Mikimoto Memorial Ruskin Lecture 2017

will be held on Thursday 16th November at 6.00pm in the Faraday Lecture Theatre, Lancaster University

Speaker: Dr Nicholas Shrimpton (Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford)

Title: Ruskin and his Critics

How was Ruskin criticised? And how did he respond to criticism? Was he arrogantly indifferent or morbidly sensitive? With particular attention to his work in the 1850s (especially the last three volumes of Modern Painters and the Academy Notes) this lecture will argue that response to opposition was a key feature of his mode of discourse.

Nicholas Shrimpton is an Emeritus Fellow of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, where he was previously Fellow & Tutor in English and Vice-Principal. His writing on Ruskin includes the Encyclopaedia Britannica article on his work (15th edition, 2002 printing and EB ON-Line), ‘Ruskin and the Aesthetes’ in Dinah Birch, ed., Ruskin and the Dawn of the Modern (1999), Ruskin and ‘War’ (Guild of St George, 2014), and the essays on ‘Italy’ and ‘Politics and Economics’ in The Cambridge Companion to John Ruskin (2015). Other recent publications are ‘Bric-à-brac or Architectonicè? Fragment and Form in Victorian Literature’ in Shears & Harrison, Literary Bric-à-brac and the Victorians (2013), the ‘Matthew Arnold’ chapter in The Oxford History of Classical Reception in English Literature (2015), and editions of Trollope’s The Prime Minister (2011), The Warden (2014), and An Autobiography (2014), and Disraeli’s Sybil (2017) for Oxford World’s Classics. He is currently at work on the new OWC edition of the poems of William Blake.

The Mikimoto Memorial Ruskin Lecture

This memorial lecture was planned as one of the commemorative events of the tenth anniversary of the Ruskin Library of Tokyo in 1994. The Ruskin Library of Tokyo had three projects for the commemoration: firstly, a ‘Ruskin Symposium’ in Tokyo, secondly, the publication of Ruskin’s Letters in the Mikimoto Collection, and, finally, setting up a special lecture in memory of Ryuzo Mikimoto in the Ruskin Programme at Lancaster University (now the Ruskin Library and Research Centre). The Trustees of the Ruskin Library in Tokyo donated two million yen to the Ruskin Programme of Lancaster University to establish the Mikimoto Memorial Ruskin Lecture to be held annually, using interest accruing from the fund. James S. Dearden, the then Curator of the Ruskin Galleries, Bembridge School, gave the first lecture on “Ruskin To-Day” on 24th October 1995, referring to Mikimoto’s Ruskin studies and the Ruskin Library of Tokyo. Since then, the lecture series has continued on ten occasions by internationally distinguished Ruskin scholars.

This lecture programme is nowadays an important legacy of Ryuzo Mikimoto at Lancaster University, along with the Mikimoto Gift at the Ruskin Library, and a symbolic event in memory of a man from the Far East, who devoted his whole life to John Ruskin without attachment to any wealth, which was inherited from his father, Kokichi Mikimoto, the ‘Pearl King’

Recordings of some earlier lectures can be found here