FROUDE, James Anthony (1818-1894). Historian.
Autograph Letter Signed to John Ruskin, 3½ pages 8vo, 5 Onslow Gardens, 31 March, no year. Thanking him for his letter received on his return from Madeira, informing him he has now published two volumes of Carlyle's Reminiscences and offering to send him a copy if he feels 'equal to reading it'.
'... I have many things to talk to you or write to you about - but you seem to have special anxieties of your own just now & I will not trouble you with them till you are stronger. ... I have published two volumes of Carlyle Reminiscences - "Society" is now busy on them. You are the only person to whom I can speak on the subject - and bye & bye I hope I may. ...'This letter is likely to have been written around March 1881, as his Reminiscences were published a month after Carlyle's death in 1881. Froude had become a close friend and confidant of Carlyle from 1866, and in 1871 Carlyle gave Froude a parcel containing the manuscript of his 'Reminiscences'. His will in 1873 stated that Froude should be left to decide what to do with the 'Letters and Memorials' and that his 'practical summing up and decision is to be taken as mine' (Dunn, 2.478). As a result of the publication, Froude was soon after embroiled in controversy. Carlyle's niece Mary and her husband questioned the import of the will, publishing Carlyle's wish that there be no biography.
It was through the connection of Carlyle's circle that Froude formed a companionship with Ruskin, although it did not become a warm friendship for twenty years. They were brought closer after Carlyle's death in 1881 by their shared strong affection towards him. Froude was one of the few trusted visitors that Ruskin could tolerate during his breakdowns later in life, and it is likely that Froude's references to Ruskin's 'special anxieties' refer to his second major breakdown in 1881. Correspondence was discouraged during this time, and during Ruskin's convalescence most visitors were turned away, although Ruskin insisted on Froude's company and his friend often walked from his home in Onslow Gardens to sit at Ruskin's bedside. (Tim Hilton, John Ruskin, the Later Years, Yale, 2000, pages 434-435).
With a piece of blank 'Ruskin' writing paper with a watermark of Ruskin's head in profile and the words 'Ruskin Linen'.
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