London, 1858. Passionate, contradictory, and fiercely loyal to his friends, John Ruskin is an eccentric genius, famed across Britain for his writings on art and philosophy.
Haunted by a scandalous past and determined never to love again, the thirty-nine-year-old Ruskin shuns polite society in favour of a quiet existence at Denmark Hill, the home he shares with his domineering parents.
Reluctantly accepting a request by an Irish aristocrat to tutor her daughters in art, Ruskin becomes infatuated with his enigmatic student, Rose La Touche, an obsession with profound consequences that will change the course of his life and work.
Unto This Last is a portrait of Ruskin’s tormented psyche and reveals a complex and misunderstood soul, longing for a life just out of reach.
Rebecca Lipkin was home-schooled from the age of twelve due to Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a connective tissue disorder that left her bed-bound for many years. Rebecca cultivated a passion for Victorian art and literature from the confines of her room and it was during this time that she first discovered John Ruskin. Recovering enough strength to walk again after five years in bed, she joined the Ruskin Society as its youngest member, aged seventeen, where she furthered her knowledge about Ruskin. Through her own research, she learned about Ruskin’s fascinating relationship with Rose La Touche, a story that, ten years later, formed the basis of this biographical novel. Rebecca pursued a career in journalism, specialising in arts writing and theatre reviews, and she has worked for a number of national publications including The Stage. She has also been the editor of a travel magazine and is currently the Culture Editor of the arts and lifestyle publication, The Arbuturian. Rebecca lives in Bath and is currently writing her second historical novel.