Revelling with Ruskin
John Ruskin’s Praeterita is one of the most exhilarating books I know, and I often go back to it. For most of his life the great art-critic-cum-sage was writing books to educate people. Once, when a reader told him how much he enjoyed his books, Ruskin answered, ‘I don’t care whether you enjoyed them. Did they do you any good?’ But at the end of his life, when he feared he was going mad, he felt he must abandon all the religious and aesthetic and social controversy of his life, and write a book that just recalled the happiness of his youth. The result was Praeterita – ‘past things’.