It was on this date, February 8, 1819, that the English author and art critic John Ruskin was born in London. Few other writers of the Victorian-Edwardian era in Britain were as influential as Ruskin with his writings. His major works included Modern Painters (9 parts, 1843-46), and also The Seven Lamps of Architecture (1849) and The Stones of Venice (3 vols., 1851-53), both of which argued that architecture and morality are inextricably intertwined. In addition to his passion for architecture and art, Ruskin had a passion for social justice and progress. Although never a Christian, Ruskin’s musings on the interconnection of cultural, social and moral issues were influential on the development of Christian Socialism, which is a political movement that is both Christian and socialist…
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Originally published February 2003 by Ronald Bruce Meyer.
This is more than just a calendar of events or mini-biographies – it’s a roll-call look into our Freethought history that shows not just who came before us, but that we as freethinkers are not alone in the world, no matter how isolated and alone we may feel at times.