Title
In the bibliography of the Library Edition, section III (“Catalogue of Ruskin MSS.”), subsection B (“Diaries and Note-books”), the editors list under “Note-books” a group of manuscripts that they entitle “Juvenilia” (Ruskin, Works, 38:206). They intend the categorical title “Juvenilia” to apply to all the “MSS., containing Poems, Geological Notes, etc., etc.,” comprised by their expanded version of W. G. Collingwoodʼs descriptive bibliography, “Preliminary Note on the Original MSS. of the Poems” in volume 2 of the Library Edition (Ruskin, Works, 2:529-34). The title “Juvenilia” came to be applied in particular, however, to “three small books” that, in the main bibliography in volume 38, the editors note as an addendum to “those [MSS.] there described” in Collingwoodʼs “Preliminary Note” reprinted and expanded in volume 2 (Ruskin, Works, 38:206), these three notebooks being nowhere described. (W. G. Collingwood omitted these three manuscripts from his original “Preliminary Note” presumably because they contained no poetry by Ruskin.)
As a result, the title “Juvenilia” stuck for these three notebooks in particular, as attested by the embossing of this title on the spine of the blue morocco slipcase containing the three notebooks, a slipcase that was constructed at perhaps the same time that the bibliography volume of the Library Edition was being compiled (see below, Location, Provenance). Consequently, the three notebooks came to be listed for sale under the title “Juvenilia” in Sotheby & Co., Catalogue of the Manuscripts and Remaining Library of John Ruskin, 21 (lot 112, no. VI).
I have conventionalized a title “MS Juvenilia A” as referring to the first of the three notebooks, identified by the editors as (a) in their list of “Juvenila” (Ruskin, Works, 38:206). See also MS Juvenilia B and MS Juvenilia C.
Location
Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut. Formerly, the Beinecke kept the manuscript inside the slipcase “Juvenilia” which, when sold at auction, contained MS Juvenilia A along with MS Juvenilia B and MS Juvenilia C. The slipcase is now preserved separately.
Provenance
See Provenance, Sothebyʼs, 1930.
Description
Red Book, 9.7 × 15.2 cm, 44 leaves, with watermark “Cansell” (no date in watermark)
In Ruskin, Works, 38:206, the editors describe this manuscript as “Early Latin Grammar, with reports of three sermons.”
Collation
Ruskin did not number the pages, and he created no title page for this Red Book or for its opening work; at any rate, no title page has survived. The inside front endboard, where he placed the title for “Harry and Lucy,” Vol. 1, in , is blank in MS Juvenilia A, and the Latin Exercises start on 1r without a title. Likewise, MS Juvenilia B and MS Juvenilia C lack title pages.
Ruskin used 1r through 20r for Latin Exercises. For the same purpose, he reversed the Red Book and, skipping the inside back cover and facing recto (i.e., 44v, which is a recto from the perspective of reversing the Red Book and turning it upside down), he wrote exercises on 44r through 42r and on 41r.
In 1833, using blank pages (primarily the rectos) following the Latin Exercises, and continuing to work from the front of the notebook, Ruskin drafted sermon nos. VII and X of the Sermons on the Pentateuch (20v, 21r, 22r, 23r, 24r, 25r, 26r, 27r). Reversing the notebook, and similarly exploiting blank pages following the Latin Exercises at the opposite end, he drafted sermon no. IX, again using primarily rectos and leaving versos (i.e., from the perspective of the notebook turned upside down) for slight revisions to the text on the facing page (40r–39v, 38v, 37v, 36v, 35v, 34v-32v, 31v, 30v).
At some point when drafting the sermons, Ruskin used the top of the inside back cover and the top of the facing page (44v) to draft the Latin Fragment [“Annibalis terror”]; and also on the inside back cover, below the Latin fragment, he sketched the Geomoetry Diagram (MS Juvenilia A).
Contents
The contents are described, incompletely, in Ruskin, Works (38:206) as “Early Latin Grammar, with reports of three sermons” (see Title).
From front of book, the sequential order of contents:
From end of book, the sequential order of contents:
Date
Starting in 1827, Ruskin initially devoted this Red Book to the Latin Exercises. In 1833, he returned to the notebook to draft the sermons; and presumably at about the same time he used the inside back cover and facing page for the Latin and geomoetry fragments.
Viljoen misdates the latter use of MS Juvenilia A as 1831.
Discussion
Hand
Except for a portion of Latin Fragment [“Annibalis terror”], MS Juvenilia A is written entirely in pencil. The hand for Latin Exercises closely resembles that for MS I. The hand for the Sermons on the Pentateuch draft is cursive.
The editors of the Library Edition erroneously described the sermon drafts as “reports” (see Description), assuming that the pencil, cursive notes must document the story, related in Praeterita, about Ruskin and his cousin Mary attempting to reconstruct the sermons they heard in church on Sunday.
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