Green Victorians: The Simple Life In John Ruskin's Lake District by Vicky AlbrittonGreen Victorians: The Simple Life In John Ruskin's Lake District by Vicky Albritton

Green Victorians: The Simple Life In John Ruskin's Lake District

byVicky Albritton, Fredrik Albritton Jonsson

Hardcover | March 7, 2016

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From Henry David Thoreau to Bill McKibben, critics and philosophers have long sought to demonstrate how a sufficient life—one without constant, environmentally damaging growth—might still be rich and satisfying. Yet one crucial episode in the history of sufficiency has been largely forgotten. Green Victorians tells the story of a circle of men and women in the English Lake District who attempted to create a new kind of economy, turning their backs on Victorian consumer society in order to live a life dependent not on material abundance and social prestige but on artful simplicity and the bonds of community.
At the center of their social experiment was the charismatic art critic and political economist John Ruskin. Albritton and Albritton Jonsson show how Ruskin’s followers turned his theory into practice in a series of ambitious local projects ranging from hand spinning and woodworking to gardening, archaeology, and pedagogy. This is a lively yet unsettling story, for there was a dark side to Ruskin’s community as well—racist thinking, paternalism, and technophobia. Richly illustrated, Green Victorians breaks new ground, connecting the ideas and practices of Ruskin’s utopian community with the problems of ethical consumption then and now.
Vicky Albritton has taught at Johns Hopkins University, Colorado State, and the University of Chicago. Fredrik Albritton Jonsson is associate professor of British history and history of science at the University of Chicago. He is author of Enlightenment’s Frontier: The Scottish Highlands and the Origins of Environmentalism.
Title:Green Victorians: The Simple Life In John Ruskin's Lake DistrictFormat:HardcoverDimensions:224 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.9 inPublished:March 7, 2016Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022633998X

ISBN - 13:9780226339986

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Green Victorians

Chapter One: No Wealth but Life
Chapter Two: Selling Sufficiency
Chapter Three: Queen Susan
Chapter Four: Taming the Steam Dragon
Chapter Five: Insatiable Imagination
Chapter Six: Nothing Much

Conclusion: Ruskin in the Anthropocene

Editorial Reviews

"This highly original, absorbing, and beautifully written work rethinks Ruskin by anchoring his thought, and that of his friends and associates, in their daily routines, showing how a style of thought we might call “ecological” emerged through prosaic practices. But it also shows the difficulties inherent in creating such a style of thought, and the complexities and compromises that emerged alongside ecological thinking. The issues raised in this book, vital today, will become only more significant in the future."