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Sesame and Lilies

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  200 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
John Ruskin’s Sesame and Lilies, first published in 1865, stands as a classic nineteenth-century statement on the natures and duties of men and women. Although widely popular in its time, the work in its entirety has been out of print since the early twentieth century. This volume returns Sesame and Lilies to easy availability and reunites the two halves of the work: Of Ki ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published August 11th 2002 by Yale University Press (first published 1871)
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John Ruskin helped form my view of book collecting. Per his advice, I built a sufficient library where each book has earned its rightful place, regardless of birth. For it was Ruskin who suggested to obtain...a serviceable and steadily increasing series of books through life; every volume having its assigned place, like a little statue in its niche.

Modern readers who happen upon this collection of Ruskin's lectures on Man, Woman, Books, Work, and Nature, seem to focus on their current feelings a
Cindy Rollins
Jun 17, 2016 Cindy Rollins rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
This book was a gift from a Charlotte Mason friend. Charlotte often quoted Ruskin. On my recent trip to England I was able to see Ruskin's school in Oxford and got quite close to visiting his house in the lake district, but alas my legs were too short.

This book careens wildly between being a bombastic, misogynistic 2-star book and a deeply profound 5-star one. The three sections are lectures delivered to the Royal College of Science in Dublin.

A few highlights:

Lecture 1 Sesame

"13. This, then, i
Etienne Mahieux
Jan 22, 2014 Etienne Mahieux rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
C'est la première édition française, traduite, annotée sans pitié et fameusement préfacée par Marcel Proust, de deux conférences sur la lecture données par Ruskin. L'idée même de donner des conférences ayant partie liée avec un idéal de diffusion de la culture, on ne s'étonnera pas que dans la première ("Sésame — Les trésors des rois") l'essayiste anglais recommande la lecture aux hommes, ni que dans la seconde ("Les Lys — Les jardins des reines") il étende aux femmes cette ordonnance.
Le plus re
Aug 30, 2014 Poiema rated it liked it
John Ruskin (1819-1900) was a prolific English art critic and historian, poet, and writer. His theories were taken up by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and his acquaintances included Dante Rossetti, William Hunt, Lewis Carroll, and Thomas Carlyle. Many homeschool Moms would simply recognize him as the author of the children's fantasy, King of the Golden River.

The small book, Sesame and Lilies is only one of his 250 works and is a written transcript of 3 lectures that Mr. Ruskin delivered to the
Aug 31, 2011 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: essays
For me a second hand bookshop isn't a second hand bookshop unless it has at least one copy of ' Sesame and Lilies ' by Ruskin and ' The Cloister and the Hearth ' by Charles Reade. It often makes me wonder whether that is because there were so many unwanted copies bought as presents and then gathering useless dust until quietly slipped into the shop when the present buyer was nowhere around or is it that the books were so popular everyone had a copy and there was a glut that needed release. I for ...more
Sep 25, 2013 sidana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
İnsanı ve evrene faydalı değerleri objektif bi şekilde örneklemelerle anlatılmış..Hayatta dilin,sanatın,bilimin,liderliğin,erkeğin ve kadının ve edebiyatın olması gereken şekilde nasıl önem verilmesi gerektiğini ve faydalarını sıralamış..Akıcı ve bilgi yüklü güzel bir eser olmuş.

"İyi Eğitimli bir beyefendi birçok dil bilmiyor olabilir,anadilinden başka dil bilmiyor da olabilir veya çok az kitap okumuş da olabilir.Ama hangi dili bilirse bilsin adamakıllı biliyordur,ne söylerse söylesin doğru tela
Susan L
May 26, 2013 Susan L rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ruskin was celebrated by his Victorian contemporaries as a brilliant cultural theorist whose commentaries on art and culture guided the taste of age. Rightly denounced by Karen Millet and the first wave of feminist scholars for his patriarchal sexual politics, Ruskin's other cultural messages about education, morality and humanity, were inevitably overlooked. Embedded in Sesame and Lilies is, of course, the paradigm of Victorian sexual ideology - the separate spheres' debate, the paradox of perf ...more
Mar 23, 2014 Jennifer rated it really liked it
There were so many profound ideas in this book. The feminist in me couldn't quite give it 5 stars, but I resonated with Ruskin's ideas on work, education, politics, economics, religion, and social justice.
Hilal Büşra
Aug 25, 2013 Hilal Büşra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Susam'ının sırrına mazhar olduğumda, Zambaklar'ını daha bir merakla okuduğum; her cümlesinin altında ayrı bir hazinenin varlığına hayran kaldığım, gizemlerle dolu sıradışı bir eser.
Jan 12, 2015 A.M. rated it liked it
Shelves: i-own, e-books
Lecture 1: Sesame
The author has something to say which he perceives to be true and useful, or helpfully beautiful. So far as he knows, no one has yet said it; so far as he knows, no one else can say it. He is bound to say it, clearly and melodiously if he may; clearly at all events. In the sum of his life he finds this to be the thing, or group of things, manifest to him; —this, the piece of true knowledge, or sight, which his share of sunshine and earth has permitted him to seize. He would fain
Lissa Notreallywolf
Apr 10, 2012 Lissa Notreallywolf rated it did not like it
Be forewarned of the sexism of the book: Kate Millett's Sexual Politics and the commentary is helpful in identifying the toxicology of this little volume. I especially liked the essays included after the two lectures which seem to still be informing some segments of the population about the difference between educating boys and girls. There are many beautiful lines in the lectures, as well as some barborously long sentences. But what struck me most about the writing was the mastery of rhetoric t ...more
Stephanie Kangootui
Feb 20, 2015 Stephanie Kangootui rated it liked it
A timeless classic! I couldn't quite give it 5 stars because I had a hard time comprehending and/or enjoying the prose of Sir Ruskin, but I resonated with his ideas on work, education, politics, economics, religion, and social justice.
Haythem Bastawy
Jun 19, 2014 Haythem Bastawy rated it it was ok
Ruskin, in his usual style, lectures at his readers and listeners, assuming a full authority over a people he thought he was their shepherd. Although he is right in some of what he says, the majority is not and his tome is repulsive.
Oct 01, 2009 Ilene rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a collection of 3 lectures given by John Ruskin in the later half of the 19th century. I found them quite interesting. There were some old fashioned ideas, some I disagreed with and some that I felt our culture has forgotten and should revive again. Much of the material felt like being in a classroom, specifically a literature class. He has some good points about writers and readers and how readers should approach a writer's material. It made me think. He also had some great things to sa ...more
Ralph Britton
Nov 05, 2015 Ralph Britton rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, art
It is surprising how relevant much of what Ruskin has to say is to our own society. He writes with real power and moral authority.
Mar 21, 2016 Joshjw rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faves, essays
My review is for the lecture "On King's Treasuries."
Atila Demirkasımoğlu
Zamanına göre oldukça öncü düşünceler ileri sürmüş. Özellikle ilk kısmın ilk yarısı oldukça başarılı.
Mar 06, 2014 Bettie☯ marked it as off-tbr-and-into-wpb
Recommended to Bettie☯ by: Cheryl Kennedy
gutenberg link:


"You shall each have a cake of sesame,—and ten pound."
Lucian: The Fisherman.

My first duty this evening is to ask your pardon for the ambiguity of title under which the subject of lecture has been announced: for indeed I am not going to talk of kings, known as regnant, nor of treasuries, understood to contain wealth; but of quite another order of royalty, and another material of riches, than those usually ac
Dan Crews
Feb 03, 2009 Dan Crews rated it it was amazing
I am a great fan of his style particularly in Modern Painters. Lilies reads like Proust had wrote it. This book deals with Victorian morality, gender and education and is contextualized by four essays by contemporary critics. I was very surprised and enjoyed it.
Feb 04, 2008 Kerren rated it liked it
Although I remember enjoying some of what Ruskin had to say - mostly his thoughts on education - I can't remember any specifics. REad it, but only if you enjoy art and education. This book reads like vegetables eat.
Feb 08, 2015 Chrystal rated it it was amazing
Sesame and Lilies is full of insight worthy of entry for the brain. I do not believe in all of his ideals, nonetheless a worthy thinker among men.
Jan 11, 2012 Lily rated it liked it
5 stars for the "sesame" part and 2 stars for the "lilies" part. The latter betrays his shallow and idealized view of women.
Apr 06, 2011 Tryn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: education, essays
These fascinating essays are about reading, books, educations, and what makes a person noble.
Inna Shpitzberg
The "Stones of Venice" is definitely better, but I still love Ruskin...
Clark Elder
Mar 30, 2016 Clark Elder rated it really liked it
One of the profoundest Victorian writers, along with George MacDonald.
Sep 04, 2012 Lexie rated it did not like it
Shelves: college
Jan 11, 2012 Erin rated it liked it
Shelves: for-school
Read for college Victorian Garbage course
Jun 04, 2008 Ed rated it it was ok
this wasn't great. What's the matter with me?
Pierce added it
Sep 22, 2016
Eliana marked it as to-read
Sep 18, 2016
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John Ruskin was born on 8 February 1819 at 54 Hunter Street, London, the only child of Margaret and John James Ruskin. His father, a prosperous, self-made man who was a founding partner of Pedro Domecq sherries, collected art and encouraged his son's literary activities, while his mother, a devout evangelical Protestant, early dedicated her son to the service of God and devoutly wished him to beco ...more
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“All books are divisible into two classes: the books of the hours, and the books of all Time.” 175 likes
“For as in nothing is a gentleman better to be discerned from a vulgar person, so in nothing is a gentle nation (such nations have been) better to be discerned from a mob, than in this, - that their feelings are constant and just, results of due contemplation, and of equal thought. You can talk a mob into anything; its feelings may be - usually are - on a whole, generous and right; but it has no foundation for them, no hold of them; you may tease or tickle it into any, at your pleasure; it thinks by infection, for the most part, catching an opinion like a cold, and there is nothing so little that it will not roar itself wild about, when the fit is on; nothing so great but it will forget in an hour, when the fit is past.” 2 likes
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