Author of Unto This Last, a biographical novel about the life of John Ruskin
This novel enchanted me. Deeply researched and charmingly written, it resurrects not only John Ruskin, one of the most influential characters of the Victorian age, but his fascinating pupil Rose La Touche, who is portrayed so sensitively that you feel as though you know her. Highly recommended.Daisy Dunn, author of In the Shadow of Vesuvius
This is an atmospheric and utterly convincing novel. We are taken into Mid-Victorian England, not merely the society but the life and consciousness of John Ruskin – one of the most important writers of the nineteenth century. Rebecca Lipkin has dug deep – has taken on the difficult story of his relationship with Rose La Touche, tackling the subject with great empathy in prose that is both detailed and vivid. A considerable achievement.Michael Crowley, writer and dramatist
Unto This Last draws the reader into the world of John Ruskin at a deeply felt, painful time in his life. Rebecca Lipkin’s thoughtful novel about this complicated man – and his often confusing world – is a pleasure to read and a very welcome addition for all lovers of Pre-Raphaelitism.Lucinda Hawksley, biographer of Lizzie Siddal
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London, 1858. Passionate, contradictory, and fiercely loyal to his friends, John Ruskin is an eccentric genius, famed across Britain for his writings on art and philosophy.
Haunted by a scandalous past and determined never to love again, the 39-year-old Ruskin shuns polite society in favour of a quiet existence at Denmark Hill, the home he shares with his domineering parents.
Reluctantly accepting a request by an Irish aristocrat to tutor her daughters in art, Ruskin becomes infatuated with his enigmatic student, Rose La Touche, an obsession with profound consequences that will change the course of his life and work.
Written in a style recalling Victorian literature and spanning a period of 20 years, the story poses questions about the nature of love, the boundaries of parenthood, and compatibility in marriage.
Unto This Last is a portrait of Ruskin’s tormented psyche and reveals a complex and misunderstood soul, longing for a life just out of reach.
Rebecca has had a passion for Victorian art and literature from a young age. She first discovered John Ruskin through E.M. Forster’s novel, A Room with a View, and later joined the Ruskin Society at the age of seventeen to learn more about Ruskin’s work. Rebecca pursued a career in journalism, specialising in arts writing and theatre reviews, and has worked for a number of national publications.
Rebecca says, “Most accounts of John Ruskin’s complex personal life focus on his brief marriage to Effie Gray, but his twenty-year relationship with Rose La Touche was of huge importance to the evolution of his thinking; it is a captivating and tragic story of two people whose loving friendship transcended boundaries and conventions to the very end.”
To get in touch with Rebecca, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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