“Men ought to be severely exercised and disciplined in daily life, they should learn to lie on stone beds and eat black soup, but they should never have their hearts broken. A noble heart, once broken, never mends.”
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.