Summary of Review by William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones, 'Ruskin and the Quarterly', Oxford and Cambridge Magazine, June 1856

It is interesting that in their defence of Ruskin in the June 1856 issue of the Oxford and Cambridge Magazine, William Morris and Burne-Jones refer solely to the hostility of the Quarterly Review, although the Edinburgh Review had similarly attacked Ruskin in April that year. Morris and Burne-Jones do not seem to realise that their opponent was a woman. They allege that the critic of the Quarterly has suggested, in her opposition to Ruskin's assertion that painting is a language, that painting has therefore no other role but that of mere amusement (see here). Like other sympathetic critics, they compare Ruskin with Luther (see here). They express their gratitude for his revolutionary emphasis on truth and observation over reverence for the old masters and the mechanical application of conventional aesthetic maxims (see here).