|Bloomfield, Anne. “Muscular
Christian or Mystic? Charles Kingsley Reappraised,” International Journal
of the History of Sport Vol. 11, No. 2 (August 1994): 172-190.
In her treatment of Kingsley’s role in the history of human movement,
sport, and aesthetic gymnastics, Bloomfield examines his mystical nature
and his changing views on the religiosity of body, mind and soul.
She also hypothesizes that Kingsley’s views were influenced by the work
of the Swedish philosopher Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772). She concludes
that Kingsley’s work in human movement must be viewed as being more significant
than his commonly accepted role in Muscular Christianity. “Kingsley
possessed a deep commitment to the mystical aspects of Christianity as
well as its physical elements, and in terms of the philosophical development
of human movement this accords him a place uniting two important branches
of human movement, the sports ethic and the dance ethic, both of which
currently stand distanced and bifurcated at polemical points within a common
aesthetic field” (189).
Christianity; Swedenborg, Emanuel; Sport;
Harrington, Henry R. “Charles
Kingsley's Fallen Athlete,” Victorian Studies Vol. 21, No. 1 (Autumn
In his treatment of Kingsley's views on sport, physical activity, and
the nature of manliness, Harrington declares that Kingsley, who detested
the notion of muscular Christianity, held that the manly Christian's passions
must be checked by "'feminine virtue'", that is morality and self-restraint.
Kingsley believed that it was difficult for the manly Christian to come
down from the exalted sporting moment which offered distraction from the
problems of normal existence and from sexual frustration. To do so
is essentially a fall. However, "because of 'feminine virtue', it
is a fortunate fall. Within Kingsley's private theodicy, the fallen
athlete and the manly Christian are one in a fictional world redeemed by
his faith in 'feminine virtue'" (74).
Newby, Richard L. “Wilkie Collins's Man and
Wife: Kingsley's Athlete Scouted,” McNeese Review Vol. 26 (1979-80):
Newby discusses Wilkie Collins's castigation in his 1869-70 Man
and Wife of Kingsley's vaunted athleticism. He provides numerous reasons
for Collins's dislike of Kingsley, ranging from the latter's status as
a most respectable Establishment figure to Kingsley's denigration of the
importance of the intellect. Collins viewed this anti-intellectualism as
being closely connected to Kingsley's athleticism especially as advocated
in the three novels Hereward the Wake, Two Years Ago, and Westward
Ho!. Man and Wife's propagandizing against athleticism
is Collins's retaliation.
the Wake, Two Years Ago; Westward