Born in 1819, John Ruskin would go on to be one of the most prominent voices of the Victorian era. His life is dominated by his writing on art and social issues. Ruskin did not always write primarily about social issues however, spending much of the first half of his career spending little time dealing with the subject. So what was the shift in interests that brought Ruskin into the field of political writing? To start let’s look at the founding influences on John Ruskin’s life.