John Ruskin: The King of the Golden River, or
The Black Brothers: A Legend of Stiria (1851)
Illustrated by Richard Doyle, E.P.Dutton / J.M.Dent 1925
Illustrated by Charles W Stewart, Edmund Ward 1958
“The King of the Golden River was written in 1841, at the request of a very young lady, and solely for her amusement, without any idea of publication…”
The very young lady was the twelve-year-old Effie Gray and the writer was John Ruskin, ten years her senior.
Ruskin was eventually to marry Effie in 1848 but the marriage foundered and was annulled, Effie then marrying the artist John Everett Millais. All that turbulence was in the future, however, and Effie must have been delighted with her present, along with later generations too after the tale was published in 1851.