Peter Burman, the Director of the Guild of St. George, has been enjoying his copy of Venice Rising at his home in Scotland. In fact, he has written a book review, which you can read here. It was shared this past week in the newsletter that goes out to the Guild of St. George Companions.
Wait, you haven’t heard of the Guild of St. George, you say? Founded in 1871, it’s a group of people, mostly from Great Britain but with members around the world, who have taken up John Ruskin’s cause of trying to make the world a more livable place amidst encroaching industrialism. As the website says, “How can the ideas and writing of a Victorian polymath and social critic become actions that make lives better in the 21st century? In 1860, John Ruskin wrote these visionary and challenging words, ’There is no wealth but life’. In a world which still contains too much injustice and inequality, facing a climate emergency and now (summer 2020) riven with the social, political and economic impact of Covid-19, Ruskin’s words resonate as urgently as ever and can inspire each of us–as individuals, Guild Companions, communities and organisations–to make a difference.”
Besides writing the book review, Peter has also been speaking to various groups to inspire them to take up the cause of protecting Venice, a city that was particularly dear to Ruskin’s heart. You may already have your own copy of his Stones of Venice, considered one of the seminal texts about the city’s architecture.
Peter’s talk shares the ideas from two books: If Venice Dies by Salvatore Settis, and Venice Rising. I feel so honored that he has chosen our book as a way to share the stories of Venetians living through the city’s historic flood, pandemic, and over tourism. In the book review shared here, Peter quotes from the Venice Rising and discusses issues Venice faces as well as the optimism and hope for a new future that Venetians are working towards. He also urges his readers to consider supporting the grassroots organizations that are protecting and reimagining the city: We are here Venice, Venice Calls, and No Grandi Navi, which Peter has already met with in order to coordinate support.
I’m honored to know that the stories in Venice Rising have inspired others to protect Venice’s important and unique heritage.