The book stems from John Ruskin's experience of the years 1877 and 1878. It has been read with interest and enjoyment by a notable Ruskin scholar, a successor of his as Master of the Guild of St George. It is a novel - in which everything that is said to have been written by the real-life characters is true; and everything that they say, invented - but plausible; based on research when the characters are real, on informed imagination when they're fictitious. Ruskin is shown in artistic circles, with labouring women, with his 'pets', eloquently and eccentrically in the lecture theatre - and grappling naked with the Devil. And all that is true: as is his reaction to messages from the love of his life - the young, strange, and dead Rose La Touche.