I have previously said that I have doubts about the accepted version of events (I may even be described as Team Ruskin). I didn't like the way that things were assumed about the man from very little evidence and the words of interested parties. This rang rather true of my involvement with Fanny Cornforth (that well-known illiterate cockney prostitute) and so have always wanted to know more. Just the most cursory of fact-checking can dispel the 'fact' that he was a weird old man marrying an innocent child - She was 20, he was 29. The casting of Greg Wise as Ruskin in the new film makes me cover my eyes in horror. As gorgeous as Mr Wise is, he is a gentleman in his late 40s, almost 20 years older than the man he's playing and he looks like they have added a few more years too with his make up. Imagine the difference in casting someone like Rupert Friend or Orlando Bloom (actually both too old, how about Robert Pattinson? He's 28, so near enough. R-Patz for Ruskin! Lawks, imagine that cinema queue...), someone younger, nearer Effie's age, that would even the stakes a little. In fact, that's the point of the book. Imagine if Ruskin wasn't the worldly man of age, imagine he was just a romantic idiot. What then?
|Ruskin, kicking back.|
|A Highland Lass (Effie Ruskin) (1853) J E Millais|
|The Ruskins looking jolly....|
So now we wait for the film which is due in the Spring. I would very much urge you to read the book beforehand because I am guessing from the casting that Mr Wise's grey sideburns will mean he is playing old Ruskin rather than hot Ruskin. Not that I don't think old Ruskin was hot. Oh dear, I better move on. Make your own mind up and as always, my dear friends, question everything that is assumed.
Marriage of Inconvenience can be purchased here (UK) or at your local bookshop.