I don’t think Ruskin would be amused


Visiting Margate today I spotted a new gift shop, “Ruskin de la Mer” which sells “nautical niceties.” Is this name intended to be a reference to John Ruskin, the great fan of Margate’s most famous sometime resident JMW Turner? Last year, the nearby Turner Contemporary gallery played host to some of Turner’s “secret”, saucy sketches; most such works by Turner, among the large number of works in the Turner Bequest (the 30000+ works Turner donated to the nation on his death in 1851), were destroyed, an act often attributed to Ruskin, who regarded these works as evidence of “failure of the mind.” Somehow, I doubt that he would think much more highly of the “nautical niceties” on offer. Not that I personally have anything against such items (particularly in a seaside bathroom) – I just suspect that Ruskin might have.

UPDATE: apparently the Ruskin-Turner link is merely a coincidence, and the shop is named after its owner. Mea culpa!