Baldwin, Stanley E. Charles Kingsley (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1934).
This is a book length treatment of Kingsley's life and works.  After chapters providing a brief biography, a discussion of the background of the novels, and a consideration of the influence of Carlyle and Maurice, Baldwin devotes separate chapters to each of the novels: Yeast, Alton Locke, Two Years Ago, Hypatia, Westward Ho!, and Hereward the Wake.  Baldwin is measured in his assessment, though he still finds much to praise in Kingsley's diverse literary endeavors. Nevertheless, he considers Kingsley the man as more prominent than his literature.  "Some men's writings are the greatest part of them, and posterity studies their lives through a spirit of curiosity excited by their works.  In a sense this is true of Kingsley, but in a truer sense many are reading Kingsley's literary works because of the indelible impression his personality made upon his fellow men, for whom, in all his activities, he labored.  His life in itself was a poem of deep lyric passion" (194).

Full Book Treatment; Overview; Carlyle; Maurice; Yeast; Alton Locke; Two Years Ago; Hypatia; Westward Ho!; Hereward the Wake.

Haley, Bruce.  The Healthy Body and Victorian Culture (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1978).
Haley in discussing Kingsley's confrontation with Newman focuses on his complex relationship with the notion of muscular Christianity.  Kingsley disliked the term and found offensive such critics as T. C. Sanders and Fitzjames Stephen who stressed the "muscular" aspect of his Christianity. Still, Kingsley strongly believed that the spiritual life was very compatible with both a sexual and a vigorous, active, sporting life.  Haley declares that he found philosophical justification for this attitude in three of Carlyle's theories: "the body is an expression of spirit, and therefore the obedience to healthy impulse is a sign of constitutional harmony; the state of health is a knowledge of the laws of nature and a compliance with these laws; and heroism is a life of action made possible by observing the laws of health" (111-112).

Newman Controversy; Muscular Christianity; Sexuality; Health; Carlyle.

Kovacevic, Ivanka.  “Charles Kingsley's Imperialism and the Victorian Frame of Mind,” Filoloski Pregled: Casopis Saveza Drustava za Strane Jezike I Knjizevnost SFRJ Vol. 3-4 (1975): 55-72.
Kovacevic examines what he considers to be Kingsley's manifest jingoism, racism, and imperialism, declaring that his views on these topics were similar to those of Thomas Carlyle, Max Muller, and J. A. Froude.  He discusses briefly Kingsley's stance on the Governor Eyre controversy, his xenophobia, his generally negative opinion of the Spanish, the Irish, the Russians, the Indians, and others.  He declares that "Kingsley was a pure racist" who "taught that primitive natives are mere animals" (68).  Kingsley justified his imperialism by his belief "that some are born to command and some to obey, and he extended this belief to include nations and races as well.  If those of 'noble blood' have the right to comand, it follows that the Aryans should govern inferior races" (55-56).  Nevertheless, Kovacevic writes that Kingsley, neither a theorist nor ideologist, should not bear too much responsibility for the practical politics of the day.  His racist and imperialist views were those already being expounded by great numbers of the contemporary educated English public.

Social and Political Views; Racial Prejudices; Imperialism; Carlyle; Muller, Max; Froude.

Mendilow, Jonathan.  The Romantic Tradition in British Political Thought  (Totowa, New Jersey: Barnes & Noble, 1986).
Mendilow examines aspects of Kingsley’s political philosophy and discusses some primary influences on its development: Carlyle, Shelley, Byron, Maurice, Wordsworth, Southey, Burns, Owen.  He also stresses Kingsley’s advocacy of increased State involvement in a variety of societal spheres, for example a special ministry for sanitation, broad-ranging laws regulating employer-employee relations, an emigration scheme, more State involvement in education.  For Kingsley a paternal government “would orchestrate the different sections of the people to produce the harmonious composition of a good society” (180).

Social and Political Views; Political thought, Influences on his; Carlyle; Maurice; St. Elizabeth of Hungary.

Muller, Charles H.  Two Sermons of Charles Kingsley (Pietersburg, South Africa: University of the North, 1979).
This is the text of two previously unpublished sermon manuscripts from the Morris L. Parrish Collection, Princeton University Library.  Muller, the transcriber, notes Kingsley’s strong vein of compassion pervading the sermons. The first, originally preached at Eversley in 1846, stresses that God does not just belong to some far off eschatological future but that he is at hand in people’s normal daily life.  The second sermon, preached in 1851 at a child’s funeral, also focuses on a comforting God’s presence in everyday life.  Muller discusses the influence of F.D. Maurice’s teachings on Kingsley’s “understanding of the present relevance of divine Providence, and of the Kingdom of God as a present and spreading reality” (3).  Carlyle was another important influence.  Muller also discusses the style and the composition of these two sermons. Though they were manifestly quickly and carelessly written, probably very shortly before delivery, “Kingsley’s spoken words, as recorded in the sermons, must have had an almost magical, and very dramatic, effect on his congregation.  In each case the emotional climax shows how directly they came from the heart”(5).

Sermons; Eversley; Religion; Carlyle; Maurice.

Rosen, David. "The Volcano and the Cathedral: Muscular Christianity and the Origins of Primal Manliness," in Hall, Donald E. (ed.). Muscular Christianity: Embodying the Victorian Age (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1994): 17-44.
David Rosen provides a lengthy analysis of the development of Kingsley's views on muscular Christianity and manliness. He stresses that these were complex, many sided notions and that Kingsley's views on these topics, as well as his practical involvement in complementary areas, continuously evolved throughout his life. Rosen argues that among the many influences on Kingsley's concept of manliness was the notion of Platonic thumos which Kingsley considered was a primal manly force, the root of all virtue and which was manifested through sex, fighting, and morality. Rosen contends that Kingsley's views on manliness and related topics were highly influential and that diverse notions of Anglo-American masculinity from the mid-nineteenth century to the present owe much to Kingsley.

Manliness; Muscular Christianity; Sexuality; Plato; Carlyle; Hughes, Thomas.


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