In the Preface to the first edition of Modern Painters I, Ruskin had to 'apologise for the imperfection of a work which [he] could have wished not to have executed, but with years of reflection and revisal' ( MP I, 1843:xi). The germ from which Modern Painters I was eventually to grow was Ruskin's unpublished letter to Blackwood's (1836). Five years later he mentioned his first plans for 'a work of some labour', but little seems to have come of this intention in terms of actual writing. Ruskin himself was to date his renewed plans for 'Turner's work' as originating on 12 June 1842, in Geneva. The probable period of composition of Modern Painters I is from September 1842 to April 1843 - a period of only eight months, which was interrupted by the Ruskin family's move from Herne Hill to Denmark Hill. (See also daily routine while writing Modern Painters I, method of composition of Modern Painters I, order of composition of Modern Painters I, and Ruskin's defensiveness in the Preface to the first edition of Modern Painters I).