Editorial and Encoding Rationale and Methodology
For a detailed description of the kinds of webpages contained in the archive and their organization and navigation, see Plan of the Archive. The present note discusses the rationale and methodology used in editing and encoding the manuscripts. Past editorial appproaches are reviewed in History of the Bibliography and Editing of the Early Manuscripts.
The note is divided into the following sections:
- Editorial Rationale
- Historical Approaches to the Early Ruskin Archive
- The Scope of ERM
- The Documentary Editorial Orientation in Editing Juvenilia and Youthful Writing
- Expressing the Materiality of Manuscripts
- The Private, Confidential, and Public in the Early Manuscripts
- Defining Works and Manuscripts
- teiCorpus Markup and the Tension between Works and Corpora
- Documentary Editorial Practices and Encoding
- Transcription and Markup Protocol
- Element, Attribute, and Value Usage
Historical Approaches to the Early Ruskin Archive
For a detailed account of this topic, see History of the Bibliography and Editing of Ruskinʼs Early Manuscripts. In the present note, precedents and problems in past approaches are summarized as a foundation for the rationale governing the editorial approach adopted in ERM. Past practices include separating genres and disciplines that Ruskin, in his youth, did not necessarily perceive as divided; isolating works from larger corpuses in which Ruskin experimented with anthologizing and recontexualizing those works; and imposing editorial policies with misguided aims of suppressing texts that editors deemed incomplete, while intrusively regularizing and even substantively revising texts that did get selected for publication.
The Editorial Division of Poetry from Prose
The first editors of Ruskinʼs early manuscripts divided the archive by genre, poetry from prose. The precedent for this division was set by Ruskinʼs father and his friend, W. H. Harrison (ca. 1792–1878), when they collected Ruskinʼs early verse publications in the anthology Poems (1850) by “J.R.” For them, the anthology commemorated Ruskinʼs erstwhile vocation as a poet, an ambition that they had devotedly supported as editors and promoters, but that Ruskin himself had decisively abandoned. Nearly a half‐century later, the decision to separate the poetry from the prose was maintained by W. G. Collingwood (1854–1932) in his edition, Poems (1891). His choice arguably was driven or at least intensified by the cachet that, by the end of the century, had come to surround Poems (1850) as a scarce collectorʼs item. The heated rare‐book market for the 1850 volume had already resulted in a pirated American edition of the poems—one of many piracies that threatened Ruskinʼs income from his books (see Poems (1891): The Provocation of American Literary Piracy). Animating all of this interest in the poems was the charm of Ruskinʼs autobiographical narrative in Praeterita about his youthful career as a poet manqué.
Collingwood planned a complementary edition of prose, documenting Ruskinʼs turn from poetry to criticism. This edition was never realized under Collingwoodʼs editorship. Ultimately, the project was hurriedly and inadequately compiled as the first volume, Early Prose, of the Library Edition, under the supervision of E. T. Cook (1857–1919) and Alexander Wedderburn (1854–1931). To a great extent, that volume merely collected recent editions of early prose works that George Allen (1832–1907). had revived, more with a view to producing handsome volumes for the collectorsʼ market and thwarting sales of American piracies, than with a serious scholarly purpose (see Collecting of Modern Authors in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries).
While these editorial decisions were influenced by the market, the editions did not lack scholarly effort, but their bibliographical underpinnings were flawed by the segregation of poetry from prose. Collingwood, who had access to Ruskinʼs study in his home, Brantwood, was the first to undertake a descriptive and analytic bibliography of the early verse manuscripts—earlier bibliographers had described the youthful verse publications—and he published his findings as the “Preliminary Note on the Original MSS. of the Poems”, appended to volume 1 of the Poems (1891) (Poems [4o, 1891],1:261–67; Poems [8o, 1891], 1:262–68). Whatever bibliographical attention Collingwood may have given to the prose manuscripts in his preparations, the “Preliminary Note” was rendered incomplete and lacking in evidence, owing to arbitrarily omitting entire manuscripts that contain solely prose. Even on its own terms as a bibliography of the poetry manuscripts, the “Preliminary Note” is problematic in neglecting to describe or explain prose works present in several of the manuscripts that the note does describe—or even to describe prose included as part of works largely in verse.
In the Library Edition, Cook and Wedderburn only imperfectly addressed the problems raised by this division. The editors maintained Collingwoodʼs scheme of housing works separately by genre in the Early Prose and Poems (volumes 1 and 2, respectively), but in the prose volume they did not attempt to match Collingwoodʼs “Preliminary Note” for the poetry with a corresponding bibliographical description of the prose manuscripts. Rather, in Early Prose they hastily repackaged existing republications of early prose writings made in the 1890s by George Allen. In Poems, volume 2 of the Library Edition, the editors reprinted Collingwoodʼs “Preliminary Note”, expanding it only with brief descriptions of some additional verse manuscripts, and with lists by title of the individual verse works contained in the manuscripts—a useful enough enhancement, so far as it went, but failing to question the fundamental logic or serviceability of separating the poetry manuscripts from the prose in the first place (Ruskin, Works, 2:529–41).
As Cook and Wedderburn organized the manuscripts that they found at Brantwood during preparation of the Library Edition, their curatorship of the early manuscripts was based on the same arbitrary distinction. They separately bound some that contained texts of early prose exclusively, while gathering stray poems (including, inconsistently, some early prose) in MS IA. They relegated description of the prose manuscripts (or some of them) to volume 38, the Bibliography volume of the Library Edition, classifying these descriptions as “Juvenilia”—leaving open the question of what should be comprised under this term, if not also the early poetry manuscripts listed separately in the “Preliminary Note”. Thus, Collingwoodʼs editorial scheme—which, if flawed in its logic, he had at least carried out consistently and reasonably accurately—was now also confused by inconsistency and unevenness of bibliographical description and editorial procedure in the Library Edition.
In ERM, rather than perpetuating the late nineteenth‐century conceptualization of the early manuscripts in terms of a vocational watershed between poetry and prose, our ambition is to organize the archive around a creatively dynamic tension perceivable throughout the early writing—a tension, not so much between poetry and prose, but between a unitary work, whether in verse or prose, and its potential to join and alter a larger anthology or collection, and also a dynamism between traditional genres and their potential to join with others to form a composite. In the manuscripts of the 1820s known to the Ruskin family as the Red Books, Ruskin projected his prose compositions as “volumes” of “Harry and Lucy Concluded”, intended as an ongoing multi‐volume series, while filling out each of these “volumes” with poems collected into small anthologies. Later, he advanced beyond volumes that compiled multiple genres to design unitary works as multi‐genre anthologies in themselves, as in the Account of a Tour on the Continent (1833–34)—a work initially composed as a travelogue solely in verse, and then re‐conceived as a composite‐genre travelogue in verse, prose, and picture. Thus, in his youth, while Ruskin learned to observe conventional generic boundaries in many of his poetic, scientific, and theological manuscripts, he was also constantly intrigued by their dynamic interrelatedness. To represent this dynamism of container and contained, we exploit the 〈teiCorpus〉 element of the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) markup, which can describe Ruskinʼs nested structures, albeit somewhat imperfectly (see 〈teiCorpus〉 Markup and the Tension between Works and Corpora).
The Aesthetic Orientation of Editing the Early Manuscripts
W. G. Collingwoodʼs editorial procedure in Poems (1891) can be characterized as aesthetic in method, in the sense described by Peter Shillingsburg in Scholarly Editing in the Computer Age: “The choice of copy‐text and the emendations made”, from this standpoint, “result from an aesthetic preference for forms found in various documents over forms with historical integrity derived from the fact that they are contained in a single document” (as preferred in a documentary orientation) (Shillingsburg, Scholarly Editing, 20). In fact, many of Collingwoodʼs choices appear to have resulted, not from systematic emendation at all, but from the vagaries of his personal taste.
The nineteenth‐century editors of the Ruskin juvenilia apparently took for granted that readers would benefit by an editorial approach that was almost the opposite of documenting an artifact. From John James Ruskin and W. H. Harrison to Collingwood, and to Cook and Wedderburn, the first editors of Ruskinʼs early writing freely and without acknowledgment regularized punctuation, invented titles, rewrote lines and reorganized stanzas of poetry, and joined fragments that are unrelated in the manuscripts to form texts that Ruskin never wrote (see History of the Bibliography and Editing of the Early Ruskin Manuscripts). In ERM, these heavily edited texts are themselves treated diplomatically as witnesses to this earlier conception of Ruskinʼs youthful writing, bearing evidentiary value for how editors of the 1830s believed the boy should be “brought forward” as an author, and for how editors of the 1880s and 1890s perpetuated the mythology of boyhood that, by that time, Ruskin had formed in his autobiographical writing.
The Scope of ERM
For a descriptive survey of the manuscripts planned for inclusion in ERM, see Overview of the Manuscripts.
The Relation of ERM to Previous Editorial Projects Involving the Early Manuscripts
The archive aims to include all extant works and manuscripts dateable from 1826 through 1842, exclusive of the Diary Notebook, 1835, which is available online as part of the John Ruskin Digital Archive, in the Victorian Lives and Letters Consortium; and the letters as edited by Van Akin Burd, The Ruskin Family Letters.
Professor Burd granted permission for this edition to be incorporated into ERM, so long as his editionʼs is maintained in exact integrity (Burd to David C. Hanson, 28 August 2008). At present, The Ruskin Family Letters remains widely available in paper form, and thanks to the extraordinary quality of Burdʼs editing, there is no call at present for a new transcription of the letters. ERM does, however, make available facsimiles of letters containing works (such as poems or parts of poems), since these witnesses are necessary to the editing of these works. Facsimiles of other family letters are also included, as available. ERM thoroughly re‐edits poems that Burd included in The Ruskin Family Letters on the grounds of their epistolary presentation, such as Ruskinʼs copies of New Yearʼs Poems and birthday odes for his father. Burd printed only the presentation versions of those works, without attempting comparison or collation with drafts and other fair copies.
Another previously published edition of an early Ruskin manuscript is A Tour to the Lakes in Cumberland, the account of the joint travel diary by Ruskin and his cousin, Mary Richardson, edited by James S. Dearden and Van Akin Burd. Burd and Dearden stipulate that any use of their editorial work is to be copied “as it stands, introducing comments or variants as an addendum” (Van Akin Burd to David C. Hanson, 14 August 2003; James S. Dearden to David C. Hanson, 3 September 2003). Since this 1830 manuscript provides important evidence about such matters as collaborative writing in the Ruskin family, and the developing relation for Ruskin between travel and writing, the manuscript evidence will be discussed in ERM, while referring the reader to Burdʼs and Deardenʼs edition.
James Deardenʼs 1969 edition of Ruskinʼs 1830 Lake District tour poem, Iteriad, or Three Weeks among the Lakes, relies for its copytext on the transcript of Ruskinʼs fair copy that Cook and Wedderburn prepared for use in the Library Edition. Although adequate for Deardenʼs audience at the time, intended as nonspecialist readers interested in the history of tourism in the Lake District, the transcript taken for the Library Edition has limited scholarly interest. Dearden has given permission, however, to quote with attribution from his lively and informed notes for the edition.
ERM references Helen Gill Viljoenʼs unpublished scholarly attention to the juvenilia, included as draft and notes for her unfinished biography of Ruskin and for her unpublished edition of the so‐called Sermons on the Pentateuch, which are found among the Helen Gill Viljoen Papers at the Pierpont Morgan Library. For the biography, see the account by James L. Spates in “John Ruskinʼs Dark Star”); and for the edition of the sermons, see the summary by Van Akin Burd in “Ruskinʼs Testament of His Boyhood Faith”. While working in archives, Viljoen transcribed numerous early texts by Ruskin; and at an early stage of research for ERM, the editor benefited from consulting these typescript transcriptions, whether as entrusted to him directly by Van Akin Burd or as later deposited at the Pierpont Morgan Library. None of these transcriptions are used as copytext in ERM, since they are limited in their usefulness owing to mistakes arising from the speed with which Viljoen had to cover an extensive territory. Viljoenʼs unpublished critical papers on the early writing do remain useful, however, and are cited in ERMʼs commentary as appropriate.
The Scope of Works Included in ERM
Chronologically, a starting point for the scope of works edited in ERM would appear easily determined by the earliest available manuscripts in Ruskinʼs hand. However, the elusiveness of determining beginnings of a Ruskin archive is suggested by the decisions of Helen Gill Viljoen, whose interest in Ruskinʼs early writings drove her farther back in time to his “Scottish heritage” in order to understand Ruskinʼs parents. The personalities and influence of John James Ruskin and Margaret Ruskin, Viljoen believed, were foundational to an understanding of Ruskin as a writer (see Viljoen, Ruskinʼs Scottish Heritage). Similarly, Van Akin Burdʼs Ruskin Family Letters begins with the courtship correspondence between Ruskinʼs parents, along with their exchanges with their parents. ERM is not meant to duplicate either Viljoenʼs biographical research or Van Akin Burdʼs annotation of the family correspondence, but to complement these resources, gratefully referencing them through commentary. ERM seeks also to contribute a standard of documentary editing in digital format for Ruskinʼs boyhood and youthful writing. Accordingly, the logical terminus a quo for the chronological inclusion of manuscripits is with Ruskinʼs earliest extant poem, which we argue to be “The Needless Alarm”, fair‐copied in 1826. Possibly earlier markings by Ruskin that survive inside of printed books owned by the family are discussed in the commentary.
As a terminus ad quem for Ruskinʼs early writing, the editors of the Library Edition chose the publication of Modern Painters I, since the emerging biographical consensus followed Ruskinʼs autobiography in perceiving 1843 as the debut of his destined professional role as a critic. Van Akin Burd likewise chose to close The Ruskin Family Letters in June 1843, when the first volume of Modern Painters appeared. ERM follows suit, but the aim respecting questions of scope should not be settled by precedent without also interrogating the basis of those precedents.
The Scope of ERM and the Study of Literary Juvenilia
Christine Alexander and Juliet McMaster call nineteenth‐century juvenilia by major British writers “almost a genre” (Alexander and McMaster, “Introduction”, 3). In an ideal form, the scope of the contents of ERM should advance an understanding of how this is so—how the manuscript corpus of Ruskinʼs early writing suggests a putative genre shared by other child writers of the period. (The caveat ideal takes account of the limitation that what is practically available for digitization and editing as part of the archive may never prove fully coterminous with what scholarship demands, whether because other claims are made on some objects or because some objects are no longer extant.)
Paradoxically, in the case of juvenilia, attempts to define and circumscribe the scope of a body of early writing can undermine the perceived value of the editorial project. As Alexander and McMaster comment, establishing an end‐point of an authorʼs “apprentice” work tends to reflect backward on the early writing in negative terms, owing to pejorative connotations of the terms used to characterize the writing, including the term juvenilia itself. For example, the separation between the Brontë sistersʼ early writing and the novels has often been approached as a “problem” in a derogatory sense, with the juvenile understood to persist as a kind of lingering debilitation into the later work. Branwell Brontë (1817–48) has been held up as exemplifying what happens if the source of weakness is never rejected by the author, leading critics to categorize the entirety of his creative work as “juvenilia”, despite his having produced creative writing continuously until his death at age thirty‐one (Alexander and McMaster, “Introduction”, 2; Alexander, “Defining and Representing Literary Juvenilia”, 71–72).
While nineteenth‐century writers may themselves seem to sanction this moralistic assessment of early writing by characterizing their transition away from juvenilia as a rite of passage, Kate E. Brown has revealed considerable complexity in this imaginary, by re‐examining how Charlotte Brontë (1816–55) thought about her transition from juvenilia to the novel The Professor (composed ca. 1844–46; published 1857). By characterizing this novel in its preface as a “little book”, Brontë emphasized its material form (she contended for a single‐volume publication, contrary to publishersʼ three‐volume standard). By dwelling on the novelʼs smallness, Brontëʼs preface works to connect The Professor with the juvenilia—distinctively, a collection of little books in their material form—more than the preface disassociates the novel from early writing. As Brontë writes: “A first attempt it [the novel] certainly was not, as the pen which wrote it had been previously worn a good deal in a practice of some years”—an assertion of the continuity of the writing life that is again figured in terms of material associations, the worn pen. At the same time, Brontë falls into the defensive reflex of denigrating the value of the juvenilia, by erasing its existence as quickly as she invokes it, claiming to have “destroyed almost as soon as” she created these earlier “crude effort[s]”. (Untrue, but at the time of the ca. 1851 preface, the miniature Brontë juvenilia were unknown outside the family; and as Brown remarks, Charlotte had grown secretive about the little books and the sagas they contained, wary even of mentioning them to close friends. The miniature manuscripts came to light publicly after Charlotteʼs death, when her husband briefly entrusted a “packet” of the manuscripts to Elizabeth Gaskell, who then described them in her 1857 Life of Charlotte Brontë.) Brown links the secrecy in which Charlotte enshrouded the juvenile manuscripts, along with their distinctive materiality, with the episode in Villette (1853) in which Lucy Snowe preserves letters from John Bretton by sealing and burying them beneath the roots of the “nunʼs tree”. Such actions invest the written artifacts with significance as “beloved objects”, which, Brown argues, are not repudiated but disavowed. “Repudiation seeks to obviate a loss by claiming it as oneʼs own desire, rejecting the lost object of love in an effort to restore self‐esteem. . . . [D]isavowal offers more contradictory satisfactions: it both denies and accedes to loss so as to perpetuate grief”, allowing “for two mutually exclusive responses to coexist”—namely, responding to loss by “at once memorializing a lost love” in the beloved object and by “denying its loss” (Brontë, The Professor, ed. Smith and Rosengarten, 3 [preface]; Brown, “Beloved Objects”, 397–98, 417 n. 11; Gaskell, Life of Charlotte Brontë, ed. Jay, 62 [chap. 5]).
Late in life, when Ruskin returned to his early writing he tended to handle manuscripts like the Red Books as talismanic objects (see, e.g., Hanson, “Dark Waters of Praeterita”, 66–68). Earlier, at the point when he consciously distanced himself from the juvenilia—in 1845, during his first study‐trip to Italy on his own, when he announced to his parents (to his father particularly) his intention to abandon writing poetry—that kind of composition was inextricable from the materiality of its presentaton in the gift book trade. While regrets about severing ties to annuals and gift books would have been more deeply felt by his father than by Ruskin, disavowal outweighs repudiation in Ruskinʼs repeated invocations of Wordsworthʼs “Intimations Ode”, which allowed for ambivalence and misgivings. Granted, a strain of repudiation also courses through his letters as he discovers, not only that he has lost his feeling for the picturesque, but that such longings are displaced by an urgent mission to preserve the monuments of Italy from the destruction of “preservation” efforts. Nonetheless, grieving for beloved objects is evident in the 1845 letters in the form of displacement—his fetishizing of the stone effigy of a child, Ilaria del Carretto by Jacopo della Quercia. Ruskinʼs festishization of this statue was rooted in his identity as a writer first formulated in the juvenilia (see Hanson, “Ruskin in the 1830s”, 151–54).
Going forward, Ruskin perhaps remained permanently at war with himself whether the strident demands of social duty would prevail in repudiating a boyhood identity, which he increasingly identified with landscape feeling as a phase of history to be critiqued, or whether the pull of memory would would lead him back to a more ambivalent disavowal mixed with regret, which he expressed in hypnotic autobiographical treatments of childhood. Ruskin shared this struggle between repudiation and disavowal with mid‐Victorian poets who rejected the dialogue of the mind with itself in favor of communal effort, only to seek ways to preserve the self they disavowed—from Tennysonʼs union with a mystically embodied Arthur Hallam, to D. G. Rossettiʼs enbalming of the all‐but‐disintegrated self in art itself, the sonnet as monument to dead love (Helsinger, “Ruskin and the Poets”, 143–58; Riede, Dante Gabriel Rossetti Revisited, 118–42). Often these ambivalent quests are accompanied by a reassessment of Wordsworthʼs paradigm of the child of nature, which in Ruskinʼs case led to a particularly fraught series of reappraisals of the poet (Knoepflmacher, “Mutations of the Wordsworthian Child of Nature”, 407–14). Perhaps it is in these genre‐forming Victorian quests (and Romantic genre de‐forming) that juvenilia could take shape as “almost a genre” reflexively, particularly in the material instantiation of juvenilia as a thing to be disavowed, but the major male Victorian poets were aggressively reactionary in repudiating attempts by others to re‐embody their juvenilia in print. Ruskin, by comparison, was willing to risk a charge of unmanliness by making public a re‐embodying of his juvenilia in facsimile (, 794–802).
A more decisive act of disavowal is evident in the reaction by John James Ruskin to his sonʼs abandonment of poetry. John Jamesʼs response was to stake considerable labor and expense in selecting, editing, and printing a beloved object, Poems (1850) by J.R., which was only the most elaborate in a series of such objects—collections of his sonʼs poems, which John James carried with him on his travels. (A surviving representative of these collections—not in John Jamesʼs hand, and therefore not identifiable as necessarily having belonged to him, but clearly belonging to the class of such objects—is “Poems | J. Ruskin”.) The private distribution of that volume among family and friends attests to its status as a beloved object. As the first poem in the collection, John James and his colleague W. H. Harrison selected from among Ruskinʼs boyhood verse the previously unpublished “Song” (“My muse is on the mountain sleeping”), which works both as an elegy for Ruskinʼs poetic persona “J.R.”, and as a Wordsworthian remembrance of first mountain sightings, that “thrill of strange delight / . . . / When blue hills rise upon the sight” (J.R., Poems , 3–4; and see Hanson, “Ruskin in the 1830s”, 155–56).
the modifier early is based on a precedent set by the Library Edition. Not that those editors were particularly thoughtful about their terminology. “By ‘early’ writings,” they wrote, “is meant such as were composed previously to the first volume of Modern Painters”, and they tended to use this term interchangeably with juvenilia (Ruskin, Works, 1:xxiii). Rather, early is adopted for the relative neutrality of the term, tending to leave open questions about the historical nature of nineteenth‐century juvenilia. ERM has been launched at a time when juvenilia studies have been drawing greater curiosity than perhaps ever before; nevertheless, pejorative views of major authorsʼ childhood writing have a deep history, not least among the authors themselves in their maturity, and one aim of the archive is not just to combat these prejudices, but to examine the prejudice as a critical problem.
Scholarly editing has always raised hackles over the “ownership”, literal or cultural, of canonical or semi‐canonical writing. In the 1960s, when Edmund Wilson (1895–1972) took up Lewis Mumfordʼs (1895–1990) fight against the CEAA academics for forcing lay readers to study Ralph Waldo Emersonʼs journals through the “barbed wire” of editorial apparatus, Wilson was goaded to a significant extent by his belief that these sophisticated editorial projects were funded at the expense of his own plan “for an American equivalent of the Pléiade series of Gallimard”—what became the Library of America series of standard works (Franklin, “The ‘Library of America’ and the Welter of American Books”, 182, 181). Similarly, from the 1860s through the 1890s, beliefs about what constituted a national literature, and about how it should be consumed, prompted negative reactions to the editing of juvenilia. Some opponents to the so‐called “first edition mania” were motivated by class snobbery against faddish enthusiasts and speculators who invaded rare book showrooms and caused prices for such “minor” works as juvenilia to balloon at the expense of valuing modern classics.
Some of the most intensely emotional resistance to editing juvenilia has issued from the authors themselves. Toward the end of the nineteenth century, a debate formed around the fin de siècle practice of collecting the juvenilia of “modern” (i.e., nineteenth‐century) authors, a practice that arose from the phenomenon of compiling collections of modern authors that aimed at comprehensiveness, including the acquisition of every “minor” publication such as juvenilia. The debate, which challenged the significance of what were deemed “minor” publications and deplored the effect of these items on the rare book market, spilled over into scholarly arguments about appropriate bibliographical approaches to these writersʼ canons. Much rancor arose over a perceived threat posed by this collecting, especially of juvenilia, to established literary authority and the control exercised over a literary corpus by an author or by the authorʼs family. Authors objected to the “resurrection” of their juvenile works by editors and bibliographers—the term resurrection referring to the illicit exhumation of bodies, and evoking the horror that authors and the literary establishment expressed regarding the “vampiric” ravages of editors who sought to reprint juvenilia (see Hanson, “Sentiment and Materiality in Late‐Victorian Book Collecting”; and The Collecting of Modern Authors in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries).
Ruskin collecting held a singular position in this debate, for whereas many authors expressed embarrassment about their literary juvenilia, and reacted angrily to collectors seeking out early publications, and even prosecuted publishers and editors who supported this collecting fashion, Ruskin appeared to sanction this curiosity. As he wrote in The Queen of the Air (1869), Ruskin was willing to risk “whatever charge of folly may come on me” by printing the 1828 poem, “Glenfarg”, since “the weak little rhyme already” demonstrated “all that I ever could be, and all that I cannot be” (Ruskin, Works, 19:396). The claim was an exaggeration, as Ruskin surely knew; and like other writers, he reacted with skepticism when listings of his earliest published writing became the foundation of the Bibliography of Ruskin—one of the first comprehensive, single‐author bibliographies, which began appearing in the 1860s–70s as finding aids for rarities sought by collectors (see Bibliography of Ruskin (1878–81), and Richard Herne Shepherd (1840–95)). Nonetheless, whereas Alfred Tennyson and Robert Browning abused such collectorsʼ publications and hounded the editors and publishers who reprinted their early writings by threatening criminal prosecution for piracy, Ruskin trumped the excavations of “resurrection men” by hastening to reprint his own fugitive pieces, charging the editorial task to young men in his inner circle, such as W. G. Collingwood and Alexander Wedderburn.
Despite Ruskinʼs atypical openness in exposing his early writing, one can question the value of indulging his conceit. One argument in favor of the early writing is the significance that Ruskin himself bestowed on it. The poem “Glenfarg” may or may not be a “weak little rhyme” in itself, but the capacity of these writings is well established as having stirred “dark waters” as well as bright when Ruskin reviewed his juvenilia in preparation for writing his autobiography, Praeterita, (see Hanson, “The Dark Waters of Praeterita”). Moreover, the policies of other authors and editors to banish juvenilia can carry an agenda that proves at least as interesting historically as the allegedly minor writing that such policies disqualify for serious study. Viljoen believed that the scope of materials included in the Library Edition was determined by the guarded decorum of Ruskinʼs inner circle—a policy, namely, that “nothing should be made public which might reflect adversely, from [the editorsʼ] point of view, either upon Ruskin or upon any member of the family”; and also (and potentially contradictorily) that “all that Ruskin said autobiographically, especially in Praeterita, about his life and that of his parents should be given unqualified editorial support” (Viljoen, Ruskinʼs Scottish Heritage, 16–17; and see Burd, ed., Ruskin Family Letters, xxviii). Presumably, it was in fear of adverse reflection that Collingwood limited his edition of Ruskinʼs early poems, Poems (1891), to “completed” works—a limitation imposed possibly by Ruskin himself; or by his caretakers, the Severns; or by his literary executors. Whatever the motivation, one effect of the ban on fragments was to suppress Ruskinʼs expressions of anger and frustration over parental attempts to rein in his writing—evidence of youthful psychological disturbance that the elderly Ruskin would not have wished to be revived and to disturb the tenor of his conciliatory autobiographical project (see Hanson, “Psychology of Fragmentation”; and Hanson, “Self and Revision in Ruskinʼs Revaluations of Romanticism”). What other unforeseen effects of nineteenth‐century policies of selectiveness and “correction” may have had on Ruskin studies will be discovered, it is hoped, with the aid of this archive.
For young Victorians, in particular, a rite of passage may have seemed culturally mandated, demanding a rejection of youthful writing, regardless of how messily a self‐transformation conformed with one's outward declarations of change. One can accept that a Carlylean break with Byronic romance was almost inevitable for promising young writers of the 1830s, without necessarily agreeing with Karen Chase that Charlotteʼs and Branwellʼs early Byronism presented only “eros without psyche”, in which “no Bildung” could occur, and that therefore the charactersʼ “personalties [in the early tales] do not develop; they merely intensify” (Chase, Eros and Psyche, 15, 14). In nineteenth‐century juvenilia, the genre of the farewell, as a self‐conscious parting of ways with the writing of oneʼs youth, must have seemed compulsory. This rite of passage is epitomized by Charlotte Brontëʼs “Farewell to Angria” (ca. 1839), in which Brontë takes leave fondly and reluctantly, but with some relief, of her fictional world of Angria, which she represents in this essay as a gallery of landscapes and portraits in varying seasons and moods (Alexander, ed., Brontës, Tales, 314, 557). Brontë was relinquishing her Byronism at a high pitch of intensity in her engagement with this poetic trend (Alexander, Early Writings of Charlotte Brontë, 192–200). Her break was deliberate in “Farewell to Angria”, exhibiting a self‐consciousness that perhaps makes this piece a rarity as a genre, as compared with a more gradual detachment manifested by other writers.
Ruskin likewise composed a Byronic romance in “Leoni”, but much of his poetic Byronism took the form, not of erotic tales and personae, but of landscape imagery, as if in realization of Charlotteʼs metaphor place as landscapes and portraits suffused with Byronism in “Farewell to Angria”. ERM contains several such fragmentary imitations of sublime landscapes that Ruskin populates with “spirits” drawn from Byronʼs Manfred as well as from Walter Scottʼs poems and tales, fragments in which Ruskinʼs purpose was perhaps merely redundantly to intensify an effect. In making available all of these previously unpublished fragments, the benefit of ERMʼs comprehensiveness prove only to demonstrate a boyish compulsion. If so, it is against these repetitious gothic landscape tropes that one may search for signs of Ruskinʼs break with Byronism—a change typically discussed in Ruskin studies in connection with Stones of Venice.
Amid these critical confusions, of which the slippery use of the term juvenilia is symptomatic, nineteenth‐century ideas of a writerʼs or artistʼs emergence need to be historically defined and situated, as Carol Bock has done for the concept that the early Victorians termed “coming forward” as an author (Bock, “Authorship, the Brontës, and Fraserʼs Magazine”). Arguably, Ruskin effected this transition in 1834, almost a decade prior to the publication of Modern Painters I, with the publication of two poems in the literary annual, Friendshipʼs Offering, “Fragments from a Metrical Journal” (see Account of a Tour on the Continent) and “Saltzburg”—although he made this transition less independently than did the Brontës, not with self‐help advice from Fraserʼs Magazine, but with the careful preparation and guidance of mentors including his father and several Scottish men of letters (see Hanson, “Ruskin in the 1830s”).
The Scope of Commentary in ERM: Apparatuses, Notes, and Annotation
For the kinds and arrangement of editorial commentary in ERM, see Plan of the Archive. The archive follows a tradition, which has prevailed in Ruskin studies since publication of the Library Edition, of supplying generous editorial commentary. In general, the principle guiding the scope of commentary in ERM is to inform professional scholars who are already knowledegable about Britain in the nineteenth century, but who are not necessarily specialists in Ruskin. The archive takes for granted a common ground with its audience of professional interest in the culture and century, and enters this critical conversation by helping to situate the reader in Ruskinʼs youthful engagement with his times.
Unless specified otherwise, all commentary is authored by the editor.
ERMʼs Documentary Editorial Orientation in Editing Juvenilia and Youthful Writing
Juvenilia as a field of study privileges a documentary editorial methodology over any eclectic approach. The aim of documentary editing, as summarized by Mary‐Jo Kline and Susan Holbrook Perdue, is to represent “artifacts inscribed on paper or a similar medium . . . whose unique physical characteristics and original nature give them special evidentiary value” (Guide to Documentary Editing, 3). In the mid‐1980s, writing in the first edition of the Guide to Documentary Editing, Kline could still generalize about a contrast between the documentary approach of historians and the “literary editing” theorized and practiced by textual critics and editors in English departments. In that same decade, however, such scholars as Donald McKenzie and Jerome McGann began to sway literary scholars toward a more sociological approach focused on study of the textual artifact in its cultural moment. Historians came meanwhile to recognize that, in their allegedly purist views of documentary editing, they had tended to overlook their own interventionist and “literary” practices (Kline and Perdue, Guide to Documentary Editing, 4–25; Tanselle, “Historicism and Critical Editing”). The study of juvenilia foregrounds the merits that historians have traditionally claimed for diplomatic editing of manuscript documents while also highlighting the difficulties of achieving purity in a diplomatic method.
Even before the advent of sociological approaches to literary editing, twentieth‐century editing of Ruskin swung to a documentary method, prompted in part by Helen Gill Viljoenʼs scorn for the methods of Cook and Wedderburn in the Library Edition. Viljoen was less willing to point out similar faults in Collingwoodʼs practices, whereas arguably the Library Edition can be credited with favoring a more historical approach, with its policy of printing unpublished materials, albeit selectively and in heavily edited versions. In any case, a diplomatic approach to transcribing Ruskin manuscripts became the norm only with the editorial labors of Van Akin Burd. Victorian studies was influenced by Burdʼs 1973 edition, The Ruskin Family Letters, which comprehensively collected the entire familyʼs historical papers—the family letters—as requisite to scholarship, and not just Ruskinʼs side of the correspondence, narrowly viewed as a literary accomplishment. Burd also attempted faithfully to reproduce the idiosyncrasies of the Ruskinsʼ punctuation, recognizing that one can detect the pulse of thought in the hand. In this approach, the reader is treated as a confidante, bringing one as close as possible to Ruskinʼs thought and feeling, believed to be legible in the holograph maunscripts. As Sheila Emerson observes, for example, the frequent lack of punctuation in Ruskinʼs early writing provides a window onto how he “bound his phrases each to each” and allowed “their movement [to jam] back and forth in the mind” (Emerson, Genesis of Invention, 27). This view was shared even by Ruskinʼs mother, Margaret, who “let Johns letters come just as he writes them”, as she explained to John James Ruskin when enclosing their sonʼs letters inside her own, in order “that you may not be misled in your judgment as to his hopes and feelings” (letter of 4 March 1829, in Burd, ed., Ruskin Family Letters, 1:185).
Perhaps Burdʼs most passionate statement of this position occurs in his edition of the The Winnington Letters, Ruskinʼs letters to the schoolmistress, Margaret Alexis Bell, and the girls at Winnington Hall. Burd urges that no edited substitute ultimately can capture the experience of reading Ruskin in manuscript, where syntax and punctuation “convey clearly the flow of his ideas and spirit at the moment of writing. His punctuation, while unconventional, is logical and expressive of the pause, pitch, and stress of his sentences”. Burd admits doubt “that print can reproduce the individuality of Ruskinʼs punctuation”; and after a long paragraph entrancingly describing the meaning of every eccentric stroke, his regret is palpable that any endeavor by an editor “to make the transcription of . . . [Ruskinʼs] punctuation as accurate as printing will permit” can result only in a pale reflection of the experience of reading a Ruskin letter in manuscript. The most exacting documentary transcription, Burd declares, can “never record the story told by his handwriting, which often reflects his moods”, and he defies the “printed page [to] convey the pleasure of opening . . . [Ruskinʼs] 4½ by 2½ inch envelopes, or unfolding his 4½ by 7 inch (often double) sheets of blue, grey, or cream stationery” (Burd, introduction to Winnington Letters, 84–87).
In his edition of the Ruskin family letters, which followed four years later, Burd maintained his practice of a documentary system of transcription, but with a justification that was advanced in more historicized terms than the hope, as expressed in the introduction to The Winnington Letters, of bringing the reader “close to the flat table on which Ruskin wrote”; rather, Burd more laconically proposed “to preserve for the reader the pleasure of discovering . . . [the] original flavor” of the Ruskinsʼ correspondence, by resisting the editorial impulse to impose “a formality which the writers never intended—and to which some of them were never educated” (Burd, introduction to Winnington Letters, 88; Burd, introduction to Ruskin Family Letters, 1:xlv).
In the evolution of Burdʼs justification of a diplomatic approach to manuscript transcription—first appealing to re‐creation of an intimacy with a writer, and later arguing for a historical rationale—his editions reflect a longer trend in manuscript and book collecting. Late‐Victorian collectors sought first editions by “modern” (i.e., nineteenth‐century) writers in the belief that the physical book produced closest in time to the authorʼs composition carried a personal connection with a writer. In manuals on book collecting, this “sentiment” borne by first editions was figuratively expressed, as it later was by Burd in his most enthusiastic writing, as if following the authorʼs hand on his writing table. Subsequently, the New Bibliographers of the 1930s rejected such sentiment in favor of more “objective” approaches (see Collecting of Modern Authors in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries; and Hanson, “Sentiment and Materiality in Late‐Victorian Book Collecting”). In Ruskin studies, a sentiment of intimacy with the author through collecting or manuscript study seems to have persisted longer, perhaps because Ruskin himself sought such immediacy of connection with audiences by commenting on the materiality of writing, whether as dramatized in Fors Claivigera as the act of writing thwarted by piercing steam whistles, or as represented in Praeterita by a facsimile of his boyhood writing for whatever it might reveal about his youth. Added to this encouragement by Ruskin in his published work to think about his writing as a physical act was the historical accident of manuscripts remaining at Brantwood for discovery by Helen Gill Viljoen prior to their dispersal in the estate sale—an experience that made her suspect of any form of editorial intervention that might operate as a conspiracy against Ruskinʼs ideas. Likewise Burd, at least at the start of his career in the introduction to The Winnington Letters, jumps quickly from the record of past editorsʼ attempts to regularize Ruskinʼs punctuation and grammar to an accusation that what past editors truly sought was to suppress (quoting Charles Eliot Norton) the “‘too personal, too intimate, or of too slight interest’” (Burd, introduction to Winnington Letters, 85).
In ERM, which is able to present electronic facsimiles alongside diplomatic transcriptions of the text, the claim is not to bring the reader even closer to the moment of Ruskinʼs production of manuscripts at his writing table. Since the era of the New Bibliographers, the widening access to manuscripts via ever more spectacularly vivid digitization has brought only renewed skepticism about creating the illusion of reproducing the real thing. In ERM, my aim is neither to accuse manuscript studies or first‐edition collecting of “sentimentality” nor to defend the “aura” of objects; rather, in annotation and markup of transcriptions taken from original materials in almost all cases, and in exhibition of these transcriptions alongside digital facsimiles where possible, our aim is to realize a model that, as Elena Pierazzo urges, proves “useful when it is used for the purpose for which it is built” (Pierazzo, Digital Scholarly Editing, 96, and see 93–96). That purpose, among other things, is to facilitate study of how, on the one hand, the Ruskin family believed Johnʼs “hopes and feelings” to be inscribed in his physical strokes on paper as well as through his text; and of how, on the other hand, he often meant his punctuation, many orthographic styles, and other aspects of presentation to reflect, less his inner world, than the print and pictorial culture surrounding him, in an era as visually stimulating as our own.
Expressing the Materiality of the Manuscripts
In expressing both his inner and outer worlds, Ruskin thought about text in a manner that included the materiality of its presentation. Like many nineteenth‐century young authors, he modeled his textual production on published texts. In the earliest extant major work of juvenilia, “Volume I” of his “Harry and Lucy Concluded”, he based his title page and print hand of the text on the 1825 edition of Harry and Lucy Concluded; Being the Last Part of Early Lessons by Maria Edgeworth (1768–1849), while asserting his agency on the title page as the “little boy” who had “printed and composed” and “also drawn” the work.
Pursuing his physical imitation to small typographical features, Ruskin invented marks that present the digital encoder with an odd problems in markup. For example, in order to fully justify his hand‐printed text on the right as well as left margins, as in a printed book, he invented an end‐of‐line mark that resembles a hyphen, but that varies in length according to what he needed to fill out the measure of a line, where words fell short of the right‐justified margin. To encode this mark as a hyphen would be misleading (particularly since he also used hyphens at the ends of some lines to divide words across the break), whereas to ignore the mark altogether would be implicitly to assert that the materiality of text has no bearing on how we study and think about the youthful productions of nineteenth‐century authors. In this instance, ERM uses the TEI glyph element, 〈g〉, assigning it the @type “justification”. This is an interpretation, not a neutrally objective encoding of horizontal strokes occurring at the ends of lines, but documentary editing that is innocent of editorial interpretation is neither possible nor desirable, if the purpose is to understand how Ruskin both appropriated the appearance of print and constrained his invention to obey its rules (see Pierazzo, Digital Scholarly Editing, 101). Ruskinʼs early manuscripts are already interpretations, in presenting themselves as “printed” works. In cases of punctuation marks too enigmatic to interpret, the recurring pattern is assigned markup and annotated, but no interpretation is imposed. No characters or punctuation marks are ignored that can reasonably be inferred as intentional. Even if we must temporize about how to encode what we see, we avoid the inefficiency of passing over puzzling transcription to be captured later (see Transcription and Encoding Procedures).
While some of Ruskin's marks, which appear to be related to imitation of print, present interpretative difficulties, another kind of ambiguiity is connected with TEI markup itself. Where Ruskin
The Private, Confidential, and Public in the Early Manuscripts, and the Consequences for Encoding the Materiality of the Text
In The Study of Modern Manuscripts, Donald Reiman recommends that editors “use different procedures for analyzing and editing private and confidential manuscripts from those they employ in presenting public documents.” Reiman defines these three categories, not by the depth of intimacy between writer and reader, nor by the intricacy of artfulness in the writing, but by “the nature and extent of the writerʼs intended audience. A manuscript is private if its author intended it to be read only by one person or a specific small group of people whose identity he knew in advance; confidential if it was intended for a predefined but larger audience who may—or may not—be personally known to or interested in the author; and public only if it was written to be published or circulated for perusal by a widespread, unspecified audience, including such abstractions as the nation, the reading public, and posterity” (Reiman, Study of Modern Manuscripts, 43, 65).
As an example of a problematic editorial procedure that can arise from ignoring these distinctions between the private, confidential, and public, Reiman points to nineteenth‐century editions of poems by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822) that were arranged “primarily by chronology, rather than by the authorʼs intentions”. This organization resulted in indiscriminate mixing of Shelleyʼs “false starts and rejected fragments”, which “Mary Shelley (1797–1851) had so assiduously rescued from his draft notebooks”, with his “highly polished completed poems (with a few fragments) that [the poet had] released for publication”. As a consequence, readers of these chronologically ordered editions inadvertently developed “a less positive picture of Shelleyʼs intelligence” (Reiman, Study of Modern Manuscripts, 43, 53–54).
Which of these categories of private, confidential, or public applies to juvenilia and youthful writing? Juvenilia often imitate public forms by mimicking the appearance of published documents, yet the audience is normally confined to the family circle. Reiman considers a case of manuscript juvenilia, Jane Austenʼs (1775–1817) Volume the First (begun ca. 1786–87), and proposes a special subcategory, “polished private and confidential manuscripts”, which takes into account the conditions of authorship that developed during the nineteenth‐century “age of printing”. Professional authors in the nineteenth century came to realize “that their final manuscripts were way stations on the road to a perfected text, rather than the thing itself”; accordingly, “the manuscript no longer carried the same textual authority that it once had, even when it represented the authorʼs final involvement in such matters as the orthography and punctuation of most of the text”. Authors in the age of print sent “their work to press . . . anticipating—and in many cases hoping—that changes in the text or its presentation [would] be introduced by the printers or the publishers”. Not so manuscript “poems or other compositions that were intended for the perusal of a few specific individuals—in short, private or confidential documents”—that the author fair‐copied for limited distribution, but did not intend for publication. These kinds of artifacts, which include nineteenth‐century juvenilia, bear authority comparable to that of scribal copies of pre‐modern manuscripts, which “the writer never expected . . . to be superseded by a more authoritative printed text. Such a manuscript had to be more carefully prepared than a press copy, because it would neither be vetted by publisherʼs readers and compositors nor corrected in proof” (Reiman, Study of Modern Manuscripts, 92, 93, 94–95).
Compared the conditional status of the literary manuscript in the modern age of print, the “polish” of the manuscript prepared for confidential circulation confers the status of copytext, thus calling for a Documentary Editorial Orientation in Editing Juvenilia and Youthful Writing. Authority is assured by limiting the intended audience to the private and confidential, signs of which Reiman discovers in the text of Austenʼs Volume the First: “since some neighbors and acquaintances whom [Austen] disliked seem to have been targets of her satirical thrusts, the manuscript was clearly not intended to circulate beyond Jane Austenʼs circle of like‐minded intimates, who alone could understand the point of these barbs and share the humor of them” (Reiman, Study of Modern Manuscripts, 94). Reiman emphasizes the circumscribed confidentiality of audience as bolstering the authority required for satire, whereas from the standpoint of the child author, the model of nineteenth‐century print culture empowered the writer by taking into oneself the structures of editorial authority and bookmaking. The materiality—the polish—of nineteenth‐century juvenilia is as significant as the rhetorical and textual relation between author and a private or confidential audience, because, as Christine Alexander remarks about the embodiment by child authors of the specifically nineteenth‐century phenomenon of magazine culture, the serious play of appropriating this material world of print prevented the writer from “simply being colonized by the teaching adult”, and instead enabled the writer and maker to “coloniz[e] the adult world itself by remaking it in the image of the self; and it is by this process that the child discovers the self” (Alexander, “Play and Apprenticeship: The Culture of Family Magazines”, 31).
To understand how the nineteenth‐century child writer embodies the self in the materiality of the polished confidential manuscript, the markup routine must capture physical as well as textual features. As remarked in Expressing the Materiality of the Manuscripts, this routine necessarily involves the encoder in interpreting and not just mechanically capturing such marks, if only to be able to classify marks of which the purpose may as yet be unclear (see Transcription and Encoding Procedures). Moreover, the scope of the archive must comprise the entirety of known manuscripts, even when multiple copies of a text present few substantive variants, since the copies may represent varying occasions of audience (see The Scope of ERM).
Ruskinʼs case points, however, to the negotiability of boundaries of the private and the confidential, a negotiation in which his parents played a part. We know that John James Ruskin carried some of his sonʼs manuscripts with him on his travels, but we know little about which manuscripts he chose or to whom (if anybody) he exhibited them. In the family letters, we get a glimpse of the parents negotiating the boundaries of audience between them, while on the fly during John Jamesʼs travels, as Margaret extended the confidential audience to include their friends, Richard and Mary Gray, who had recently resettled in Glasgow: “I should like Mr. & Mrs. Gray to see Johns letters”, Margaret wrote to her husband, suggesting that he “make up a small parcel and send also [the poems] the fairies—the lines on Jessy these on Lord Nelson[.] I do not know exactly what you have but any you might wish to send I could let you have—Weep for the Dead—O to My Heart I should like them to see” (letter of 5 March 1831 [Burd, ed., Ruskin Family Letters, 1:232]). The episode complicates Reimanʼs example drawn from Austen, which suggests that the child author has solitary control over who is included in a confidential audience, the boundaries of which are implicit in the text. Here, Ruskinʼs parents not only can decide who is privy to their sonʼs manuscripts but they also evidently exercise their own ideas about which poems are appropriate to be shared. If the parcel contained fair copies in Ruskinʼs hand, then the authority implicit in the polish of the manuscripts also became transferable. Unfortunately, it is not clear whether Margaret intends “Johns letters” to be shared as holograph originals, whether her term letters refers to epistles and/or presentation copies of poems, or whether she proposed that she and John James themselves make fair copies for the Grays. (Margaretʼs list of poems probably refers, respectively, to “The Fairies”, “On the Death of My Cousin Jessy”, either “Trafalgar” or “A Dirge for Nelson”, “Weep for the Dead”, and “To My Heart”, all poems of 1830–31.)
What does this classification indicate for the “different procedures” that, according to Reiman, should be observed in editing and analyzing private or confidential manuscripts as compared with public? First, the class of manuscripts that derive authority from both their polished presentation and their confidential status suggests that readers perceived authority in the material artifact itself, which bore direct witness to the authority of the writer—or of something about the writer. “I let Johns letters come just as he writes them”, Margaret explained to John James when enclosing their sonʼs letters inside her own, “that you may not be misled in your judgment as to his hopes and feelings” (letter of 4 March 1829 [Burd, ed., Ruskin Family Letters, 1:185]). Margaret assumes a Romantic idea about writing as an open window to the writerʼs expression, which if copied in her own hand would not only lose authority, but even potentially mislead the reader. There do survive copies of Ruskinʼs works in his parentsʼ hands, but these are far less common than Ruskinʼs own fair copies; and it seems unlikely that what Margaret wanted the Grays to “see”—not just read—would have been a fair copy in her own hand, which derived authority from her adult sophistication of punctuation, spelling, orthography, and the like. Rather, “judgment as to [the child writerʼs] hopes and feelings” derived from an intimate experience and knowledge that were available only through the authoritative original artifact; and by virtue of the artifactʼs materiality, this experience could be extended to a trusted confidential circle.
Evidence suggests that Ruskin shared this sense of an intended confidential audience that, in Reimanʼs defintion, was most likely “personally known to or interested in the author”. Ruskinʼs understanding of these conditions is indicated by his inclusion of a letter to the Graysʼ relation, Mrs. Robert Monro, as part of MS II, a manuscript that he entitled “vol 1” of his “Works”. By including a letter to Mrs. Monro as part of the handsewn pamphlet, which otherwise contains poems, Ruskin appears implicitly to invite Mrs. Monro to form part his confidential audience beyond the immediate family circle. The designation “Works”, moreover, attests to the significance of this production, both as a physical thing, a “volume”, and as an abstract promise of more to come.
It follows that, as an editorial procedure appropriate to a manuscriptʼs classification as a polished confidential production, an edition of nineteenth‐century juvenilia should include, as does ERM, manuscript images; diplomatic, and not eclectic or otherwise “corrected” transcriptions of texts; and a thorough physical description of the manuscript. In fin de siècle editions of Ruskinʼs early poems and prose, some interest in the physical manuscripts was attested by facsimiles of selected manuscript pages, although the basis of selection was rarely made evident, and the sparseness of such examples, which was doubtless legislated in part by cost, was probably also limited also the perception that such images satisfied curiosity rather than providing essential scholarly information. Manuscript facsimiles in these editions, like reproductions of Ruskinʼs drawings, were printed on heavier paper stock and bound only into the large‐paper, quarto collectorʼs edition of the Poems (1891), and not in the inexpensive octavo editions. In the Library Edition, manuscript facsimiles seem to gain scholarly purpose, but in fact the manuscripts selected for reproduction tend to be as random and lacking in context as those in George Allenʼs collectorʼs editions of the youthful writing published in the 1890s. The early editors did supply descriptive bibliographies of the manuscripts, but the descriptions were limited in detail; and as argued above in Defining Works and Manuscripts, lost even more coherence and consistency in the transition from Poems (1891) to the Library Edition.
While there was a perception among late‐Victorian editors, then, that the confidentiality of early writing needed to be represented through its artifactual status—allowing a childʼs manuscripts to “come just as he writes them”, as Margaret Ruskin suggested, in order that the reader may form a “judgment as to [the childʼs] hopes and feelings”—editors apparently believed that they met such a need by supplying a few facsimiles in “large‐paper” editions as curiosities for specialized collectors. Once the readership was widened beyond collectors to include the anonymous, public consumption of a “common” edition, such curiosities were dropped, and the editorʼs duty remained only (in both common and collectorsʼ editions) to intervene heavily in the texts in order to “improve” them according to a public standard of uniform punctuation and formal decorum. As Christine Alexander comments, in late‐Victorian editions of nineteenth‐century authorsʼ juvenilia, heavy‐handed “improvement” of texts was typical of editorial approaches to what were condescendingly termed an authorʼs juvenile “effusions”. Alexander somewhat overstates the case that these “poorly transcribed, bowdlerized and ‘improved’” texts wholely “reinforce the attitude of inferiority towards early works and show the kind of disrespect for childhood that was common well into the twentieth century” (Alexander, “Defining and Representing Literary Juvenilia”, 84, and see 81–84), given that this attitude was tempered to some extent by editorsʼ acknowledgement of the special artifactual status that juvenile manuscripts held for their original, confidential readership. Nonetheless this materiality retained its value primarily among collectors and did not affect the the editorʼs mission to improve the texts for a modern, anonymous audience.
In Ruskin studies, thinking about distinctions between the private, confidential, and public in his manuscripts is complicated by Ruskinʼs invitation to view his writing as a window to his whole mind, an invitation rendered paradoxical by his simultaneous insistence on the Carlylean “strength” required to resist the pathetic fallacy. Famously, in Fors Clavigera, his open letters to “workers”, Ruskin declared that his private letters could be read aloud from the housetops: “I never wrote a letter in my life which all the world are not welcome to read, if they will” (letter 59); or, as he expressed the idea more colorfully to the artist, James Smetham (1821–89): “I never wrote a private letter to any human being which I would not let a bill‐sticker chalk up six feet high on Hyde Park wall, and stand myself in Piccadilly and say ‘I said it’” (Ruskin, Works, 28:449, 14:462). Looking to the juvenilia for the origins of this position, one wonders if this reckless intimacy was born of necessity, since John James Ruskin carried samples of Johnʼs letters on his travels, perhaps ready to show them to any interested stranger. We can only speculate about such causes, but the result seems to have been a collapsing of private, confidential, and public into a single category, whether in his youthful or mature writing. The difference between the juvenilia and mature writing is that, whereas one can usefully parse the mature writing in terms of Reimanʼs distinctions based on authorial intentions about audience, and yet trace a commonality of autobiographical impulse connecting these differing kinds of works, the whole span of youthful writing seems almost indistinguishable in terms of authorial intention about audience, while an autobiographical register is typically (albeit not universally, in all works) submerged below the level of detectable intention. In the manuscripts of Ruskinʼs mature writing, readers tend to look for private emotion universally, even when these manuscripts can be logically and usefully sorted as private, confidential, and public; in the early writing, readers are presented with a wide range of theatrical, performative emotion, but private emotion is much less easily detectable as an intention and must be read by the other means that Reiman believes to be misleading for distinguishing the public or confidential from the public—the rhetoric of the work, and the depth of the writerʼs relation to the person addressed.
As Rob Breton remarks, much of Ruskinʼs “early verse is notable for its emotional distance and detachment, despite the intimate, spontaneous, garrulous personae of the poet and the clear imitation of and inspiration from Romantic writing”—a quality of detachment consistent with Ruskinʼs later theory of the pathetic fallacy. If in its “refusal of emotion” the early writing nonetheless points also to suppression of “pychological burdens”, then the writing often points to those burdens only in terms of their having been “duly evaded”. Yet Breton also observes that the detached quality of Ruskinʼs early writing “complements” an investigation into an opposite tendency in the youthful writing—namely, the existence of private “signs of ‘psychological disturbance’” that, according to David Hansonʼs reading, were “likely caused by his motherʼs disapproval of her sonʼs ‘romantic’ instincts and devotion to poetry.” It is unlikely that one can coordinate these opposite modes of expression—private anger and resentment, and public detachment—reliably with authorial intention respecting private, confidential, and public audience, since most pieces will appear to adopt the detachment appropriate to an imagined public (i.e., what Reiman terms “polished” confidential manuscripts). It is true that signs of psychological disturbance seems to emerge more consistently in rough‐draft works than in Ruskinʼs fair‐copy manuscripts, but we do not know to what extent Ruskin kept the rough‐draft notebooks private. The presence of his fatherʼs hand marking some drafts suggests that these notebooks were never secret. Ruskinʼs intentions, therefore, will seem all but uniformly to point in the direction of “polished” confidentiality, as in much nineteenth‐century juvenilia, while proving a deceptive indicator of the emotional bearings of a work. Private emotion that jars with an intention of public address (or the imitation of public address) is more likely to be signaled by rhetorical or accidental features such as fragmentation. It is no accident that, even sixty years after their composition, fragmented works were banned from publication in Collingwoodʼs edition of the Poems (1891), such works having been deemed by Ruskin himself or someone in his circle as holding “‘too slight interest’” as Charles Eliot Norton would have said, but also as indicating what was “‘too personal, too intimate’” (Breton, “John Ruskinʼs Juvenilia”, 18, 22–23; see also Hanson, “Psychology of Fragmentation”; Hanson, “Self and Revision in Ruskinʼs Revaluations of Romanticism”).
Defining Works and Manuscripts
The archive contains, at the most fundamental level, two sets of edited primary materials: works and manuscripts.
- A work in this edition consists of a discrete text by Ruskin (e.g., a poem, an essay, a sermon, a mathematical proof), including all available witnesses of that text (each of these edited and annotated), and accompanied by the workʼs explanatory apparatus and available facsimiles.
- A manuscript is a physical document manifesting Ruskinʼs texts. A given work may be confined, so far as presently known, to a single text witness found in a single manuscript; or a work may be made up of multiple text witnesses found in more than one manuscript.
In the archive, a work is represented by diplomatic transcriptions of all available witnesses, from its manuscript through its nineteenth‐century published instantiations, the range typically terminating in a version published in the Library Edition of Ruskinʼs Works, which launched in 1903 with editions of the Early Prose and Poems. All transcriptions are annotated with glosses, both textual and contextual, and each work is introduced by a descriptive and critical apparatus. (Likewise, a manuscript is represented in the archive by a facsimile, and each manuscript is introduced by a descriptive and critical apparatus.)
Besides the commentary attached to specific works and manuscripts (the apparatuses and glosses), other commentary, which is hyperlinked throughout the archive, includes notes summarizing biographical, bibliographical, geographical, and contextual information. For illustrating the Ruskin family journeys, maps with timelines are under development (see Plan of the Archive).
As translated into Web pages, these two sets of materials form a given workʼs Work Pages, and a given manuscriptʼs Manuscript Pages. In this choice of organization, I was led initially by bibliographical designs established by W. G. Collingwood, the editor of Poems (1891), and by E. T. Cook and Alexander Wedderburn, the editors of the Library Edition, who adopted and elaboarated Collingwoodʼs bibliograhical research. Similarly, these patterns of organization were reflected in the approaches to bibliographical description by Helen Viljoen, whose transcriptions of the early manuscripts I studied through the generosity of Van Akin Burd, when Viljoenʼs papers remained in his keeping, and later at the Pierpont Morgan Library, after Burd deposited the papers there.
While building on these past approaches, which had for so long achieved bibliographical clarity in describing and analyzing the separate textual and material objects consituting the archive, I came to recognize how this organization both revealed and undermined a dynamic tension between a given textual work and the material manuscript containing it—the latter often presenting possibilities for expansion that Ruskin was interested in exploiting and exploring. From the earliest juvenilia, he was evidently fascinated by the dynamic potential of a work to contain or be contained by something else. By routinely separating “lexical codes” from “bibliographical codes” according to historical precedent, I was continuing to impose apparent clarity on the archive at the expense one of its most potentially Ruskinian features.
〈teiCorpus〉 Markup and the Tension between Works and Corpora
Editing the early Ruskin manuscripts calls for representing both the integrity of a unitary work and what Neil Fraistat terms its contexture—the workʼs potential to contribute to some grander stage of organization (see Fraistat, The Poem and the Book, 4). Ruskin used his manuscripts to build contexture among the works they contain, sometimes exploring loose associations among rapidly drafted, successive fragments in the rough‐draft notebooks, MS VI and MS VIII, and sometimes treating manuscripts as “volumes” or miscellanies in an expanding corpus—the individual volumes themselves often made up partly of anthologies, as found in several of the Red Books and in MS V, MS VII, and MS IX (see Overview of Manuscripts). To represent both the contexture of the unitary work and the integrity of the unitary work in itself, ERM uses the TEI element, 〈teiCorpus〉, combined with standoff markup using XInclude. Since 〈teiCorpus〉 can both contain and be contained by other 〈teiCorpus〉 documents, we have found that the element serves as the most available means to represent Ruskinʼs double centeredness in both work and manuscript, text and contexture.
A simplified schematization of the 〈teiCorpus〉 markup representing MS I appears as follows.
〈teiCorpus xmlns="http://www.tei-c.org/ns/1.0" xmlns:xi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XInclude"〉
〈 . . . 〉
〈 . . . 〉
Typically, the highest‐level entity described as a corpus in ERM is the bound manuscript, which W. G. Collingwood likewise recognized as the chief entity of the archive, and which he numbered according to a rough chronological sequence by roman numeral in his “Preliminary Note”. In the Library Edition, Cook and Wedderburn annotated Collingwoodʼs “Preliminary Note” by listing all of the titles of works contained in each of these bound manuscripts, listing the titles in the sequence in which they occur (which is not necessarily an indication of their order of composition), and they did the same for collections that were not originally bound but that they gathered and bound themselves (usually in red buckram), entitled with a roman numeral, and inserted into their version of Collingwoodʼs “Preliminary Note”. This attention to the bound manuscript as a container, in neither Collingwoodʼs nor Cook and Wedderburnʼs case, fundamentally affected an editorial practice that turned on the discrete text, presented chronologically. In ERM likewise, we transcribe and annotate discrete works (using a documentary approach, not the earlier editorsʼ eclectic and aesthetic approaches), but we also seek to describe Ruskinʼs strategies for contexture. The results are expressed as what the user finds listed on the Index Page as manuscripts and corpora.
Manuscripts that were bound when Ruskin first used them (e.g., the Red Books, ledgers, and other half‐ or quarter‐calf notebooks) presented a space defined by the parameters of their covers, which he conceptualized filling (at least initially) in some cases as “volumes” in a series, such as the volumes of the “Harry and Lucy” lessons, along with their complementary poetry anthologies (e.g., MS I, MS II, MS III, MS IIIA); and which he formed in other cases as miscellanies, such as the “Battle of Waterloo, A Play, in Two Acts, with Other Small Poems, Dedicated to His Father”, and MS V, entitled “Miscellaneous Poetry.” The term corpora is reserved in ERM for those collections showing particularly strong contexture, because Ruskin developed them as a unified project, often (but not necessarily) assigning an encompassing title. Corpora include the separate poetry anthologies found in the Red Books; the serialized works, each of which may be viewed separately as discrete texts, but which Ruskin explicitly linked together as a common project, such as the “Harry and Lucy” lessons; and most interestingly, works that Ruskin evolved as composite, multi‐genre compilations, such as the Account of a Tour on the Continent.
A schematization of the 〈teiCorpus〉 markup representing a portion of “Poetry” [MS I Poetry Anthology] looks like this:
〈teiCorpus xmlns="http://www.tei-c.org/ns/1.0" xmlns:xi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XInclude"〉
〈 . . . 〉
〈 . . . 〉
〈 . . . 〉
〈 . . . 〉
〈 . . . 〉
〈 . . . 〉
The distinction between corpora and manuscripts admittedly is ambiguous, with the contexture of corpora elevated by only a degree of intentionality above that of manuscripts—the latter exhibiting looser but still definable contexture, such as MS V, which Ruskin compiled incrementally, open‐endedly, and somewhat randomly, one fair‐copy poem after another, yet still definably as “Miscellaneous Poetry.” In terms of TEI markup, both corpora and manuscripts are enclosed by the same 〈teiCorpus〉 element. The slippage of one category into the other reflects Ruskinʼs own dynamic process of containment and expansion. He was even apt at times, like Wordsworth, to think of the entirety of his “works” as a single corpus, as suggested by an annotation on MS II.
A more conventional way of representing anthologies in TEI markup is to enclose multiple, related texts with the 〈group〉 element. Since this element can nest only within a 〈TEI〉 document, and unlike 〈teiCorpus〉 cannot itself contain a 〈TEI〉 document, the 〈group〉 element is too inflexible to accommodate ERMʼs design for both single works and corpora or manuscripts. Single works are represented by multiple 〈TEI〉 documents—typically, an apparatus, multiple witnesses and facsimiles, and glosses—while corpora and manuscripts are also represented by multiple 〈TEI〉 documents, including an apparatus plus the sequence of works comprised by the collection (each work again consisting of its multiple 〈TEI〉 documents). An advantage that the 〈group〉 element holds over 〈teiCorpus〉 is that the former is designed to accommodate a 〈head〉 element, which would more satisfyingly encode the title, “Poetry” [MS I Poetry Anthology], than what is shown in the sample markup above. Instead, using 〈teiCorpus〉, either one must attach the anthology title as a 〈head〉 to the germane witness of the first item in the anthology, which is badly formed markup; or, as we have done above, one must insert the title as a separate TEI document. Arguably, however, the latter procedure is as well‐formed as it is valid in the frequent cases in which Ruskinʼs titles and title pages refuse to conform to the structures that the 〈group〉 element was designed to describe. The 〈teiCorpus〉 element more flexibly accounts for Ruskinʼs dynamic play with the relation between container and contained.
For example, in the originally blank, pre‐bound notebook that Collingwood named MS I, and that the Ruskin family knew as one of the Red Books, Ruskin used the inside front endboard to make a title page for a text, “Harry and Lucy,” Vol. 1, possibly intending the work, at least initially, to be coextensive with the entirety of the physical notebook (see “Harry and Lucy,” Vol. 1: Title, and MS I: Title). Whatever his initial plan was, Ruskin completed “Volume I” of this prose work without filling the notebook—a terminus that he declared by inscribing “end of Harry and Lucy”—and he went on to extend the contents with an anthology, “Poetry” [MS I Poetry Anthology]. This, too, reached a terminus, which he declared with a colophon:
end of the poems
juvenile library fountain street
end of the poems
juvenile library fountain street
The colophon reflects the play of closure by declaring a second ending—the “end of the poems”—specifying the end of the poetry anthology. This declaration was erased by somebody, using a rough pencil scratchout, perhaps in order to shift the emphasis to the end of a larger entity comprising volume 1 of “Harry and Lucy” plus the poetry anthology, “Poetry”. The colophon had perceptibly altered the usage of “volume” on the title page of MS I, which was clearly meant to apply only to the prose work. Were we instead to use the 〈group〉 element, which calls for a 〈front〉 element to contain frontmatter, we could not represent a title page that is in flux. We may not have described Ruskinʼs dynamically developing ideas much more vividly using 〈teiCorpus〉, but at least we have not misrepresented his ideas.
Our usage of 〈teiCorpus〉 also permits description of Ruskinʼs manuscripts and corpora as collaborative or mediated documents, which were sometimes glossed by his parents. We do not know who scored through “end of the poems” in the colophon of MS I, but it was certainly Ruskinʼs mother who inserted a gloss amid the poems making up “Poetry” [MS I Poetry Anthology]. She wanted to date precisely her sonʼs beginning and completion of the manuscript. The determinacy of Margaret Ruskinʼs gloss, with its definite “this book begun” and “finished”, competes with the ambivalent play of Johnʼs closure (see Margaret Ruskinʼs Gloss on the Dating of MS I). While not necessarily intended to impose her will on the manuscript, Margaretʼs gloss gloss has in any case proved as ambiguous as Ruskinʼs own colophon, since both are followed by a new work entered on the inside back endboard—an emblematical drawing, “Heights of Wisdom, Depth of Fools”, which Ruskin dated a few months later than his motherʼs gloss. Such play, whether including an edge of competitiveness or joy of collaboration, cannot be fully described in terms of an XML structure; the dynamics of play can be interpreted and discussed only in the archiveʼs commentary. However, the contributions of Ruskinʼs parents are very often convincingly encoded as glosses, which are not in the same class as the editorʼs explanatory and textual glosses that hang from and refer only to specific texts, but which form stand‐alone TEI documents (including their own apparatuses and transcriptions) referring to and forming part of the corpus as a whole.
Finally, the 〈teiCorpus〉 markup also easily allows for reordering corpora athwart manuscripts. In the case of Account of a Tour on the Continent, an eclectic editorial approach was adopted both by W. G. Collingwood and by E. T. Cook and Alexander Wedderburn on the grounds that Ruskin left extensive writing for the work in draft along with an ambitious outline for arranging and completing the work; however, prior to realizing that plan, he abandoned the fair copy, requiring copytext to be drawn from both the fair copy and the draft. Collingwood justified his approach in 1891 as follows: “[A]s I find from a list at the end of . . . [MS] VIII” (i.e., the Plan for Continuation of the Account of a Tour on the Continent), Ruskin “intended this volume [the MS IX fair copy] to contain about 150 pieces of prose and poetry, and at least as many drawings! And in saying [in Praeterita] that he did not follow his tour beyond the Rhine, Mr. Ruskin refers only to this volume, No. IX,” and not to what he had in fact composed. “I am pretty certain that he was not aware of the amount of material existing in rough copies at the back of his book‐shelves” (Poems [4o, 1891], 1:266; Poems [8o, 1891], 1:267). In ERM, 〈teiCorpus〉 is used to compile the respective edited corpora that conjecturally reconstruct Ruskinʼs work: Collingwoodʼs, which includes only poems; Cook and Wedderburnʼs, which includes both poems and prose sections; and Ruskinʼs multiple versions of the “Account”, whereby he evolved the work from a poetic travelogue in collaboration with his father into a composite work of poetry, prose, and illustration.
Other compelling candidates for separately and eclectically edited corpora witnessing a composite work include a compilation of the “volumes” making up the uncompleted “Harry and Lucy” narrative, drawn from MS I, MS II MS III, and MS IIIA; and the Sermons on the Pentateuch, in which the bonds between the sermon texts are stronger than their ties to the manuscripts in which the texts are found. While arguably the five handsewn booklets containing the fair copies of the sermons can be treated as a single corpus, the various Red Books containing rough drafts of the sermons present a particularly attenuated claim on the texts as composing a portion of their corpora considered as manuscripts. By the time Ruskin entered the sermon drafts in the Red Books, these notebooks had been demoted to providing leftover, unused space for miscellaneous draft, and the sermon texts run reverso and upside‐down to what was once a vital corpus.
Yet another candidate for 〈teiCorpus〉 markup to describe multiple and conjectural corpora are those that were compiled neither by Ruskin nor his editors, but by members of his circle who were interested in creating anthologies for some special purpose. For example, in 1831 Ruskinʼs mother proposed that John James make a small “parcel” of letters and poems to be shared with their intimate friends, the Grays. Such anthologies reveal assumptions about the intended audience of youthful writing in the nineteenth century (see The Private, Confidential, and Public in the Early Manuscripts).
Documentary Editorial Practices and Encoding
Transcription and Markup Protocol
In our transcription policy, we strive to abide by the definition of textual transcription proposed by Vander Meulen and Tanselle, “System of Manuscript Transcription”: “the transcriberʼs goal is to make an informed decision about what is actually inscribed at each point” in a manuscript, although of course editorial “judgment is necessarily involved in deciding what is in fact present,” “as when an ambiguously formed character resembles two different letters.” Despite these calls on editorial judgment, which must be notated, in a documentary editorial procedure the resulting “text cannot simultaneously be unemended and emended” since “no single text” can be both a transcription and a critical text; these “are mutually exclusive genres” of editing, although the same edition might contain both transcriptions and emended, critical texts (pp. 201, 203).
For most works in ERM, the editor supplies documentary transcriptions of witnesses paired with facsimiles (if available) of those witnesses. The archive also provides, as it were, documentary transcriptions of past critical texts of works, because we believe that researchers will benefit by being able to study, in close proximity with accurate transcriptions of manuscript witnesses, how Ruskinʼs first editors saw fit to represent those manuscripts to readers.
The editor is responsible for the accuracy of all transcriptions of witnesses in ERM, having taken most of them himself over several years from the original manuscripts in the Beinecke Library, Yale University; the Berg Collection, New York Public Library; the Huntington Library; the Pierpont Morgan Library; Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library; the Ruskin Museum, Coniston; and the Ruskin Library, Lancaster University. Later, the project acquired facsimiles in forms ranging from high‐resolution tiff files to microfilm, which have been used to confirm and improve on the editorʼs original transcriptions, and to post in ERM for the readerʼs benefit. The editor is also responsible for final decisions about the interpretation of doubtful readings of manuscripts and for notating these decisions with textual glosses. In scattered instances, mostly involving manuscripts used to supplement annotation of the works contained in ERM, the editor initially had time in the physical archives only to describe a manuscript and gather information for a critical apparatus, and not to transcribe its contents completely; in those cases, we have sometimes been able to capture a transcription based on a high‐resolution facsimile. This procedure is noted where it occurs, with the expectation of later revisiting the physical manuscript.
For support of archival research as well as imaging of the manuscripts, the editor and the Digital Humanities program at Southeastern Louisiana University are indebted to the agencies listed on the Staff and Support page. Without the travel grants and fellowships awarded by these agencies, the research underpinning ERM would not have been possible. The editor is also grateful to the staffs of these libraries and archives, who shared their expertise and supported our research.
In the earliest stage of developing the digital archive beyond the research and writing, Roger Garside, formerly senior lecturer in the Department of Computing, Lancaster University, devised a helpful program for translating the editorʼs word processing files into lightly TEI‐encoded XML, and for generating transformations in the form of HTML pages. This program was subsequently replaced as we elaborated our ideas about describing the early Ruskin manuscripts with TEI markup, and also as we pursued a pedagogy for introducing students to TEI encoding and to designing and building online scholarly resources. Garsideʼs program, however, was foundational for helping us to envision the architecture of the archive. Meanwhile, to advance the Digital Humanities program at Southeastern Louisiana University, we benefited from consultation by Syd Bauman, Matthew Christy, Julia Flanders, Laura Mandell, Dot Porter, Lawrence Woof, and the staff of the 2005 NINES Summer Workshop in Digital Scholarship at the University of Viriginia. ERM is indebted to these individuals and their institutions for their generosity and good will, which has persisted long beyond their respective workshops or consultations that got us started.
In the ongoing addition of new files to the archive, the following routines are observed by the encoding team. First, using the SyncRO Soft Oxygen XML editor, encoders pull the word‐processed files of the editorʼs original transcript(s) of a work, along with files of his apparatus and other annotation, into appropriate templates built for the varying document types included in ERM. In a first pass, encoders mark up the editorʼs original transcription and commentary according to the TEI P5 standard; and the encoder checks the editorʼs original transcript against its manuscript facsimile, querying any possible inaccuracies. Team members are instructed to confirm transcription of every deliberate mark on a manuscript, in whatever hand. As Vander Meulen and Tanselle comment: “Obviously a transcription cannot exactly reproduce the relative precision or carelessness with which handwritten letters are formed, or their relative sizes, or the amount of space between words and lines; but it can aim to record every ink or pencil marking of textual significance on the manuscript—all letters, punctuation, superscripts, canceled matter, lines linking or excising passages, and so on” (“System of Manuscript Transcription”, 201). We consider this aim, and nothing less, as defining the standard for first‐pass conversion of the editorʼs original files, and for checking or completing transcription against its facsimile at this first stage, because it is impractical and an invitation to oversight to reserve some portion of transcription for a later stage. One can and should review the accuracy and thoroughness of transcription as often as one likes, but no systematic procedure for dividing a thorough transcription into stages would be practical, since one would have to redefine the procedure constantly in order to address the peculiarities of each manuscript.
To maintain consistency of markup in this process, the encoding team references a Encoding Guide, compiled by the supervising encoder, which lists every element, attribute, and value so far employed in the archive, and which is continually updated, as additional TEI elements and attributes or ERM values are discussed and added by the team. The team also constantly references and updates a project‐based Regularization Guide, which is a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet listing every XML file name by category—the names, that is, of files in the document‐type categories of apparatuses, manuscripts, witnesses, anthologies, drawings, essays, notes, and glosses. The Regularization Guide also lists all standardized editorial titles for these entities; and it serves as the encodersʼ crib for hex‐codes for special characters, ERMʼs xml:ids for all proper names, titles, and bibliography entries used in the archive, the names used to identify hands, and dates and date ranges used to mark historical events. The team (mainly, in this case, the editor and supervising encoder) continually updates the Regularization Guide as new works, manuscripts, and commentary are added to the archive.
To manage workflow, the team uses the shared‐file system, Dropbox, by Dropbox Incorporated. Encoders work within their assigned Dropbox folders, and for each XML file they add their name and responsibility to the TEI P5 header. When ready for review by more experienced encoders, the XML file is moved (not copied) from the encoderʼs folder and into another folder, in order to guard against accidental confusion and overwriting of files. The editor examines first‐pass encoding for accuracy, consulting both his notes from on‐site archival research and the facsimile. After the editor has reviewed a file, it passes to the supervising encoder for a final check of consistency with the ERM Encoding Guide and Regularization Guide and for a review of other matters of well‐formedness and validation. Finally, when the files have undergone transformation by XSLT (written by the supervising encoder) and have been loaded onto the site, the editor reviews the live Web pages to confirm that the transformations have yielded the desired result and to search for any remaining typographical or encoding errors.
Not only is the team steadily adding new works and manuscripts to the archive, but also the editor is constantly researching and developing the commentary in apparatuses, notes, and glosses in order to increase the usefulness of the archive for researchers. At any given time, hyperlinks to notes are embedded in the XML files that are presently inactive because the source notes are unfinished. When a source note is completed and added to the archive, any pre‐existing links to it should become active. All files are subject to revision and reloading with an appropriately updated version number.
Element, Attribute, and Value Usage
See the Encoding Guide for lists of all elements and attributes used in ERM along with their assigned values.
Because editing in ERM is documentary, we transcribe without correction Ruskinʼs (remarkably rare) misspellings and grammatical errors. Also, we retain his capitalizations, ampersands, and unhyphenated spaces in such words such as to day, every day, every one, and so on. If Ruskin omits letters from words, he usually does so to serve poetic meter. Since the reader can in most cases compare the edited transcript against the facsimile, the cause of an apparent anomaly will be evident (e.g., doubled letters arising from dividing a word between lines, or doubled words occurring before and after page breaks); nonetheless, potentially confusing anomalies and other distinctive manuscript features receive discussion in a textual gloss. Some of the most anomalous and challenging markup decisions are presented by the earliest juvenilia, in which Ruskin invented his own solutions for representing the print culture surrounding him.
Handwriting and Special Characters
Ruskinʼs handwriting, like that of any youth, developed over the course of time in terms of manual skill; and because he was interested in the material presentation of his manuscripts, he adopted a range of copybook scripts from handwriting manuals, and he imitated various print typefaces, which he found in favorite books printed between the 1820s and 1830s. These developments are surveyed and contextualized in The Ruskin Family Handwriting, while discussion of the hand and other material qualities of specific manuscripts are discussed in the apparatuses for both works and manuscripts.
In the 〈handNote〉 of the TEI header for each holograph witness of a work, hands are classified by scribe (i.e., the member of the Ruskin family ressponsible), and assigned an xml:id, which, in the case of John Ruskinʼs hands, identifies a date range (usually a calendar year) along with any broad strokes that may be used to classify the holograph among a group of manuscripts sharing a peculiarity of hand. In the case of John James Ruskinʼs and Margaret Ruskinʼs hands, no attempt is made to use the xml:id to refine the classification of their hands, which retain a stable script throughout the holographs contained in ERM.
Within the 〈text〉 of the TEI document for each holograph witness, which may contain more than one hand, 〈handShift〉 is used to select the xml:id from 〈handNote〉 that identifies the hand responsible for a given range of text, until a different hand intervenes, at which point 〈handShift〉 toggles to identify the change with the appropriate xml:id. The 〈handShift〉 element also carries attributes of @script and @medium, which are assigned broad values—for @script, typically “print”, “cursive”, or an easily classifiable cursive such as “copperplate”; and for @medium, typically “pencil” and “ink”. These broad classifications are described in The Ruskin Family Handwriting, while the eccentricities of the hand used for any given manuscript are relegated to discussion in the apparatus for the work in question, rather than burdening markup values for @script and @medium with excessive refinements. However, where clusters of manuscripts manifest peculiarities of hand, which may be used to help date works and otherwise flag relationships among projects, these classes of handwriting are captured in the values assigned to @script and @medium and may also be coded along with the date range as part of the xml:id given in 〈handNote〉.
Where Ruskin imitates a special character in the style of a typeface, we highlight these using the 〈hi〉 element, with the @rend value keyed to such special usages as “doubleletter” and “doubleletter‐fill”.
Justification, Runover, and Word Division
As discussed in Expressing the Materiality of the Manuscripts, Ruskin invented a mark to justify right and left margins in fair‐copy prose, which saved him from having to adjust space between words in a line of text. To fill the gap to the margin, he inserted a horizontal mark of variable length (and sometimes of variable appearance, shaped like an equal sign or a tilde). Since it would misrepresent the markʼs purpose to encode it according to its appearance in length as a hyphen, en‐dash, or em‐dash, or some other symbol, we use a glyph element, assigning it a @type “justification” as follows:
Ruskin often indicated paragraph breaks as minimally as possible. Whether because he meant to use space on a page efficiently, or because he liked the appearance of a more solid block of text, he often failed to indent a word beginning a new paragraph. The intention of a paragraph break can be signaled, despite the lack of indentation, by a significant gap between the end of a preceding line and the right margin, with no justification mark used to take up the slack. Sometimes, however, he fills such spaces with stars, like asterisks, and the following line still seems meant as a new paragraph. Signals become especially confusing when Ruskin ends a block of text with a dash, which serves some rhetorical purpose such as an excited pause, and which would be indistinguishable from a justification mark apart from white space following it. In ERM, therefore, we insert paragraph breaks in a text when both sense and some definite scribal feature—such as significant space at the end of a preceding line, and/or a rare indentation at the start of the next line—seem to call for a new paragraph. If the manuscript evidence is ambiguous, the editorial decision is marked by a textual gloss.
We encode where line breaks fall in prose manuscripts, and we render these as breaks in the XSLT transformation, so that prose witnesses match their facsimiles. In poetry, if Ruskin wrote an extension of a line as a runover, the line‐break element 〈lb/〉 is inserted at the start of the runover text within the transcribed line, and the element is assigned a @type “runover”, thus:
〈lb type=“runover”/〉〈space quantity=“00” unit=“chars”/〉.
〈lb type=“runover”/〉〈space quantity=“00” unit=“chars”/〉.
Here the 〈space〉 element quantifies the number of characters that the runover is indented from the left text margin. (In XSLT transformation, the runover also renders as an interlineation.)
In some cases of line runover in poetry, Ruskin also signaled the runover with a mark that, in some places, resembles an opening square bracket and, in others, a vertical bar. Usually, he placed this mark at the start of the indented runover line. One can find such a symbol in early nineteenth‐century periodicals using narrow columns, thus causing multiple runovers in printing of poetry; however, printers appear to have reserved this punctuation to identify a runover that they were obliged to set above its line, and therefore needed to punctuate in order to distinguish from other runovers in the same poem set as usual below the line, and without such a mark. Several examples can be found in the London Literary Gazette, and Journal of Belles Lettres, Arts, Sciences, &c., which uses the opening square bracket to mark a runover set above its line—typically, a line that simultaneously carries a runover appearing below the preceding line of verse, and therefore set without the mark (see, e.g., A.L., “A Motherʼs Morning Kiss to Her Child”). Ruskin does not necessarily reserve use of the mark for this specialized class of runovers, but may apply it indiscriminately to any runover. As an example, see the opening line of “The Defiance of War”, which is encoded as follows:
〈l〉War war thou art beating thy〈lb type=“runover”/〉〈space quantity=“28” unit=“chars”/〉〈g type=“runover”〉[〈/g〉drum〈l/〉.
〈l〉War war thou art beating thy〈lb type=“runover”/〉〈space quantity=“28” unit=“chars”/〉〈g type=“runover”〉[〈/g〉drum〈l/〉.
Ruskin sometimes used a mark to indicate word division at the end of a line. Like his justification mark, he varied the word‐division sign in length from a mere dot to an em‐dash, and in appearance from a horizontal line to something resembling an equal sign. All of these marks are interpreted without comment and encoded as a hyphen, since the intention is obvious in both facsimile and transcript. Sometimes he divided a word without using any mark at all, if his justified right margin did allow the space; in these cases, no mark is encoded and the line break is represented without comment—the intention again being obvious in facsimile and transcript.
One word division mark does call for special treatment, since it appears confusingly redundant. In some cases, Ruskin uses not only a mark at the right justified margin to denote a break but also at the left justified margin on the line below. Typically, the latter takes a form resembling an equal sign. When this mark appears at the left margin and is clearly functioning to signal word division, we tag it as a glyph element, @type “word_division”:
As an example of a runover using this mark, see the opening line of “Ehrenbreitstein” [prose]
As an example of a runover using this mark, see the opening line of “Ehrenbreitstein” [prose]
Commas, Periods, and Other Punctuation
In the earliest juvenilia, those dating from 1826–27, Ruskin had trouble writing commas and periods on the baseline, with the result that these marks float as if they were apostrophes or quotation marks. In some cases, Ruskin anchors these with an insertion caret (see Deletion and Addition), as in “On the Rainbow”. In transcription, these floating marks are interpreted as conventional punctuation on the baseline.
In another idiosyncracy of punctuation, occurring throughout the early manuscripts and perhaps related to what Van Akin Burd has identified in Ruskinʼs mature hand as a half‐comma, Ruskin inscribed what look like periods in the middle of sentences, where syntax calls for commas; and conversely, he wrote what look like commas as terminal punctuation at the end of sentences. This reversal, while not consistent, occurs regularly enough that the marks can be treated as glyphs. Thus, the mark is transcribed as the period or comma that its scribal appearance suggests, but the mark is tagged as a glyph, @type “terminal‐comma” for what appears intended as terminal punctuation, and @type “pause‐period” for what appears meant to indicate a pause, not a terminus.
As found likewise in letters written by all three members of the family, Ruskin sometimes omits terminal punctuation and instead allows extra space between the end of one sentence and the start of the next. In these instances, the gap is encoded using the 〈space〉 element. However, if terminal punctuation is lacking, and no extra space is evident, we do not supply extra space where it does not exist, as Burd does in Ruskin Family Letters in order to aid the readerʼs eye.
If random flourishes and other marks in a manuscript appear to serve only decorative or doodling purposes, and no purpose of punctuation can be discerned, they are ignored in transcription and markup, apart from a textual note atesting to their presence.
Deletion and Addition
In the ERMʼs Showcase display, deletions and additions are rendered as an approximation of a genetic text, such as that marked up (using typographical symbols) in Melville, Billy Budd, Sailor, ed. Hayford and Sealts (pp. 270‐425), albeit limited to the genetic development of a single witness. (A genetic reconstruction of a workʼs development using all available draft and fair‐copy witnesses is presented discursively in the workʼs apparatus.) In ERM Showcase, using the Transcription Toggle on the toolbar (the curved arrow), the reader can view at stage one (indicated on the toggle arrow by its first third being highlighted) the earliest textual state of a given witness, with text that Ruskin later deleted appearing gray. At stage two (indicated on the toggle arrow by two‐thirds being highlighted), the reader views the second state of text, with the added text replacing the deletion. In stage three (indicated by the toggle arrow being fully highlighted), the reader views deletions and additions simultaneously—that is, the final state of the manuscript witness, as it presently appears—with additions appearing above, below, or overlapping with the (grayed‐out) deletions, as the case may be.
In ERM, addition and deletion is not marked up as a single act, using the substitution element (〈subst〉), except in cases of overwriting, which cannot be otherwise interpreted. In many instances of deletion followed immediately by a word that makes sense of the passage, or with such a word placed above or below the line, no other scenario than an immediate substitution seems probable—particularly if the change is reflected in a subsequent fair copy. But we leave these inferences to the reader, relegating our own interpretations to a textual gloss or the apparatus.
In the earliest extant juvenilia, a form of erasure and substitution is to allow a mistaken character to stand (or to be erased imperfectly), but to follow that character with a heavily inscribed character, as if the latter were in boldface, in order to emphasize the substitution.
In 1833–34, in “Lille”, one of the poems for the MS IA, g.1, version of , Ruskin uses marginal symbols to instruct the transposition of two lines from one place in the draft to another place—a meaning for the symbols that is confirmed by his carrying out the transposition in a later fair copy of the poem. We encode Ruskinʼs symbol for the point of insertion, an asterisk, with the element 〈metamark〉, with its @function designated in this case as “insertion”; and we encode the lines to be transposed, which Ruskin brackets in the margin, as a span of text. This is a striking, early instance of Ruskin using symbols that function in the way defined by TEI P5 for 〈metamark〉 —to encode a scribal feature in a manuscript that does not form a part of the work, but that functions as a direction for how to read the text.
All metamarks require an editorial gloss to confirm or speculate about their meaning. In general, it seems, the earlier a possible metamark, the more ambiguous its intention, and Ruskin is more likely to use a word rather than a symbol. In 1827, in “The storm”, Ruskin inscribed a word, bad, which might be tagged as a 〈metamark〉, but its @function and @target could not be specified with certainty. That Ruskin intended the word as metadiscourse seems evident in its isolation, placed on the same line as a runover text without its forming a part of that runover in sense or grammar. We can speculate that he intended this negative judgment as a directive to reject the poem's strophe and replace it with another that follows; however, in this and any such ambiguous instance, we can only encode the word or symbol as a 〈metamark〉 without confidently supplying a @function or @target. Rather, we can only discuss a possible function and target in a textual gloss and/or (as in the case of “The storm”) propose a meaning that is worked out in the apparatus for the poem. Any such apparent metadiscursive interjection in a work, the function of which is unclear—such as the ejaculations, “Play” and “arretez Oh arretez,” in “On Skiddaw and Derwent Water”—is is encoded with 〈metamark〉 and its @function assigned the value “unclear”; speculation about function and target is reserved for a textual gloss and/or apparatus.
Manuscript Damage and Supplying Illegible or Missing Writing
The most widespread damage to Ruskinʼs manuscripts is scorching, caused by the fire in the house of Charles Goodspeed (1867–1950) (see also Sothebyʼs Sale of Ruskin Manuscripts and Library, 1930; and Sothebyʼs Sale of Ruskin Manuscripts and Library, 1931)
An affected area of the manuscript is encoded in transcript using the 〈damage〉 element with an @agent ascribed to fire or some other cause. If text in this area is legible but partially unclear, it is additionally tagged as 〈unclear〉; if visible but completely illegible, and able to be inferred from another source, text can be inserted and tagged as 〈supplied〉; and if completely illegible, and unable to be inferred confidently from another source, then the element 〈gap〉 is used, typically with the @extent given as “several characters”.
Glosses fall into two categories:
- Encoded as a @type of 〈div〉, a gloss is a kind of work (see Defining Works and Manuscripts), which is typically a commentary on another work or a corpus, inscribed directly on the manuscript witness of that work or corpus, and often written by some agent other than the author of the original work or corpus. As works, these sorts of glosses are represented by their own apparatus and witness. An example is Margaret Ruskinʼs Gloss on the Dating of MS I
- Encoded as a @type of 〈note〉, a gloss is editorial commentary. It is this kind of gloss with which the present discussion is concerned,
since these glosses supply necessary clarifications of editorial procedure and extensions of markup. They are further subdivided into two kinds:
The editor's explanatory and textual glosses are localized to annotating transcripts of specific works, as compared with the form of commentary called notes, which are free‐standing and hyperlinked throughout the archive. (see Plan of the Archive). As the term implies, explanatory glosses contextualize specific passages in a work—too specific to be annotated with a 〈note〉 that would be accessible by hyperlink througout the edition. A textual gloss draws attention a specific textual or bibliographical feature of a witness.
Explanatory and textual glosses are accessed through clickable callouts embedded directly in the text. The callouts appear in a different color than that of the surrounding text; and explanatory gloss callouts are sequenced in arabic numerals, while textual gloss callouts are sequenced by lowercase letters.
While it is typically recommended in print editions that such annotations be referenced by line number in order to maintain a clear text, without the clutter of note callouts (see, e.g., Kline and Perdue, Guide to Documentary Editing, 117), two factors render embedded callouts more practical in ERM. First, because the archive preserves the separate integrity of multiple witnesses of a work, a gloss must be capable of hyperlinking to the same or similar string of characters found in more than one witness, without regard to differences between witnesses in line numbering. Second, because the archive preserves the evidence of Ruskinʼs own line numbering, which he applied to some witnesses, annotation callouts need to work independently that numbering, which is often confused or erroneous.