Easing Towards ‘A Vast Policy’: Establishing the Guild of St. George

  • Graham A. MacDonald


The intellectual origins of The Guild of St. George are considered from the standpoint of utopian thought, past and present. The rural bias in Ruskin’s program is noticed along with his revival of the guild as an organizational form considered appropriate to the requirements of modern living and economic performance. Its virtues are those of localism, co-operation, promotion of performance standards, craft education and job satisfaction, all conducted within a conservative legal framework, not a separatist one. Ruskin compares it favourably against the forms provided by large industrial labour unions or by the firms of the capitalist market place, which encourages pursuit of an ego-driven form of individualism.


  1. Albritton, Vicky, and Fredrik A. Jonsson. 2016. Green Victorians: The Simple Life in John Ruskin’s Lake District. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Allingham, William. 1967. Diary. Fontwell: Centaur Press.Google Scholar
  3. Armitage, Patrick. 1918. The Old Guilds of England. London: Weare and Co.Google Scholar
  4. Armytage, W.H.G. 1961. Heavens Below: Utopian Experiments in England, 1560–1960. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.Google Scholar
  5. Barker, Ernest, ed. 1958. The Politics of Aristotle. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Barnes, Janet. 1985. Ruskin in Sheffield. Sheffield: Sheffield Art Department.Google Scholar
  7. Beard, Charles A. 1936. Ruskin and the Babble of Tongues,. The New Republic,, 369–71, August 5.Google Scholar
  8. Begent, P.J., and H. Chesshyre. 1999. The Most Noble Order of the Garter: 650 Years. London: Spink and Son Ltd.Google Scholar
  9. Black, Antony. 1984. Guilds and Civil Society in European Political Thought from the Twelfth Century to the Present. Ithica: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Blaug, David. 1963. The Myth of the Old Poor Law and the Making of the New. Journal of Economic History 23 (2): 151–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bond, Shelagh. 1973. St. George’s Chapel: Windsor Castle. London: Pitkin Pictorials.Google Scholar
  12. Bradley, J.L., ed. 1964a. The Letters of John Ruskin to Lord and Lady Mount-Temple. Columbus: Ohio State University Press.Google Scholar
  13. ———., ed. 1964b. Ruskin: The Critical Heritage. London: R and K. Paul.Google Scholar
  14. Broome, Isaac. 1902. The Last Days of the Ruskin Cooperative Association. Chicago: Charles H. Kerr.Google Scholar
  15. Brundage, W.F. 1996. A Socialist Utopia in the New South: The Ruskin Colonies in Tennessee and Georgia, 1894–1901. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.Google Scholar
  16. Burtt, Shelley. 1992. Virtue Transformed: Political Argument in England, 1688–1740. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Coleman, Janet. 2000. A History of Political Thought. 2 vols. Oxford: Blackwell,,.Google Scholar
  18. Cook, Edward T. 1911. The Life of Ruskin. 2 vols. London: George Allen and Unwin,.Google Scholar
  19. Coyle, Michael. 1988. A Profounder Didacticism: Ruskin, Orage and Pound’s Perception of Social Credit. Paideuma 17 (1): 7–28.Google Scholar
  20. Dearden, James. 2012. The Library of John Ruskin. Oxford: Oxford Bibliographical Society.Google Scholar
  21. Eagles, Stuart. 2011. After Ruskin: The Social and Political Legacies of a Victorian Prophet, 1870–1920. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Ferguson, Arthur B. 1960. The Indian Summer of English Chivalry. Durham: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Finlay, John L. 1972. Social Credit: The English Origins. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s Press.Google Scholar
  24. Fox, Alistar. 1983. Thomas More: History and Providence. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Frost, Mark. 2014. The Lost Companions and John Ruskin’s Guild of St George: A Revisionary History. London: Anthem Press.Google Scholar
  26. Froude, James A. 1907. Short Studies on Great Subjects. 5 vols. London: Longman’s Green,.Google Scholar
  27. Good, Jonathan. 2009. The Cult of Saint George in Medieval England. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press.Google Scholar
  28. Gunnell, John G. 1979. Political Theory: Tradition and Interpretation. Cambridge: Winthrop Publishers.Google Scholar
  29. Hanke, Lewis. 1959. Aristotle and the American Indians. Chicago: Henry Regnery.Google Scholar
  30. Harris, José. 1977. William Beveridge: A Biography. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  31. Harris, Anthony. 1985. Why Have Our Little Girls Large Shoes? Ruskin and the Guild of St. George. London: Brentham Press.Google Scholar
  32. Hennock, E.F. 2007. The Origins of the Welfare State in England and Germany, 1850–1914. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  33. Hewison, Robert. 1979. Art and Society: Ruskin in Sheffield, 1876. London: Brentham Press.Google Scholar
  34. Hexter, J.H. 1952. More’s Utopia: The Biography of an Idea. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  35. ———. 1961. Reappraisals in History. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.Google Scholar
  36. ———. 1973. The Vision of Politics on the Eve of the Reformation: More, Machiavelli, Seysse. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  37. ———. 1979. On Historians. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  38. Hilton, Tim. 2001. John Ruskin: The Later Years. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  39. Hobson, J.A. 1898. John Ruskin: Social Reformer. London: James Nisbit and Co.Google Scholar
  40. ———. 1976. Confessions of an Economic Heretic. Hassocks: Harvester Press.Google Scholar
  41. Holt, J.C. 1992. Magna Carta. 2d ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Hoose, Phillip. 1981. Building an Ark: Tools for the Preservation of Natural Diversity Through Land Protection. Washington, DC: Island Press.Google Scholar
  43. Huizinga, Johann. 1996. The Autumn of the Middle Ages. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  44. Jowett, Benjamin. 1875. The Dialogues of Plato: Vol. 5. The Laws and Index. 2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  45. Kantorowicz, Ernst. 1957. The King’s Two Bodies: A Study in Medieval Political Theology. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  46. King, Sue. 2010. A Weaver’s Tale: The Life and Times of the Laxey Woollen Industry, 1860–2010. Laxey: St. George’s Woollen Mills Ltd.Google Scholar
  47. Lang, Michael H. 1993. Designing Utopia: John Ruskin’s Urban Vision for Britain and America. Montreal: Black Rose Books.Google Scholar
  48. MacDonald, Graham A. 2012. The Politics of the Golden River: Ruskin on Environment and the Stationary State. Environment and History 18: 125–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Machiavelli, Niccolo. 1988. In The Prince, ed. Quentin Skinner and Russell Price. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  50. Manuel, Frank E., ed. 1966. Utopias and Utopian Thought. Boton: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
  51. More, Thomas. 1965. Utopia. Trans. Paul Turner,. London: Penguin,.Google Scholar
  52. Morley, Catherine W. 1984. John Ruskin: Late Work, 1870–1890. New York: Garland.Google Scholar
  53. Nederman, Cary J. 2009. Lineages of European Political Thought: Explorations Along the Medieval/Modern Divide from John of Salisbury to Hegel. Washington, DC: Catholic University Press of America.Google Scholar
  54. Nord, Deborah E., ed. 2002. Sesame and Lilies: John Ruskin. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  55. Norton, Charles Eliot, ed. 1904. Letters of John Ruskin to Charles Eliot Norton., 2 vols. Boston: Houghton Mifflin,,.Google Scholar
  56. Oleson, Tryggvi J. 1955. The Witengamot in the Reign of Edward the Confessor. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.Google Scholar
  57. Pocock, J.G.A. 2003. The Machiavellian Moment: Florentine Political Thought and the Atlantic Republican Tradition. With a New Afterword. Princeton: Princeton University Press,.Google Scholar
  58. Poynter, J.R. 1969. Society and Pauperism: English Ideas on Poor Relief, 1795–1834. London: R. and K. Paul.Google Scholar
  59. Rawnsley, H.D. 1902. Ruskin and the English Lakes. Glasgow: James MacLehose.Google Scholar
  60. Rhodes, Robin E., and Del I. Jenik, eds. 1982. Studies in Ruskin: Essays in Honour of Van Akin Burd. Athens: Ohio University Press.Google Scholar
  61. Rosser, Gervase. 2015. The Art of Solidarity in the Middle Ages: Guilds in England, 1250–1550. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Rubinstein, Nicolai. 1958. Political Ideas in Sienese Art. Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institute 21: 197–207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Schuyler, R.L., and C.C. Weston, eds. 1961. Cardinal Documents in British History. New York: Van Nostrand.Google Scholar
  64. Scott, Edith Hope. 1931. Ruskin’s Guild of St. George. Introduction by Michael Sadler., London: Methuen,.Google Scholar
  65. Seebohn, Frederic. 1929. The Oxford Reformers. London: J.M. Dent.Google Scholar
  66. Sherburne, James Clark. 1972. John Ruskin and the Ambiguities of Abundance: A Study in Social and Economic Criticism. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Shklar, Judith N. 1990. The Faces of Injustice. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  68. Skinner, Quentin. 1985. Ambrogio Lorenzetti: The Artist as Political Philosopher. London: The British Academy.Google Scholar
  69. Starr, Christopher. 2007. Medieval Mercenary: Sir John Hawkwood of Essex. Essex, Essex Record Office.Google Scholar
  70. Stenton, Frank. 1971. Anglo-Saxon England. 3rd ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  71. Surtz, Edward L. 1949. Thomas More and Communism. PMLA 64 (3): 549.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Tierney, Brian. 1982. Religion, Law and the Growth of Constitutional Thought, 1150–1650. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. ———. 1997. The Idea of Natural Rights. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdman’s.Google Scholar
  74. Urban, William. 2006. Medieval Mercenaries: The Business of War. London: Greenhill.Google Scholar
  75. Vasoli, Cesare. 1977. The Machiavellian Moment: A Grand Ideological Synthesis. The Journal of Modern History 49 (4): 661–670.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Venturi, Franco. 1971. Utopia and Reform in the Enlightenment. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Wardle, Peter, and Cedric Quayle. 1989. Ruskin and Bewdley. St. Albands: Brentham Press.Google Scholar
  78. Watson, Francis. 1972. The Devil and Mr. Ruskin. Encounters 38 (6): 64–70.Google Scholar
  79. Wheeler, Michael, ed. 1995. Ruskin and Environment: The Storm Cloud of the Nineteenth Century. Manchester: Manchester University Press.Google Scholar
  80. ———. 1999. Ruskin’s God. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  81. Whitehouse, J.H., ed. 1920. Ruskin the Prophet: And Other Centenary Studies. London: Allen and Unwin.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Graham A. MacDonald
    • 1
  1. 1.ParksvilleCanada

Personalised recommendations