Ruskin and Social Reform: Ethics and Economics in the Victorian Age

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In the first book to analyse the form and influence of Ruskin's social theory, Gill Cockram looks at Ruskin's significant contribution to social and intellectual thought in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In a field often overlooked by 19th century historians, Ruskin and Social Reform clarifies for the first time how Ruskin's social theory was disseminated to a much wider readership than was evident in the mid-nineteenth century and how it was that Ruskin achieved great prominence as a social philosopher. Cockram examines the chronological development of Ruskin's thought and establishes the extent of his influence among the nascent labour movement. It was the support of a thinker as original and as unconventional as Ruskin that helped to challenge the laissez-faire conformities of classical economics and launched the quest to find a more ethical and humane basis for social policy-making.