It was in December, 1884, that I received the following kind words of encouragement from Mr. Ruskin, about some sketches and notes upon old ships, boats, sails, and rigging:
“My Dear Leslie,
I never saw anything half so delightful or useful as these compared sails so easily explained. Do set yourself at this with all your mind and time on this plan. It will be the most refreshing thing to me to take it up with you I could possibly have.
Ever your grateful, J Ruskin.”
Following this support Robert Leslie’s classic book focuses on the build and rig of the ships and boats of the past, i.e. pre 1884! It includes everything from life on board, to types of boat and sail, to navigation instruments and seamanship.
An original is hard to find but re-published editions are now available.