Gossipy, fashion-conscious, and with a good journalist's eye for the telling detail, Euphemia Ruskin expended a fair amount of energy writing home to family and friends in England from Venice where she was sojourning with her husband, 1848-1852. She later had the marriage annulled on the grounds of non-consummation but during these years, there is hardly a hint that all was not well. Except for repeated reference to the fact that the sickly Ruskin disliked children, Effie, who had been married without being sure exactly what ""consummation"" meant, wrote happily of the Italian life. She was intrigued by Austrian royalty, annoyed by her servants' superstitious piety, and more outgoing than most English women about making new friends. The generously footnoted letters do not rival in interest or personality those of her contemporaries. For the Ruskin devotee and 19th century social history collections.