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Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut. Catalogued as “Poems 1833”.
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.
See Sothebyʼs Sale of Ruskin Manuscripts and Library, 1930. See also Ruskin Manuscript Collecting by American Research Libraries.
On the first leaf following the front flyleaf, Ruskinʼs cousin, Joan Severn, inscribed “Joan R. Severn / from Di Pa”, this manuscript being one of the those associated with touring that Ruskin set aside for her (see Introduction. Opposite this inscription, on the verso of the flyleaf, is inscribed in pencil “Mr Ruskin” possibly in the hand of John James Ruskin, followed by a second line in the same hand, which is difficult to decipher, but which contains the numeral “16”.
Ruled notebook; brown marbled boards and endpapers, three‐quarter‐bound in bluish‐green leather; 20.5 × 16.5 cm.
Someone—probably Wedderburn—has numbered leaves on their rectos, starting, oddly, with the second leaf following the two front flyleaves; i.e., the inside first flyleaf has the inscription by (possibl) John James mentioned above, the second flyleaf has the inscription by Joan Severn mentioned above, and then there is another unnumbered leaf before the numbering begins on the following leaf. Despite this irregularity, I employ this numbering for the Content below. In the front of the notebook, eleven leaves (i.e., the first unnumbered leaf following the inscribed flyleaves, plus numbered leaves 1–10) have had their right edges cut away—to about one cm. deep—but leaving a small tab on the edge of each leaf. On these marginal tabs, someone has printed an alphabet, prepatory for an alphabetical directory of some kind. These leaves were never used, however, and it is impossible to say whether the alphabetizing was done by Ruskin or by someone who had prepared the notebook before him. Possibly, Ruskin meant to provide an alphbetized table of contents at the start of his poem. (He did compile an index at the back of MS VI, although that index was probably for his personal use, since MS VI was a rough copy notebook.) As it turned out, Ruskin failed to prepare even a title page for MS IX, and the illustrated poem and prose sequence is untitled.
It is also possible that, since Margaret Ruskinʼs writing is the first to appear in the manuscript ( Content, d), she made the alphabetical tabs for some use of her own. The paper is watermarked HAGAR & CO / 1822, so the notebook might have lain unused in the household for a long time. What seems least likely is that someone would have subjected the manuscript to this treatment after Ruskin used the notebook for his poetry—or, for Ruskinʼs part, that he would have started his project several leaves into the notebook, leaving all those blank leaves to be exploited later.
Tipped in at the front, attached to the marbled fly leaf, Wedderburn added a sheet describing MS IX. Like his sheets tipped into the front of many Red Books and other major manuscripts, he pasted onto it a clipping from PJR describing the MS IX, and commented on any additions or rebinding since Collingwoodʼs 1891 edition. In this case, where Collingwood summarized that pp. 1–21 are prepared for alphabetical index, while pp. 22–23 contain quotations in Mrs. J. J. Ruskin’s handwriting, and pp. 25–111, about a third of the book, were filled with prose and verse . . . with inserted drawings —i.e., the so‐called Account of a Tour on the Continent—Wedderburn added the note, most of the blank pages have since been removed & the book replaced in its old cover. This ranks among the more damaging decisions about the treatment of the early manuscripts. With blank leaves removed, we are prevented from seeing clearly where Ruskin might have left gaps in his fair‐copying, intending to insert a passage or a drawing later—a practice that remains obvious in the extant arrangement. One wonders, too, whether the leaves were entirely blank; even a roughly penciled notation might have provided clues about Ruskinʼs plan.
Reconstruction of the original manuscript is rendered uncertain, since one cannot be absolutely certain how many leaves were removed. Collingwood’s page counts in PJR accurately describe MS IX in its present condition. This means that Collingwood skipped over blank leaves when numbering the manuscript—a practice consistent with his treatment of blank leaves in MS IVD—and these unnumbered leaves would have been the pages removed by Wedderburn. Stubs do remain visible, but one cannot be confident that stubs would show for all the removed leaves, especially if the manuscript was removed and then rebound in its cover. In Content below, I have noted where a stub remains visible, which one may interpret as a leaf (i.e., two pages) that Ruskin presumably intended to fill with writing or drawing. One must bear in mind, however, that not all stubs may be visible. The remaining stubs of the removed leaves should not be confused with stubs of a different paper—paper that is not ruled, as the original paper is, and protruding slightly beyond the original marbled edges. These stubs appear to have been inserted as part of the rebinding process, to which Wedderburn alludes in his tipped‐in sheet. As irrelevant to the notebook Ruskin used, these rebinding stubs are not listed in Content below. Only the stubs are mentioned of paper that clearly belonged to the original notebook.
In the Library Edition, the editors document that, as the contents of the “Account” were collated in their time, a gallery of drawings followed the last page of extant fair‐copied text. Hanging a note to that effect at the end of the poem, “Now from the smiling afternoon” [“Heidelberg”], the editors comment: “In the MS. fair copy (ix.) two pages and a half are here left blank, and then follow the first four and a half lines of the prose passage . . . , the rest of which is supplied [by the editors] in the text from the draft in the earlier MS. (viii.).” That is, following the end of the poem on 46v, a leaf 47r‐v is left blank, with the essay “Most beautiful are the paths” [“Heidelberg”] starting half‐way down on 48r, but breaking off midway in the first sentence of the essay, after the word “sometimes”. Here Ruskin stopped fair‐copying the “Account”, the editors supplying the remaining text of the work from rough draft in MS VIII and other sources. In MS IX, the editors go on, “[t]he fair copy ends at this point, so far as writing is concerned, but seven page‐sketches are inserted: (1) A mountain gorge; (2) mountain heights, a castle on one; (3) a river between steep banks, snow mountains in the distance; (4) a mountain scene, châlet in foreground; (5) a, a mountain scene, b, a lake with a house on piers islanded on it; (6) a lake‐side, with terraced gardens, hills behind; (7) aiguilles. These sketches belong to the later portion of the “Tour”, of which the author did not make a fair copy.” As discussed in the apparatus to the “Account” (Manuscripts), it is not possible to determine whether Ruskin himself assembled this gallery or another person did so when the manuscript was rebound.
From front of book, the sequential order of contents:
- Inscriptions by John James Ruskin and Joan Severn (2 front flyleaves).
- Tabbed and alphabetized pages (unnumbered leaf plus folios 1–10r)
- Texts copied in Margaret Ruskinʼs hand
- Blank page (11v), followed by stub for one removed leaf.
- Account of a Tour on the Continent, incomplete fair copy in Ruskinʼs copperplate hand with accompanying illustrations in imitation of engravings and lithographs.
- Calais Fishermen [drawing] (13r)
- “The sands are in the sunlight sleeping” [“Calais”] [poem] (13r–13v)
- Calais Fishermen with Telescope [drawing] (13v)
- Calais Pier [drawing] (14r)
- “How much has been said of Calais” [“Calais”] [essay] (14r–15r)
- Calais Square [drawing] (15r).
- Cassel Hill [drawing] (15v)
- “The way was long and yet twas sweet” [“Cassel”] [poem] (15v–16v)
- Saint Omer Corpus Christi [drawing] (16v).
- Cassel Windmills [drawing] (17r)
- “When shall we get up this hill, this interminable hill” [“Cassel”] [essay] (17r–18r)
- Cassel Market Square [drawing] (18r).
- Lille Street with Wagon [drawing] (18v)
- “Oh red the blushing east awoke” [“Lille”] [poem] (18v–19v); no drawing at end of poem, but small space available (19v).
- Lille Battlement [drawing] (Note that the Library Edition gives the impression that this drawing closes the poem, when in fact it heads the prose section) (20r)
- “Passeport, Monsieur, sʼil vous plait” [“Lille”] [essay] (19r–19v); no drawing at end of prose section, but small space available (20v).
- No drawing at head of poem, but space definitely left for that purpose (20r); “The racking clouds were fleeting fast” [“Brussels”] [poem] (21r–22v)
- Brussels Wayside Shrine [drawing] (22v).
- Stub (between 22v and 23r).
- Brussels Waterloo [drawing] (23r)
- “Brussels is a lovely, a queenlike city” [“Brussels”] [essay] (24r–25r), no drawing at end of prose section, but ample space available (25r).
- No drawing at head of poem, but space definitely left for that purpose (24v); “The sky was clear, the morn way gay” [“The Meuse”] [poem] (25v–26v)
- The Meuse River [drawing], positioned between last two lines of The Meuse (poem) and beginning of prose section (26v)
- “How lightly the waves of the broad Meuse crisped” [“The Meuse”] [essay] (26v–27r); drawing, not at end of prose passage on 26v, where a small space is available, but pasted broadside and taking up whole of 27r (Works, 2:350 n. 2, first drawing listed).
- Blank page (27v);
- Aix La Chapelle Cathedral [drawing] (29r)
- “Hast ever heard of the peace of Aix La Chapelle” [“Aix La Chapelle”] [essay] (29v–31r).
- Nearly full‐page blank space definitely left for drawing, following last few words of Aix la Chapelle (prose) and preceding the two opening lines of Cologne (31r)
- “The noon was past, the sun was low” [“Cologne”] [poem] (31r–32r, with the deliberately erased gap described in Works, 2:351 n. 2).
- Cologne Bayenturm [drawing], between last line only of Cologne (poem) and beginning of prose section (Works, 2:351 n. 3) (32r)
- “And this is the birthplace of Rubens” [“Cologne”] [essay] (31r–34v); no drawing following prose section, but a small space available (33v). One of these leaves (31r) has at some point been cut away from its stub; then, the loose leaf cut horizontally between the drawing and the prose at the bottom; and, finally, the two pieces have been taped back into place again, reattached to the stub. The piece with the drawing has “B” written at the side. See 38r‐v, below.
- Stub (between 34r and 34v).
- No drawing, although large space definitely allowed (34v); “We have wound a weary way” [“Andernacht”] (35r–35v)
- Andernacht Tower [drawing] , at top of page following poem and preceding prose, which is described in Works as somewhat detached from the poem, but which certainly depicts Andernach tower (Works, 2:354 n. 2) (36r)
- “What is it that makes the very heart leap within you” [“Andernacht”] [essay] (36r–37v); no drawing at end of prose section, but ample space available (37v).
- Ehrenbreitstein Fortress [drawing] (38r)
- “Oh warmly down the sunbeams fell” [“Ehrenbreitstein”] [poem] (38r–40v)
- Ehrenbreitstein River Scene (40v). One leaf (38r‐v) has been removed from its stub and then reattached with tape. Since the tape is the same as that used to reattach 32r‐v, and since this entire leaf is reproduced in Works, one suspects that the leaf was detached so it could be photographed for the Library Edition. It is equally possible, however, that the editors took advantage of an existing separation.
- No drawing, although nearly full‐page space definitely allowed (41r); “It is said that French will carry you over all Europe” [“Ehrenbreitstein”] [essay] (41r–42r); no drawing at end of prose passage, and insufficient space available for one (41r).
- No drawing, although space definitely allowed (42v); “We past a rock, whose bare front ever” [“St. Goar”] [poem] (42v–43r); no drawing at end of poem, but small space available (43r).
- No drawing, although space definitely allowed (43r); “St Goar is the least and sweetest place on all the Rhine” [“St. Goar”] [essay] (43v–44r); no drawing at end of prose passage, and only a very small space available (44r).
- Heidelberg Drawing [drawing] (Works, 2:360 n. 1, cited erroneously as following poem on St. Goar) (44v)
- “Now from the smiling afternoon” [“Heidelberg”] [poem] (44v–47v); no drawing, but space allowed on two‐page spread (46v–47r, on each page of which the poetry extends only halfway down, lines 65–76 on 46v, and lines 77–86 on 47r); no drawing, and no space available, at end of poem (46v).
- Blank leaf (48r–48v); no drawing, although space definitely allowed (49r)
- “Most beautiful are the paths” [“Heidelberg”] [essay] (49r).
- Blank page (49v).
- Stub (between 49v and 50r).
- Mountain Gorge Drawing, pasted in the middle of the page (50r).
- Blank page (50v).
- Balstall Drawing, pasted in middle of page (50r).
- Blank page (51v).
- River Drawing, pasted broadside in middle of page (51r).
- Blank page (52v).
- Mountain Scene with Chalet Drawing (52r).
- Blank page (53v).
- Mountain Scene with Boulder DrawingLake Scene with Building on Piers Drawing (54r), no space available for text.
- Blank page (54v).
- Stub (between 54v and 55r).
- Lakeside with Terraced Villa, pasted in middle of page (Works, 2:364 n. 1 [no. 6]) (55r).
- Blank page (55v).
- Drawing, pasted in middle of page (Works, 2:364 n. 1 [no. 7]) (56r).
- Blank pages (56v–75r).
Date of manuscript’s composition 1833–34.
Composition & Sources