I first came to know Effie Ruskin some decades before the play brought her to public attention and made her a heroine of sorts. In the mid-1960's my husband and I, and our children, spent the summer at Venice's Lido, the locale of his youth. He was finishing a novel-in-progress. I had taken along to read on the beach Mary Lutyens' Effie in Venice, an engaging account, based on the letters Effie (born Euphemia Gray) wrote to her family in Scotland when she was newly Mrs. John Ruskin and beginning a ten-month sojourn in Venice as her already famous husband gathered material for the second and third volumes of his masterly Stones of Venice. They had been married in 1848, a revolutionary time that postponed their honeymoon trip to Italy until the fall of 1849 when she was 21, 10 years younger than John.