On 28 April 1827
announced to John James
has sent you his first written letter”. By written
, she may have meant his first letter in his own hand
as opposed to her transcription (an example of the latter being a letter dated 15 March 1823
from both John
to John James
, which is written entirely in Margaret
and which is the only extant epistle by Ruskin
prior to May 1827
, putting aside his presentation copies of poems). Margaret
may also—or instead—have
meant by the term written
to refer to Ruskin
ʼs first letter in cursive hand, as opposed to printing.
As she goes on to remark, “I believe the showing you his writing occupied his thoughts fully more than how he expressed his feelings so you must excuse that”.
Van Akin Burd
notates this “written” letter as “unidentified”,
but it seems probable that Margaret
was referring to Ruskin
ʼs letter of May 1827
prints following Margaret
ʼs of 28 April 1827
wrote this letter in an awkward cursive script—mostly in pencil,
except for a postscript in ink. In this letter, he was also using pen and ink for the first time, which Margaret
says that he was
“much delighted at being able to use”. He copied the two poems,
unlike the text of the letter, entirely in ink, although in a print, not cursive hand
(see Burd, ed., Ruskin Family Letters
, 156, 127–28, 157 n. 4).
Facsimile and transcript by permission of Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.