Ruskin's Political Influence

George P. Landow, Professor of English and Art History, Brown University

For R. H. Tawney, see "John Ruskin," in his Radical Tradition: Twelve Essays on Politics, Education, and Literature, ed. Rita Hinden (Penguin Books: n.p.. 1966), 42-46. John Rosenberg writes that "Clement Atlee, who became a socialist after reading the works of Ruskin and William Morris, wrote that the modern Labour Party was born in 1906, when twenty-nine independent Labourites were returned to the House of Commons; according to a questionnaire circulated among them, the book which most profoundly influenced their thought was Unto This Lastof which one hundred thousand copies had been sold and several unauthorized editions had been printed in America. Translations appeared in French, German, and Italian; and a then obscure disciple of Ruskin translated it into Gujarati, an Indic dialect" (The Darkening Glass, 131). Gandhi, who was the then obscure disciple, explained in his autobiography that Unto This Last marked the turning point in his life. For Professor Rosenberg's sources, see 240-41.


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