"John Ruskin was a towering figure during his lifetime an art critic social reformer and around thinking you had a huge influence on British society the Victorian era after his death he fell out of favor his works went out of print and he was all but forgotten yet much of what he wrote about the nature of work look the importance of protecting the environment is more relevant than ever in the bicentennial year of his birth on joined by Sandra Kemp a curator and director of the Ruskin can. UCLA at Lancaster University we're also joined by Andrew Hill our management editor who has written a book Ruskin Land Looking at John Ruskin legacy today. Sandra Rusty was an extraordinary polymath wasn't he. Could you tell us about the man some of his most notable achievements. Ruskin was one of the leading thinkers of his age. He was an extraordinary talented writer and artist draftsman but he also inspired some of the Great Social Reformers of the twentieth century entry from Gandhi to the the welfare state he was also an early environmentalist and he emphasized on the to protect protect the natural world laying the foundations of the national trust as we know it today recording the built landscape of Venice through photography fee and drawing he was amongst the first to spotlight the ecological danger to the city of Venice and campaign for its protection and perhaps chiefs finally and in my view most importantly of all he was a really compelling educator who connected knowledge to the pulse of everyday life life and the intimacy of personal experience for me. That's what marks ought is. One of the greatest thinkers of all time people seem to know a lot about Rhoskins personal hustle life and had a trouble. I show life Cindy. Is that changing well one of the reasons. I think why people became suspicious. If you like Ruskin was because is an obsession developed almost in the middle of the twentieth century with his personal circumstances he had a failed marriage annulled old incurable impotency with effie gray which came to dominate partly because a number of myths circulated rumor circulated about why the marriage had failed frankly we will never know and he was a very troubled man because of a number of failed emotional relationships including that one and eventually his health broke down he spent the last decade or so more or less reclusively away in the Lake district not speaking or speaking only mono-syllabic -ly to visitors. I think one of the things that's happened in this bicentenary year and which people like Sandra the Ruskin are doing is to bring to the forefront a number of the strikingly modern and relevant ideas that he was producing even through this troubled life and if you like in my view and I'm obviously a fan overall we'll writing the balance and making sure that the best ideas and work of ruskin comes to the fore and is linked very clearly really to some of our very modern preoccupations in a way that he would have recognized as a vital part of what he was doing well. It does sound like you had an awful lot game for him supposed to question as Andrew. Why did he fall out of favor well. He died in one thousand nine hundred and one of the reasons is that he was of two minute some senses of his own success quite a lot of the things that he campaigned for social reform on areas like working hours and conditions education reform even city planning where things that within twenty years of his death had already come about so the campaigning zeal he brought to that had actually had an effect even though towards the end of his life. He was worried that he wasn't being listened to. I think the other key reason why he found out a favor in the early twentieth century was the first World War which clearly leap blasted this chasms through everything that had gone before and lead to a generation that had lost so much that war the younger generation renouncing everything thing that had to do with old victorians which is what he was by the end of his life follow clearly had a much more radical influence so to that extent within within about twenty five years of his death. His influence was beginning to wane and by the nineteen fifties there were even people in Sheffield one of the cities that he we had a vast influence on who didn't know who he was. Let alone what he had actually done"