As a vocal critic of art on the whole, British writer JOHN RUSKIN (1819-1900) was a profoundly influential voice upon European painting, architecture, aesthetics of the 19th and 20th centuries. rn rn This 1865 collection of three lectures-"Of Kings' Treasures," "Of Queens' Gardens," and "Of the Mysteries of Life"-offers an intimate look at his thoughts on culture and humanity's nurturing of its own education. He discusses:rn rn . the importance of "valuable books"rn . the nature of "a civilized country"rn . the necessity of educating womenrn . advice for living a plain but noble lifern . and more.rn rn Students of art history will in particular find this an enlightening read.