John Ruskin was a Victorian art critic, as well as a philanthropist, speech-giver and painter. This book contains two of his works, a speech called Traffic
, given in Bradford to some men who wanted his thoughts on their new Exchange building and an essay called The Roots of Honour
, which concerns economy and politics.Traffic
is one of the most beautiful pieces of writing I have ever read. Ruskin has been invited, as an art critic, to direct the people of Bradford in which direction of architecture style they should build their new Exchange building in, but Ruskin opens whole-heartedly with the sentiment that he does "not care about this Exchange of [theirs]." Delivered in the Town Hall of Bradford in 1864, Ruskin speaks about the aesthetics of beauty and the relation between taste and morality.
The second essay is longer and not so beautifully put together, but still captivating enough to spark enough intelligence in any person. The Roots of Honour
, whilst still an exemplary example of Ruskin's writing, concerns the political economics of Britain and Ruskin tries to simplify it whilst at the same time applying his art critique upon it.