Wednesday, September 07, 2005


Today received a kind letter from Acting Master J.S. Dearden, D.LITT. (HON.), the Director for Ruskin Affairs, inviting me to apply to be a Companion of the Guild of Saint George. In a brief description of the guild, an enclosed pamphlet states, "Details of plans for the Guild appeared from 1871 onwards in [John Ruskin's] "Fors Clavigera" [in which] there emerges a picture, sometimes fanciful, of a series of agriculturally-based communities in which social classes are integrated, where work is healthy and meaningful, machinery driven by natural forces, and sound craftsmanship encouraged. The surroundings, he insisted, should be beautiful, with wildlife protected, and all should have access to examples of great art, workmanship, and literature."

Initial funds donated by Ruskin led to the establishment of the guild in 1878, which continues today as a company limited by guarantee, and a registered charity. Despite the fact that the "picture" described above seems of another time and place, the pamphlet ends on this note: Companions, who come from all walks of life, are united in their conviction that the Guild of St. George is still relevant. "TODAY", in fact, was John Ruskin's motto.


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