Click here to go to a recording of our 2012 lecture: Ruskin, Engels and the City.

2012 - Ruskin, Engels and the City

The Mikimoto Memorial Ruskin Lecture of 2012 was held on 29 November in Lancaster University's Faraday Lecture Theatre.

Speaker: Dr Tristram Hunt, MP

Title: 'Ruskin, Engels and the City'

The philosophies of Friedrich Engels and John Ruskin were both powerfully shaped by the Victorian city. In its filth, vulgarity and rampant individualism, they found a telling symbol of all the failings of industrial capitalism. All that was wrong with 'laissez-faire' society could be found in 1840s Manchester. But their competing visions of a socialist alternative entailed very different futures for city life: for Engels, modernity and suburbia; for Ruskin, preservation and urban density. In their blistering prose and inspiring polemics, they offered two ideals of civic socialism which continue to influence urban debate today.

2012 - Ruskin, Engels and the City