are draft pieces related to the break‐off point of the fair copy in MS IX“Heidelberg”, and “Ehrenbreitstein” (the latter being the section that, in MS IX, bridges “Andernacht” and “St. Goar”).
At some points in the text, one can detect the traces of Ruskin pivoting between draft and fair copy. On page 62r of MS VIII, three‐quarters of the way down the page, Ruskin started the prose essay, “Brussels”, entitling it “Part of Brussels” [part 1]. This draft extends halfway through 62v, where it stops in mid‐sentence, with the word “circumnavigating” substituted for traversing. At this point, Ruskin stopped to compose a poem, “Oh softly blew the mounting breeze” [“Chiavenna”]; and then, at the top of the next recto, 63r, he completed the prose essay, “Part of Brussels” [part 2], which he took up in mid‐sentence, with the phrase “perambulating . . . tread on it softly”. In the fair copy of this prose passage, a line of text ends with the break‐point in the draft of “Part of Brussels” [part 1], “circumnavigating for”—with the “for” jammed against the justified right margin. The next line resumes as in “Part of Brussels” [part 2]: “perambulating.—Oh woe to the weather”. One might infer, then, that Ruskin fair‐copied “Part of Brussels” [part 1] in MS IX as far as he had drafted the prose in MS VIII (62v); crossed out the last word in MS VIII draft on 62v (“traversing”), since he could not fit that word on the line in the fair copy (hence, the tightly fitted, almost run‐together “circumnavigating, for”); then perhaps stopped fair‐copying the prose in MS IX, in order to compose the poem about Chiavenna that falls next in draft; and finally resumed drafting prose with “Part of Brussels” [part 2], only changing his mind about the next word (making it “perambulating” rather than “traversing”).
Perhaps close to the time when composing and fair‐copying converged, Ruskin turned to the back endpapers of MS VIII to begin the first of two lists constituting the List of Proposed Additional Contents for the “Account”—the list of the remaining place‐name sections yet to be drafted and/or fair‐copied for the completed work (see The Plan for Completion of the Work). At the start of this first list, he identified sections connected with points along the lower Rhine, places about which he had perhaps recently drafted, or was in process of drafting, verse and prose. The list is headed by “Andernacht” and “St. Goar”, which were nothing new, but they are now separated by “Ehrenbreitstein”, which Ruskin conceived, apparently belatedly, to act as a bridge between the complementary sections. Then, after deleting a proposed section about Frankfurt (Francfurt), Ruskin listed “Heidelberg”, and “Schaffhausen”, both of which emerge comparatively late in the MS VIII draft.
In the first list, several other proposed place‐name sections correspond to verse and prose pieces drafted in MS VIII—pieces describing, for example, the Alpine border between Germany and Italy, and places in Italy and Switzerland. Many of these draft pieces were edited for inclusion in the two earliest published versions of the “Account” that claimed to represent the work comprehensively—Poems, ed. Collingwood (1891) and Works, ed. Cook and Wedderburn (1903)—but the editors neglected to explain what guidance, if any, they took from Ruskinʼs List of Proposed Additional Contents for the “Account”. The first published version to schematize these surviving draft pieces explicitly and fully according to Ruskinʼs plan is the ERM Revised and Completed Sequence of [Account of a Tour on the Continent].
Finally, respecting the fugitive pieces of writing contained in MS VII and MS XI that were originally intended for the “Account”, little can be inferred about their respective draft stages, since no earlier witnesses are extant. The texts are unique and fair‐copied in an unidentified hand (see The Ruskin Family Handwriting: Unidentified Hands—MS VII, XI Fair Copy of the “Account”). That the hand is probably not Ruskinʼs, and that the fair copies were made without his involvement, can be inferred from some bizarre instances of diction and punctuation that seem most logically explained as errors in transcription (see textual glosses for the poems “The Rhine” and “Chamouni”, and for the prose essay “Chamouni”). The fair copies may have been made long after Ruskin drafted the original texts, and after he had abandoned the “Account” as a project, since the copies are found among a group of texts—all transcribed in the same unidentified hand, which worked from the opposite end of the original use of MS VII—which includes items originally dating from 1836. The purpose of transcribing these disparate texts together and at the same time is unknown, but the copyist signified his or her awareness of the textsʼ respective provenances by adding the dateline “1833” at the bottom of two poems originating with the Tour of 1833“The Rhine” and “Chamouni”.
The dateline added to the prose essay, “Chamouni”—“J.R. / fragment from a Journal / 1833“—is not in the hand of the unidentified copyist responsible for the transcription, but in the hand of John James Ruskin, who added this attribution in a different ink than that used for the text. The identification refers to the collective title “Fragments from a Metrical Journal” given to the extracts from the “Account” published in late 1834 in Friendshipʼs Offering; and Winterʼs Wreath . . . for MDCCCXXXV, suggesting that this essay may once have been considered for publication in the annual (see Friendshipʼs Offering (November 1834). More likely, however, the attribution refers to the title given by John James to the extract that he edited and published in Poems by J. R. (1850).
Line Numbering in the Draft (MS IA, MS VIII)
Additional information that possibly can be used to draw inferences about Ruskinʼs composition of the “Account” is available in his line numbering, which runs throughout verse portions of the work in MS IA, g.1, MS IA, g.2, and the MS VIII draft sequence. (The line numbering is listed, poem by poem, in .) In none of these manuscripts does the numbering give the appearance of having been added at a time later than composition. Overall, the numbering system appears mechanical, reinforcing the suggestion of Ruskinʼs regular, uncrowded pace of composition in the manuscripts, despite the sometimes helter‐skelter of leaping around the map in the topographical sequence of subjects in draft for the “Account”.
Overall, a chronological order of composition is indicated by the sequential line numbering from manuscript to manuscript, despite unexplained gaps in the numbering, which supports the textual history proposed here for the evolution of the “Account” project. The numbering advances sequentially from 1–173 in MS IA, g.1, to 360–429 in MS IA, g.2, to 506–1484 in MS VIII. In the two sheets comprising MS IA, g.1, the lines of the five poems are numbered continuously, 1–173, without breaks between the separate poems. In MS IA, g.2, the line numbering begins following the prose essay, “Calais”, starting with the first line of “Passing the Alps” as line 360, and running continuously from poem to poem, to line 429. Since the poems in this manuscript, unlike those in MS IA, g.1, could never have been conceived as sequentially ordered in a topographical sense for fair copy, this instance shows that Ruskin did not employ the system in the course of composition to keep track of a topographical ordering of sections. Nonetheless, the numbering may have been useful to him when transferring draft to fair copy in MS IX.
In the MS VIII draft sequence, the line numbering takes up with line 506, applied to “Oh are there spirits, can there be”; and the numbering carries relentlessly and mechanically forward through the verse draft in MS VIII: Contents, Section b, albeit with occasional gaps or overlapping numbering. Where poetry encounters prose on the page, the line numbering halts, and then resumes sequentially following the interruption. As in MS IA, g.2, the line numbering in MS VIII bears no relation to the topographical sequence, which is jumbled, with poems drafted in no particular geographical order (except for the occasional topographical cluster), and with some poems such as “Heidelberg” and “Genoa” divided into parts separated by several pages with no effect on the numbering sequence. Thus, in MS VIII as well, Ruskinʼs numbering the lines of poetry seems mechanical. Doubtless, he needed a line count in order to estimate the space needed to fair‐copy lines; however, the system would not have helped him estimate space for prose, and the presence of the numbering in MS IA, g.1 suggests that he initiated the numbering scheme before he even conceived the composite‐genre version represented by the fair copy.
Nonetheless, the line numbering can be used to corroborate other evidence in drawing conclusions about the “Account”. For example, the onset of the numbering in MS VIII with line 506 seems strong evidence for treating the poem “Oh are there spirits, can there be” as a part of the work, especially since this evidence supports the thematic relevance of the poem. At the opposite end of the “Account” draft in MS VIII, the continuous line numbering ends at line 1484, the final line of the poem “Villa Pliniana”; and on the following recto, Ruskin started line numbering anew with line 1 for the start of “Saltzburg”. The latter poem, as argued in Publication: Friendshipʼs Offering (November 1834), marks his departure from the “Account” per se, to prepare for publication in Friendshipʼs Offering.
The line numbering does not, however, supply foolproof evidence that poems comprised within the MS VIII sequence belong to the “Account”. In MS VIII: Contents, b.2, while Ruskin wrapped his line numbering system for the “Account” around verse clearly meant for another purpose, such as “The Address” for John Jamesʼs birthday, which he left unnumbered, he did carry the numbering through “The Crystal Hunter”. This poem is simultaneously numbered starting with line 1, using the column on the opposite side of the page from the “Account” numbering, suggesting either that the poem bears a tangential relation to the “Account”, or that the line numbering system served an additional purpose to counting lines for the “Account”, or that Ruskin sometimes numbered the ruled lines on the page ahead of composing and was merely careless about using those pre‐numbered lines for other kinds of poetry.
Irregularities occur within the numbering, some of which are probably mere mistakes. It is possible, however, that some irregularities can be used as evidence in unraveling a more complex compositional history than what usually appears to have been a straightforwardly linear production of text. These cases are discussed in the textual glosses appended to individual texts.
The Plan for Completion of the Work—The Lists of Proposed Additional Contents for [Account of a Tour on the Continent]
On the back endpapers of MS VIII, the witness Lists of Proposed Additional Contents for the “Account” consists of two lists. List 1 details the place‐names Ruskin intended to constitute the entirety of the “Account”, a list that he began with “Andernacht”, “Ehrenbreitstein”, and “St. Goar” as items numbered 1–3. Thus, it appears that Ruskin began the list roughly at the point when his fair‐copying of these pieces in MS IX converged with the pace of his drafting remaining portions of those sections in MS VIII (see Drafting the Composite‐Genre Travelogue [MS VII, MS VIII, MS XI]). This inference tends to be confirmed by the deletion of number 4 in the list, a proposed entry for “Francfurt”, which Ruskin must have reconsidered while both the MS VIII draft and MS IX fair copy were in process, since the fair copy proceeds from “St. Goar” to “Heidelberg”, number 5 in the list, with no fair copy of a section about Frankfurt. (Also no draft related to Frankfurt is found in MS VIII—or. at least, no draft that is recognizable as such. A draft might have existed elsewhere that did not survive. Frankfurt was nonetheless a major destination along the route, where the family stopped June 1–3, between St. Goar and castle ruins along the Rhine on May 30 and the woodland ride to Heidelberg on June 4. The Ruskins visited with an unidentified family named Koch, who entertained them in the evening and took them sight‐seeing during the day [Diary of Mary Richardson, 1833, 24–31]. See the annotated transcription of the Lists for other deletions.)
List 2 arranges place‐names correspondingly to the first, and associates with each place‐name a set of illustrations that Ruskin intended to copy from published sources or work up from his own drawings made during the tour. He began this list with “Heidelberg”, the section he left incomplete when abandoning fair copy in MS IX. Ruskin therefore began this second list somewhat later than the first, which he evidently started before he had completed drafting and/or fair‐copying “Andernacht”, “Ehrenbreitstein”, and “St. Goar”. He might have begun list 2 either at the time he stopped fair‐copying or any time afterward, but a terminus a quo is established by the source of the illustrations planned for “Heidelberg”, which can be identified with near certainty as The Pilgrims of the Rhine by Edward Bulwer‐Lytton (1803–73), a book that John James Ruskin acquired in June 1834 (see Abandonment of the Project). Otherwise, the list of illustrations is dominated by references to William Brockedonʼs Illustrations of the Passes of the Alps, which Ruskin received for his fifteenth birthday, on 8 February 1834. Other proposed drawings are keyed to illustrations in Samuel Proutʼs Facsimiles of Sketches Made in Flanders and Germany, Samuel Rogersʼs Italy, and other published sources, as well to drawings of “my own”.
In the transcription of Lists of Proposed Additional Contents, list 1 is transcribed as Table 1, consisting of three columns.
  • Column 1.a records a metatextual mark of uncertain origin or purpose, but it is perhaps a tick made by Ruskin to signify that he had completed or at least composed material relating to the place‐name next to the mark. No mark appears next to “Ehrenbreitstein” or “Heidelberg”, suggesting that Ruskin abandoned this usage before he composed draft for those sections in MS VIII.

  • Column 1.b transcribes Ruskinʼs sequential numbering, which presumably signified the order in which he intended to fair‐copy the place‐name sections when resuming MS IX.

  • Column 1.c transcribes Ruskinʼs proposed titles. For place‐names in the list represented by no extant draft, contextual glosses provide information about the Ruskinsʼ experiences in these places, based on information in the 1833 travel diaries by Ruskinʼs cousin, Mary Richardson, and by his father, John James Ruskin. Thereby the skeleton of Ruskinʼs plan for completion is substantiated with some sense of what he might have written about.

    Ruskin gives no indication whether these place‐name titles represent composite sections of verse, prose, and illustration or individual poems, essays, and drawings. Some individual poems in MS IA and MS VIII do carry titles in draft that correspond to place‐names in column 1.c (e.g., “Passing the Alps”, “The Via Mala”, “Splugen”, “The Summit”, and “The Descent”), but these draft poems can be viewed as germs of fully developed sections. The fact that most of the place‐names in list 1 correspond to multiple proposed illustrations in list 2 indicates that Ruskin intended a large composite unit for each place‐name. At the same time, these lists constituted a work‐in‐progress, as shown by Strasburg and “The Swiss Cottages, which are listed separately in list 1 but evidently combined in list 2. In ERM, it is assumed that Ruskin meant the place‐name titles in lists 1 and 2 to be in keeping with the existing composite sections in the MS IX fair copy.
In the transcription of Lists of Proposed Additional Contents, list 2 is transcribed as Table 2, consisting of four columns.
  • Column 2.a carries Ruskinʼs own column header, the term “wanted”. This header is followed by a column of numbers, a digit for each section. But what specifically did Ruskin mean to enumerate as wanting? If the number pertains to his list of proposed figures for each section (column 2.c), then perhaps it signifies how many more sources or ideas for illustrations he believed he required, if any, in order to enhance each section adequately. (The minimum would have been two—a header and a footer for each section—and the maximum typically four: using the fair‐copied “Calais” as a standard for a section, the poem and the essay could each have its own header and footer, for a total of four, although the limit was truly bounded only by Ruskinʼs imagination and ambition.) Alternatively, the number of items wanting might refer to how many of the ideas in column 2.c remained to be actually carried out with drawings.

    Unfortunately, since some drawings he did complete may no longer be extant, any conclusion based on the numbers in column 2.a is checked by uncertainty owing not only to the current state of MS IX, but also to the point at which he happened to note the number, since he could have produced a drawing subsequently (see also Information about the “Account” Lost owing to Curatorial Treatment of Manuscripts). An example of these ambiguities is the zero in column 2.a next to “Heidelberg” (List of Proposed Additional Contents [Table 2, Illustrations]), which might indicate that no more ideas for illustrations were wanted than the five listed. Indeed, five would surely have sufficed, but what are we to make of the drawing already in place in MS IX as the header of that section (Vignette, Mountain Prospect Drawing [Heiligenberg?])? Does that drawing make a sixth? It does not correspond to any of the topics that Ruskin lists here, least of all a “Tournament” picture with which he was to “begin”, according to this entry. But does begin refer to the section itself or to Ruskinʼs work plan, which would have resumed with Heidelberg? Could the existing drawing in MS IX be merely misplaced? (The relation to Heidelberg to the landscape it depicts is in fact questionable; see the figure caption for Vignette, Mountain Prospect Drawing [Heiligenberg?].) Thus, any speculation based on the numbers in this column must entail some doubt. A degree of assurance may be achieved, however, by working out a possible relation between the numbers in this column and those in column 2.d.

  • Column 2.b transcribes Ruskinʼs proposed titles, which for the most part match those in column 1.c. As in the case of Strasburg and “The Swiss Cottages (see column 1.c), a difference between the two lists can indicate a change of mind.

  • Column 2.c transcribes Ruskinʼs proposed illustrations for each section. Contextual notes attached to the entries attempt to identify the sources of the proposed illustrations.

  • Column 2.d transcribes another set of numbers, which Ruskin attached to some lists of proposed illustrations. Again, the meaning of these numbers requires interpretation, but presumably they stand in some relation to those in column 2.a. One possibility may be that, if the numbers in column 2.a give a total of proposed illustrations “wanted”, these in column 2.d indicate the number of illustrations completed.
There seems no sure way to tell whether Ruskin compiled the two lists all at once in a short time or developed them over a lengthy duration. The physical arrangement of the columns on the endpapers indicates that list 1 must have existed prior to list 2, as borne out by the evidence already noted of the later, June 1834 terminus a quo for the start of list 2. (Both lists appear to have wrapped around the pen‐and‐ink drawing of mountains on the verso, whereas the position of the box on the recto, containing a note concerning a “Birthday poem”, might have been added at any time.) One clue about the development of list 1 may lie in the checkmarks to the left of some place‐names, which appear to designate that those places were already represented by individual poems in the MS VIII and MS IA, g.2 draft. Notably, two items in the list that are not checked are “Cadenabbia” and “Villa Pliniana”—the final two poetry drafts that Ruskin composed in MS VIII before he interrupted work on the “Account” with draft of “Saltzburg”. Thus, if Ruskin included these two destinations in list 1 prior to drafting their respective poems, he must have compiled the list in a fairly brief period between when he completed and fair‐copied the sections at the start of the list (“Andernacht”, “Ehrenbreitstein”, and “St. Goar”) and when he stopped all draft along with fair‐copying “Heidelberg” in order to take up his commission for Friendshipʼs Offering; and Winterʼs Wreath . . . for MDCCCXXXV.
The evolution of the “Account” project culminated in edited publications of November 1834, 1850, 1891, and 1903. In none of these did the editors make clear the authority for their texts. Overall, however, the successive published versions may be said steadily to have approached realization of Ruskinʼs intentions for his final version, had he completed such a version himself. That version—the composite‐genre “Account”, as incompletely fair‐copied in MS IX, and as planned for extension and incompletely drafted in MS VIII—was not accurately represented, and arguably was misrepresented, by the 1834, 1850, and 1891 published texs. Only the 1903 edition conveyed an idea of the composite‐genre version as Ruskin conceived it, but that edition is incompletely realized, and for many of its choices it relies uncritically on the 1891 edition. The ERM Revised and Completed Sequence of [Account of a Tour on the Continent] is the first edition to attempt to carry out Ruskinʼs plan insofar as the extant materials allow.
Friendshipʼs Offering (November 1834)
Sometime after the beginning of February 1834, Ruskin, or perhaps his father, or the editor Thomas Pringle (1789–1834), drew on existing texts of the “Account” to select the poems “Andernacht” and “St. Goar” to be revised and published under the collective title “Fragments from a Metrical Journal” in Friendshipʼs Offering; and Winterʼs Wreath . . . for MDCCCXXXV (pp. 317–19). The poem is signed “J.R.”, the first appearance of this persona, which was destined to appear frequently in the annuals during the second half of the 1830s and first half of the 1840s.
The poemsʼ new title asks the reader to imagine a whole, a “metrical journal”, which, if it ever existed, hearkened back to the version of the “Account” represented by MS IA, g.1. That version had by this time been superseded, since the earliest extant texts of the poems “Andernacht” and “St. Goar” were already coupled with a prose essay (“Calais”) in the MS IA, g.2 manuscript, indicating that the composite‐genre version was underway—the poems shortly to be complemented with drafts of the prose essays “Andernacht” and “St. Goar” in MS VIII. For whatever reason, it was decided that the title “Fragments from a Metrical Journal” would pose a fiction.
The composite nature of the final version of the “Account” is suggested by another poem by J.R. in the same volume of Friendshipʼs Offering, but the connection with the “Account” would have been apparent only to the few who knew how to look for it. Ruskinʼs other poem in the volume, “Saltzburg” (pp. 37–38), is ekphrastic as well as topographical, but the poem carries no reference to a larger, encompassing project; and indeed “Saltzburg” formed no part of the “Account”, since the Ruskins did not visit that city in 1833. Rather, Ruskin drew on his self‐instruction in the materiality of illustrated travel publications for the “Account” in order to compose a poem based on an engraving entitled Saltzburg, printed facing the first page of Ruskinʼs poem. The poem, as well as the picture by the artist, William Purser (ca. 1790–1852), presumably were commissioned by the editor, Thomas Pringle, for publication along with the “Fragments” in Friendshipʼs Offering.
W. G. Collingwood misdated the publication of “Saltzburg” as a year later, in December 1835, following the Ruskin familyʼs first visit to the city of Salzburg, which occurred during their Continental Tour of 1835 (see Date of Publication). Collingwood assumed that Ruskin could not have written about a place he had never seen, but J.R. was not yet Kata Phusin or the Graduate of Oxford, devoted to nature. In his own drawings for the “Account”, Ruskin was as absorbed by the technology of graphic reproduction as by its landscape subjects. Collingwood was probably confused by the imprint date of Friendshipʼs Offering; and Winterʼs Wreath . . . for MDCCCXXXV, forgetting what consumers knew earlier in the century, during the heyday of the annuals, that a volume “for” 1835 would have been published in October or November 1834, in time for the holiday season of Christmas and New Yearʼs, 1834–35.
Friendshipʼs Offering; and Winterʼs Wreath, as the annual was called at this time, was published by Smith, Elder, and the volume “for MDCCCXXXV” was the last to be edited by Pringle, who died at the end of 1834, having edited the series since the volume for 1828. Pringle and the firmʼs proprietors, George Smith (1789–1846) and Alexander Elder (1790–1876), were Scots, like the Ruskins, and known to them personally. While some correspondence by Pringle exists to attest to his personal acquaintance with the Ruskins (Vigne, Thomas Pringle, 188), I am aware of no correspondence by the editor or by the Ruskin family that comments on Johnʼs writing for this volume of Friendshipʼs Offering. (Extant correspondence with Pringleʼs successor, the editor W. H. Harrison [ca. 1792–1878], starts in 1837 and refers to Ruskinʼs poetry published in the volume for 1838.) The completed texts of Ruskinʼs two poems for the 1835 volume must have been completed no later than 1 August 1834, when Pringleʼs compilation for the volume was due to the printer in time for publication in November 1834 (see Vigne, Thomas Pringle, 244).
A draft of “Saltzburg” is extant in MS VIII, terminating the section, MS VIII: Contents, b.2, in which draft of the “Account” combines with draft of poetry for John Jamesʼs 10 May 1834 birthday (see Line Numbering in the Draft [MS IA, MS VIII]). Collingwood interpreted the occurrence of the draft of “Saltzburg” here, in the notebook MS VIII, because Ruskin had “abandoned” the “1833 ‘Tour’” and “followed [it] on p. 106 by some poems descriptive of a new Tour—that of 1835” (Poems [4o, 1891], 1:264–65; Poems [8o, 1891], 1:266). He was correct in his interpretation of the physical evidence except in assuming that a year lapsed between the “1833 ‘Tour’” poem and “Saltzburg”, which was in fact a direct outcome of the “Account” project, although not a part of the tour poem itself.
No known draft reflects the revision of poetry in the “Account” to construct “Fragments from a Metrical Journal”. To form the two “fragments”, the texts of “Andernacht” and “St. Goar” were considerably revised from their original forms in MS IA, g.2 and MS IX.
To work out a timeline for revision of “Fragments” and composition of “Saltzburg”, one can perhaps assume that no definite arrangements for either poem had been made with Pringle by 22 January 1834, when John James wrote to James Hogg for advice about cultivating Johnʼs poetic talents. In this letter, in which John James mentions that, as an epitome of the boyʼs precocious abilities, he has “sketched in verse or prose, or picture,” “every scene” of the familyʼs tour of “four months in Switzerland and Italy”, the proud father at least pretends to misgivings about exposing their prodigy to the public. In the timing of this appeal, John James was renewing contact with Hogg following a lengthy hiatus in the familyʼs slight acquaintance with the famed Scottish writer. Thus, the abrupt suggests indicates that John James and Margaret were weighing the merits of publication with greater seriousness than they evidently regarded their sonʼs actual first appearance in print as a poet, with “On Skiddaw and Derwent Water”, which is never mentioned in surviving family correspondence. It is possible that the renewed contact with Hogg was urged by Pringle, who was a longtime friend of the writer—or conversely, that Hogg, on receipt of John Jamesʼs letter, nudged Pringle and the publisher, Alexander Elder (mentioned in John Jamesʼs letter, by way of introduction), to consider Ruskin as a contributor to Friendshipʼs Offering, a publication that had benefited by Hoggʼs own contributions (Garden, ed., Memorials of James Hogg, 273–75; see also James Hogg [1770–1835], and Discussion).
One can only speculate, further, whether publication in Friendshipʼs Offering might have been sponsored by Pringleʼs introduction of Ruskin to Samuel Rogers—a prodigious event, concerning which no contemporary evidence is known. It seems likelier that Ruskin would have paid his respects to the great man only after he had been published as “J.R.”, but by that time, so late in 1834, Pringle was in poor health and nearing his death, which occurred on 5 December 1834 (Vigne, Thomas Pringle, 247; and see Thomas Pringle [1789–1834]; Samuel Rogers [1763–1855]; and Discussion).
In the family correspondence for this period, the only mention of a publication occurs in a 10 March 1834 verse epistle by Ruskin to his father, “But this day week”, which excitedly anticipates, not the Friendshipʼs Offering commissions, but observations on natural history to be forwarded to the editor, John Claudius Loudon (1783–1843), to be considered for publication in the Magazine of Natural History (Burd, ed., Ruskin Family Letters, 285). It seems surprising that Ruskin would have failed to add a couplet or two celebrating his submissions to another editor, Thomas Pringle, if an understanding had been reached.
This evidence of temporizing earlier in the year conforms with the position of the “Saltzburg” in MS VIII following the draft of the “Account” that is combined with draft of poetry for John Jamesʼs 10 May 1834 birthday (MS VIII: Contents, b.2)—draft that presumably dates from about April or early May 1834. One cannot assume that the revision of “Fragments” preceded the composition of “Saltzburg”, for, although it may seem logical that revision of existing text would have predated invention of new, one can imagine as an equally likely scenario that Pringle offered Ruskin the “Saltzburg” commission first, on the strength of his clever imitation of illustrated travel literature in MS IX. That the two commissions came close together is suggested, moreover, by the probable timing of Ruskinʼs fair‐copying of the “Andernacht” and “St. Goar” sections in MS IX. Since the fair‐copy texts of the poems for these sections remain largely unchanged from their first instantiation in MS IA, g.2, presumably their revision for “Fragments” had not yet been undertaken. This fair‐copying, as proposed in The Composite‐Genre Illustrated Travelogue (MS IX), cannot have occurred earlier than the drafting of “Ehrenbreitstein”, the section that, in MS IX, bridges the “Andernacht” and “St. Goar” sections—again, setting a terminus a quo for the Friendshipʼs Offering commissions little earlier than April or May 1834. Ruskin could have set to work as late as June and still have met Pringleʼs deadline of 1 August 1834 for delivering the completed volume of Friendshipʼs Offering to the printer.
Poems, by J. R. (1850)
In 1850, another verse selection from the “Account” was privately published as “Ehrenbreitstein: Fragment from a Metrical Journal” (Ætat 16) in the “collected” edition of Ruskinʼs poetry, Poems by J.R. (pp. 8–12). John James Ruskin and Ruskinʼs editor, W. H. Harrison, selected this poem from among the extensive verse for the “Account” that, at that time, remained unpublished.
The editorsʼ title consciously references “Fragments from a Metrical Journal”, published sixteen years earlier, and it is the only poem from the “Account” project to be included in the 1850 collection. Surprisingly, the editors did not include “Fragments” itself, which is, as it were, represented by “Ehrenbreitstein: Fragment from a Metrical Journal”. Nor did the editors include “Saltzburg” from Ruskinʼs debut volume of the annual, Friendshipʼs Offering; and Winterʼs Wreath . . . for MDCCCXXXV.
To understand the editorsʼ choice and subtitling of “Ehrenbreitstein”, the reader requires inside knowledge, which could be expected only of the audience for a privately published volume like the 1850 Poems, distributed solely to family and personal friends. In the MS IX fair copy of the “Account”, which in 1850 could be viewed only as the familyʼs personal possession, the section “Ehrenbreitstein” works as a bridge between the gothic mode in the section “Andernacht” and the domestic mode in the section “St. Goar”. The bridge is formed within the poem by linking landscapes in these contrasted modes, using the figure of confluence, as represented by the meeting of the rivers, the Rhine and the Moselle, at Koblenz, overlooked by the fortress of Ehrenbreitstein (see Hanson, “Ruskin in the 1830s”). Only readers originally presented with copies of the 1850 Poems, and perhaps only a very few of those readers, could have understood that the poem “Ehrenbreitstein” formed part of an intricately interconnected trio of sections in MS IX, and that this link had been broken when the poem was omitted as a component of the revised “Fragments”—a work that is itself absent from the volume.
Poems, ed. Collingwood (1891)
In 1891 and 1903, respectively, there appeared two editions of the “Account” that attempted to represent the work in a reasonably complete state, the former prepared by W. G. Collingwood (1854–1932) for the Poems (1891), and the latter by E. T. Cook (ca. 1857–1919) and Alexander Wedderburn (ca. 1854–1931) for the second volume, Poems (1903), of the Library Edition (Poems [4o, 1891], 1:119–63, 281–83; Poems [8o, 1891], 1:119–63, 282–85; Ruskin, Works, 2:340–87). Collingwood was aware that, in Praeterita, Ruskin had declared the work an “unfinished folly” (Ruskin, Works, 35:81). Publishing the “Account” therefore violated the general “instructions”, which Collingwood relayed in his “Editorʼs Introduction” without specifying their exact source, that he “omit such poems and passages as were . . . incomplete or inadequately representative of the authorʼs attainments and style at the time”. In his notes to the “Account”, Collingwood implicitly palliates violation of these terms by crediting his discovery of the scope of writing that was never fair‐copied: “The ‘folly’ I understand to refer, not to the literary quality of the verse, but to the miscalculation and miscarriage of an ambitious project. . . . [Nonetheless,] I am pretty certain that . . . [Ruskin] was not aware of the amount of material [for the “Account”] existing in rough copies at the back of his book‐shelves” (Poems [4o, 1891], 1:xxv, 265–66; Poems [8o, 1891], 1:xii, 266–67).
While Collingwood acknowledges that Ruskinʼs plan called for “about 150 pieces of prose and poetry, and at least as many drawings!”, the editorʼs reconstruction of the “Account” based on forgotten draft appears more complete and polished than the manuscripts warrant (Poems [4o, 1891], 1:266; Poems [8o, 1891], 1:267). Collingwoodʼs version misrepresents the work by limiting the selections to verse extracts, excluding prose and illustrations. An all‐verse “Account” was in keeping with the editorʼs prior decision to divide publication of Ruskinʼs early works between separate anthologies of poetry and of prose, but that decision in itself uncritically maintained a privileged status for poetry in the then‐current narrative about Ruskinʼs literary development—a status that, in the instance of the “Account”, was promulgated by the fiction that the “Fragments” published in Friendshipʼs Offering; and Winterʼs Wreath . . . for MDCCCXXXV originated in a “Metrical Journal”. While we do not know who was responsible for that title, we do know that Ruskinʼs father was responsible for collecting the 1850 Poems, an item that became intensely coveted by collectors in the final quarter of the century, creating in turn a market for the 1891 edition. Thus, Collingwoodʼs version of the “Account” reflects in miniature the mythologizing of Ruskinʼs literary development. (See Editorial and Encoding Rationale and Methodology: Defining Works and Manuscripts; History of the Bibliography and Editing of the Early Manuscripts; and Collecting of Modern Authors in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries.)
Collingwood was not misled about the composite‐genre nature of the “Account”. In his “Preliminary Note on the Original MSS of the Poems”, he describes the portion of MS IX containing the “Account” as devoted mainly to “prose and verse in a good ‘copperplate’ hand, and with inserted drawings illustrating his tour of the year before”; and in revealing the existence of additional draft material in MS VIII, he refers to the “prose and verse description of the tour”, including the “list at the end” of the notebook, which showed that Ruskin “had intended this volume [the fair copy in MS IX] to contain . . . prose and poetry, and . . . drawings” (Poems [4o, 1891], 1:265, 264, 266; Poems [8o, 1891], 1:266–67, 265, 267). In nonetheless excluding prose, without comment, from his reconstruction of the “Account”, Collingwood was influenced not only by the unexamined biographical myths that resulted in the market conditions favoring his edition; he also passed along Ruskinʼs own habit in later life of referring to the “Account” as his “rhymed history of the tour”. In Praeteritaʼs tale about the workʼs genesis, which Collingwood quotes both as an epigraph at the head his reconstruction, and as an explanation of the origin of the work in the “Preliminary Note”, Ruskin characterizes the work as a “poetical account of our tour, in imitation of Rogersʼs Italy” (Ruskin, Works, 35:81; Poems [4o, 1891], 1:119, 265; and Poems [8o, 1891], 1:119, 267).
Whether Collingwood planned to include the prose sections of the “Account” in the volume of prose that he projected as a companion to Poems is unknown. Perhaps he would have excerpted selections in an introduction, following his manner of confining the earliest juvenile verse to the “Editorʼs Introduction” in the edition of the poems. One suspects that Collingwood would have attached little importance to these prose pieces, in which Ruskin imitates the style of letterpress writers for the illustrated travel literature of his youth, sometimes adopting the wryly ironic, tendentious tone favored by the livelier of these writers, other times mocking the false pedantry of jobbing writers who worked up their subject with no experience of the places they described. While Collingwood did not suppress writing that opened up the youthʼs sense of fun, he felt obliged to present Ruskinʼs “juvenile productions” as consistent with the mature authorʼs mission to elevate “the public taste in poetry as well as art”; and it was in his poems, according to the editor, that, “although [Ruskin] thrust them aside for prose”, the youth “could better put the complicated feelings, thoughts, and facts which he had to tell”. The poems, therefore, constituted “the best introduction to his later and greater books” (Poems [4o, 1891], 1:xx–xxi; and Poems [8o, 1891], 1:vi–vii).
Another misrepresentation lay in Collingwoodʼs omission of Ruskinʼs illustrations for the “Account”; and while this omission might be ascribed to limits on the cost of reproduction—the plates that reproduce Ruskinʼs drawings were confined to enhancing the deluxe collectorʼs edition of Poems, while only a few figures that facsimiled his fair‐copy printing were retained for the common edition—Collingwood passed over Ruskinʼs illustrations drawn specifically for the “Account” in MS IX. His purpose, according to the “Prefatory Notes on the Plates” (printed in the deluxe edition only), was “to show Mr. Ruskinʼs hand at different periods, in different materials, and in different styles”—an ambition that had recently come within reach with the perfection of photogravure in the 1880s, which could “render the very marks of the pencil and strokes of the pen”. Thus, to accompany the “Account”, Collingwood selected the drawing Watch‐tower at Andernach (1833) “as an example of the careful, though untaught, work of a boy of fourteen”; the plate reproduces “in actual size part of a larger drawing in pen on warm grey paper done in the manner which the young artist evolved for himself out of copying Cruikshank”. As a second accompaniment, The Jungfrau from Interlachen (1833) represented “one of [Ruskinʼs] attempts to imitate the Rogers vignettes”, an attempt deemed ”artificially composed—not without skill, though with less regard than he afterwards paid to truth of mountain‐drawing”. Besides contributing to the larger goal of documenting Ruskinʼs developing drawing style, however, these plates reveal another intention, less prominently stated but significant for Collingwoodʼs approach to editing the “Account”. The editor says that, to illustrate “the ‘Tours’ of 1833 and 1835”, he chose “drawings made at the time and for the purpose”, but it is evident that the “purpose” meant, for Collingwood, attentiveness to scenic experiences of touring, and not Ruskinʼs interest in the technology of printed images. That is, Collingwood was engaged by the “Account” less as a work in itself than as biographical record of family travel (Poems [4o, 1891], vi–vii, and see 1:128 opp., 140 opp.; on photogravure, see Benson, The Printed Picture, 230).
Had Collingwood been alert to Ruskinʼs purposes in MS IX, he would have more representatively selected one of the manuscriptʼs several direct copies from Proutʼs Facsimiles of Sketches Made in Flanders and Germany, and a vignette in the manner of Stothardʼs figure subjects for Rogers, just as he selected The Jungfrau from Interlachen to illustrate what Ruskin wrote about the “Account” in Praeterita—that he drew “vignettes for the decoration of the . . . poetical account of our tour, in imitation of Rogersʼs Italy” (Ruskin, Works, 35:81). (The latter choice of vignette is representative of MS IX only indirectly, in that Ruskin may have intended it for the manuscript, but never used it: Cook and Wedderburn do not record it as part of the manuscript in their time, and its current location is unknown. In list 2 of the List of Proposed Additional Contents for the “Account”, itemizing the proposed illustrations for each section of the “Account”, Ruskin assigned “My own” to the planned section The Jungfrau—meaning his own drawing, as opposed to reproducing another artistʼs published depiction, and possibly referring to the drawing reproduced by Collingwood.)
For copytext of the poems making up his version, Collingwoodʼs first choice was to use texts as published in Ruskinʼs lifetime, a condition that in the case of the “Account” applies to three poems: “Andernacht” and “St. Goar”, revised for and published together as “Fragments from a Metrical Journal” in 1834; and “Ehrenbreitstein”, slightly revised and published as “Ehrenbreitstein: Fragment from a Metrical Journal” in 1850. Otherwise, where available, Collingwood used texts of poems as fair‐copied by Ruskin in MS IX; and in cases where only draft survives, he drew the texts from MS IA, g.2, and MS VIII. For all manuscript texts, fair‐copy and draft, Collingwood regularized punctuation and spelling, and he did not scruple to mend lines as he saw fit. (Details are given in the textual glosses attached to transcriptions.) For “Andernacht” and “St. Goar”, he additionally supplied the MS IX versions in notes.
Despite this pattern of giving authority to the latest revised and published or fair‐copied texts, Collingwood acted inconsistently in bestowing authority on an “original”, as he called it, if it took his fancy. In the case of the poem, “Calais”, Collingwood took main copytext from MS IA, g.1, in John Jamesʼs hand, which is the earliest version of this poem; and he even preferred a line as originally composed in that hand (line 5), although deleted in the manuscript and revised in Johnʼs hand—a revision that John carried to his fair copy in MS IX. And yet Collingwood scuttled John Jamesʼs authority in line 2 of this “original” version, which the editor pronounced “neither rhyme nor reason” and substituted a line of his own invention, deciding on no further evidence that John Jamesʼs line “must be a mis‐transcription of an insufficiently altered rough copy, now lost“ (Poems [4o, 1891], 1:280–81; Poems [8o, 1891], 1:282).
In this instance, Collingwood avows his responsibility—“the very few emendations I have presumed to make are marked by square brackets”—and while he tended to be much more casual than a twenty‐first‐century editor would be about what emendations needed flagging, we probably can safely assume that these aesthetic “emendations” were his, and not specifically authorized by the elderly Ruskin. In his notes and prefaces to the edition, Collingwood always refers to the authorʼs investment in the edition in the past tense, as having authorized the editorʼs judgments but resigned his own responsibility, consistent with Collingwoodʼs general statement that closes his “Prefatory Notes on the Plates”: “this publication is in no sense my own enterprise, . . . it had been long contemplated by Mr. Ruskin, and . . . it was put into my hands in default of better, with instructions which I have endeavoured to carry out faithfully. But as the selection and arrangement have been left entirely to me, it is only just to the author that I should avow the responsibility” (Poems [4o, 1891], 1:281, xi; Poems [8o, 1891], 1:282).
Regarding the “Account” in particular, it seems especially unlikely that Ruskin would have contributed directly to Collingwoodʼs editing, given the authorʼs disparaging remarks about the project in chapter 4 (1885) of Praeterita. Mythologizing the work primarily in terms of its association with his first exposure to Turner—“I had no sooner cast eyes on the Rogers vignettes than I took them for my only masters, and set myself to imitate them as far as I possibly could by fine pen shading”—Ruskin had forgotten or underplayed the significance of the “Account” in his artistic and professional development (Ruskin, Works, 35:79). In 1882, before he even started writing the autobiography, Ruskinʼs stake in editing the poems had been prompted by the American publisher, John Wiley & Sons, stealing a march on reprinting the poems first published in the annuals, causing him to raise the alarm to Alexander Wedderburn (7 February 1882 or 1883, in Ruskin, Letters to Alexander D. O. Wedderburn; see also History of Bibliography and Editing of the Early Manuscripts). It is interesting to speculate how that perceived theft might have helped to sponsor the idea of writing an autobiography, but once he had told his story in that book and in his own way about his creation of the “Account” and his subsequent publication in Friendshipʼs Offering—benchmarks that he fails to connect causally in PraeteritaRuskin seems to have been content to turn over the labor of editing to his assistant.
Works, ed. Cook and Wedderburn (1903)
The 1903 version of the “Account”, the first published version to convey the composite genre of the MS IX fair copy, was edited by E. T. Cook and Alexander Wedderburn for the second volume (1903) of the Library Edition (Ruskin, Works, 2:340–87). The editors adopted the verse framework of Collingwoodʼs version as a base text, but reunited the poems with their corresponding prose essays to form the composite sections with place‐name titles that Ruskin intended in his final version. Cook and Wedderburn also supplemented Collingwoodʼs framework by adding one prose essay, “Aix la Chapelle”, from the MS IX fair copy, which has no corresponding poem in draft or fair copy, and which was therefore ignored by the previous editor; two poems, “The Descent” and “Villa Pliniana”, from the MS VIII draft, which the previous editor either neglected or rejected; and an essay, “Chamouni”, from MS XI, which, as a prose piece, Collingwood would not have published even if he was aware of it. (The piece is not mentioned in Collingwoodʼs sketchy description of MS XI in “Preliminary Note on the Original MSS of the Poems”, nor is it mentioned even in Cook and Wedderburnʼs expanded description of the manuscript, which had been bound by their time, although they do ascribe the essay to MS XI in a footnote to the text [Poems (4o, 1891), 266–67; Poems (8o, 1891), 1:268; Ruskin, Works, 2:534, 380 n. 1].)
Cook and Wedderburn reproduced Ruskinʼs drawings for the “Account” only to a very limited extent. As was typical in the Library Edition, plates were carried over from previous deluxe editions published by the George Allen firm; and therefore, Collingwoodʼs selections of Watch‐tower at Andernach and Jungfrau from Interlachen made a reappearance. (See Ruskin, Works, 2:354 opp., 380 opp.; see also 1891. As in Collingwoodʼs edition, the plate illustrating Andernach is situated with its corresponding poem and prose; however, whereas in Collingwoodʼs edition the Jungfrau plate appears opposite [“Entrance to Schaffhausen”] and [“The Alps from Schaffhausen”], in the Library Edition it is placed opposite the poem “Passing the Alps” and the start of the composite section “Chamouni”.) In addition, however, the editors recognized the need of at least one facsimile to illustrate the often‐quoted description in Praeterita of the illustrated fair copy, so they reproduced a single page from MS IX—the title page, with Turneresque vignette drawing, of the “Ehrenbreitstein” section (Ruskin, Works, 2:356 opp.). Beyond this facsimile, the editors settled for describing Ruskinʼs illustrations in footnotes marking the place in the text where they occur.
The Cook and Wedderburn version, therefore, makes a much more convincing case than Collingwoodʼs as a comprehensive representation of Ruskinʼs final vision of the “Account”, if not a thorough representation. Besides the additions already mentioned, the Library Edition editors supplied lines for “The Summit” that are missing in Collingwoodʼs text; and while no