Secondary Materials on Ruskin and Mythology

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

Although James Kissane's "Victorian Mythology," Victorian Studies, 6 (1962-1963): 5-28, is quite superficial in its treatment of Ruskin's Queen of the Air, the only work by him it discusses, it nonetheless provides a helpful survey of Victorian attitudes toward myth. Charles T. Dougherty, "Of Ruskin's Gardens," Myth and Symbol, ed. Bernice Slote (Lincoln, Neb., 1963), 141-151, offers a suggestive, if incomplete, reading of the serpent and woman figures in Ruskin's mythology. One cannot, however, accept Professor Dougherty's assertion that "the allegorical vein in Ruskin's thought remained submerged until the events of 1857-1858 brought it dramatically to the surface" (p. 142) since, as these pages have already demonstrated, this allegorical bent clearly marks Ruskin's writings as early as 1846. Incidentally, Ruskin did not study, as Professor Dougherty states, "the female Melancholia in Durer's 'Knight and Death'" (145). The Melancholia is a separate work, and is illustrated in the Library Edition of Modern Painters, Volume v.


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Last modified 2000