|Allen, Peter. “Christian Socialism and the Broad
Church Circle,” Dalhousie Review Vol. 49 (Spring, 1969): 58-68.
Allen discusses Kingsley’s involvement in the Christian Socialist movement
of 1848-1854. He argues that most of the Christian Socialists were
members of the Broad Church circle and that political radicalism or political
socialism was far from being their principal concern. Rather, they
believed that moral or educational reform of the working classes must precede
political action, a viewpoint strongly adhered to by Kingsley. Though
a minority of the Christian Socialists, for example J. M. Ludlow, advocated
extreme political reform, Allen suggests that the evidence indicates
“that we cannot understand Christian Socialism and its leaders if we look
only to the history of political radicalism, but that the movement might
appear in a new and valuable light through a thorough study of the Broad
Church circle. Rather than seeing Christian Socialism as primarily
a political movement diverted from its true aims, we should, I think, see
it as an outgrowth of a school of religious thought and of a certain intellectual
and social group in Victorian society” (66-67).
Socialism; Religion; Social
and Political Views.
Backstrom, Philip N. Christian Socialism and
Co-operation in Victorian England: Edward Vansittart Neale and the Co-operative
Movement (London: Croom Helm, 1974).
Backstrom makes several mentions of Kingsley's activities in the Christian
Beer, Max. A History of British Socialism.
Vol. II (London: Bell and Sons, 1929).
In his treatment of Christian Socialism Beer declares that Kingsley
“thought the real battle of the time was not Radical or Whig against Peelite
or Tory, but the Church, the gentleman, the workman against the shopkeepers
and the Manchester School” (183).
Socialism; Social and Political
Brantlinger, Patrick. “Christian
Socialism,” in The Spirit of Reform: British Literature and Politics,
1832-1867 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1977): 129-149.
Brantlinger analyzes the Christian Socialist theme in Alton Locke.
He considers that there is a distinct and paradoxical duality in the novel.
Alton personifies the two extremes of, on the one hand, wishing to remain
faithful to his working class origins and, on the other, his desire to
become one of the middle class. "Tailor and Poet" like "Christian
Socialist" is an oxymoron. The moral of Alton Locke is not
that he should adopt such working class features as Chartism and trade
unionism and eschew middle class values, nor is it that he should remain
fixed in his working class milieu and never seek to improve himself.
Rather Kingsley wished to point the moral "that a worker should not be
ashamed of his status and that he should do whatever he can within legal
and Christian boundaries to help the other members of his class" (140).
Brinton, Crane. English Political Thought
in the Nineteenth Century (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1954).
Brinton provides an overview of Kingsley’s life and his major social
and political views. While his Christian Socialism was by no means
a system, Kingsley held that a Christian Socialist society would indeed
be hierarchical where each one's place is determined by his moral value
as well as democratic in the sense that each one's place has been allotted
by God. Brinton considers that Kingsley’s ideal society was based
on older English societies where different social classes “were knit together
by habits which were genuine human relationships”. His “programme
is singularly like that of Tory Democracy” (125). Kingsley’s paternalism
did not signify that he rejected competition. Competition was good
but workers must first be members of cooperative associations, an ideal
similar to “modern guild Socialism” (126). While Brinton considers
that Kingsley’s achievements were not insignificant, his ideals based on
his religious faith could accomplish little to improve the very practical
ills of working class and under-privileged society. “His God, his
virtue, his England, made too many promises to the flesh – promises unfulfilled
to the common man. For the uncommon man, his faith was even more
inadequate. Taste and intellect alike recoil from the simplicities
of a universe on the pattern of Eversley” (130).
and Political Views; Alton Locke;
Cazamian, Louis. The Social Novel in England
1830-1850: Dickens, Disraeli, Mrs. Gaskell, Kingsley Trans. Martin
Fido (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1973; first published in French
Cazamian provides a lengthy examination of Kingsley's life and works,
focusing on his Christian Socialist activities and, particularly, on how
Christian Socialism is represented in his novels, Yeast and Alton
Locke. Cazamian considers Kingsley a "gifted writer" who employs
these novels as a "propaganda vehicle" to describe the age's "most vital
aims and ideals" (241).
and Political Views;
Christensen, Torben. Origin and History of
Christian Socialism 1848-1854 (Aarhus, Denmark: Universitetsforlaget,
In his study of Christian Socialism Christensen makes frequent mention
of Kingsley, focusing in particular on his activities in the Chartist movement
and as the author of Alton Locke.
Socialism; Chartism; Alton
Dottin, Françoise. “Chartism and Christian
Socialism in Alton Locke,” Politics in Literature in the Nineteenth
Century (Lille: Centre d'Etudes Victoriennes, U. de Lille, 1974): 31-59.
Dottin discusses Kingsley's social and political views as represented
in Alton Locke, especially those relating to Chartism and Christian
Socialism, as well as his own practical endeavors in these areas. She concludes
that while Kingsley is somewhat difficult to categorize, he is "neither
a revolutionary nor a fawning aristocrat", and that he is best described
by the two words Christian and socialist (54).
Socialism; Social and Political
Views; Social and Political Novel.
Fichter, Joseph H., S. J. “The Socialism of a
Protestant: Charles Kingsley (1819-1875)” in his Roots of Change
(New York: Appleton-Century, 1939): 134-156.
Fichter reviews Kingsley’s life and principal works focusing on his
social and political thought. He is balanced in his assessment, pointing
out a number of Kingsley’s faults, prejudices, and illogicalities in addition
to his good qualities. With respect to Kingsley’s changing views
and specifically to his title of Christian Socialist, Fichter declares
that “he was no more thoroughgoing Socialist than he was thoroughgoing
Christian” (135). Fichter briefly reviews Kingsley’s condition of
England novels declaring Alton Locke to be “a tremendously effective
book” (151) and the autobiographical Yeast to be badly marred by
Kingsley’s intense anti-Catholic bigotry. Fichter concludes that
“the work of Charles Kingsley was on the whole a genuine contribution to
the improvement of man’s relation with man. His mistakes were the
mistakes of every demagogue to tread the earth, but the hand he had in
rousing social interest in English problems more than made up for them”
Socialism; Social and Political
Views; Catholicism; Alton
Hartley, Allan John. The Novels
of Charles Kingsley: A Christian Social Interpretation (Folkestone:
The Hour-Glass Press, 1977).
Hartley in this book-length study interprets
Kingsley's novels in the light of the influence of the Christian Social
Movement. He contends that Kingsley is unusual in using novels to set forth
the message of one whom he, together with many others, viewed as the age's
greatest prophet, F. D. Maurice. "The value of Kingsley's novels ultimately
lies less in their advocacy of liberality and reform, than in their insistent
justification of both on the basis of Christian humanism. Kingsley's
inspiration sprang from Maurice whose reading of the Bible had shown his
disciple the meaning, both of Christianity and of history, and the novels
proclaim that social improvement had necessarily to proceed within the
existing framework of society, which for Kingsley meant a Christian dispensation
based on Commandments engraven on tablets of stone and interpreted by sacrificial
love. A minor prophet proclaiming a minor one, Kingsley thus added
a new dimension to the novel" (169).
Socialism; Maurice; Religion;
and Political Views;
Ho!; Two Years Ago; Hereward
Hawley, John C., S.J. “Responses to Charles Kingsley's
Attack on Political Economy,” Victorian Periodicals Review Vol.
XIX, No. 4 (Winter 1986): 131-137.
Hawley discusses the reaction Kingsley and his political and social
views received from the contemporary periodicals with particular attention
to the responses during the Parson Lot and the Christian Socialist period.
Reception of Kingsley's
Works; Christian Socialism;
and Political Views.
Jones, Tod E. “Matthew Arnold's 'Philistinism'
and Charles Kingsley,” Victorian Newsletter No. 94 (Fall 1998):
After examining the various characteristics of Matthew Arnold’s “Philistine”,
Jones discusses Kingsley’s views on each of these characteristics and their
representation in English society. He then considers whether Kingsley
himself may justifiably be termed a “Philistine”. He concludes that
“Kingsley cannot be fairly regarded as a Philistine or even as an anti-intellectual.
This is not to say that he never displayed a characteristic that is typically
Philistine or that he never took an anti-intellectual position, but rather
it is to affirm that in Kingsley not one of the attributes of Philistinism
was prevalent” (9).
Matthew; Social and Political
Views; Christian Socialism.
Keep, David J. “The Theology of Charles Kingsley’s
Village Sermons,” The Evangelical Quarterly Vol. LIII, No. 4 (Oct-Dec
Keep examines Kingsley’s sermons to the congregation at Eversley during
the relatively unstable social and political period 1849-1854, the time
Kingsley’s own radical views and writing were at their peak. He declares
that though these village sermons were clearly written and free from theological
jargon they were on the whole not very extremist nor exciting. They
were particularly limited “in their failure to deal with the profound theological
questions posed by unitarianism and the questions raised by higher criticism”
(214). However, they did reveal “an optimistic eschatology that God
was working through technological progress and that change should be welcomed”
Kingsley as; Eversley; Religion;
Klaver, Jan Marten Ivo.
“Charles Kingsley and the Limits of Humanity,” Nederlands Archief Voor
Kerkgeschiedenis: Dutch Review of Church History Vol. 81, No. 2 (2001):
Klaver declares that historians and biographers,
even Kingsley's wife, have tended to ignore Kingsley's contributions to
the journal The Christian Socialist while paying a great deal of
attention to what he wrote for the earlier Politics for the People.
Klaver analyses his writings for this former journal concluding that the
extreme views expressed, especially on the literal interpretation of the
Bible and on the topic of the destruction of the Canaanites, were uncongenial
to some. He considers it understandable if the likes of Mrs. Kingsley
and Thomas Hughes, who undoubtedly felt that these immoderate and merciless
views were not truly representative of Kingsley's generous nature, remained
silent regarding these articles. "What is less understandable is
the equally uncritical silence of later historians on these writings" (141).
Socialism; Periodicals, Contributions
Lodge, David. “Introduction” to Charles Kingsley,
Locke: Tailor and Poet, ed. Herbert Van Thal (London: Cassell, 1967):
In his introduction to Alton Locke, Lodge declares that while
Kingsley shows keen sympathy for the workers' conditions of employment
and general social plight, he is also critical of their general modes of
reacting against established authority. This was in keeping with the tenor
of his ideology for, as he aged, Kingsley abandoned his younger radical
views and became increasingly an establishment figure. Still, observes
Lodge, Kingsley's effort on behalf of the oppressed and deprived working
poor, "of which
Alton Locke is an eloquent testimony, reflects most
credit upon him, and leaves him least vulnerable to the irony of a more
sophisticated and more cynical age than his own"
Socialism; Social and Political
Morton, A. L. “Parson Lot,” in his The Matter of
Britain: Essays in a Living Culture (London: Lawrence & Wishart,
Morton provides a brief account of Kingsley’s life and works, paying
particular attention to his endeavors on behalf of the poor as Parson Lot,
Christian Socialist. He praises Kingsley’s genuine commitment to
the plight of the down-trodden though he considers Kingsley was a combination
of both Radical and Tory. Believing in the worker and the aristocrat,
it was the classes in between for whom Kingsley had a great antipathy.
Morton also lauds the depiction of the worker and of Chartism in Alton
Locke. Though Kingsley finally denounces Chartism, this is the
first time that English fiction deals with it seriously and sympathetically.
Though Kingsley never really succeeded in standing apart from his Tory
views and though his socialist work invariably failed, he was, according
to Morton, “like Ruskin, one of those who helped to prepare the ground
from which a genuine socialist movement was to spring a generation or so
Murray, Robert H. "Kingsley and Christian Socialism"
in Studies in the English Social and Political Thinkers of the Nineteenth
Century (Cambridge, U.K.: Heffer, 1929), Vol. I, pp. 432-455.
After a brief analysis of the age's social and political context, especially
the Marxist background, Murray provides an overview of Kingsley's life
and works focusing in particular on his activities in the Christian Socialist
and Political Views; Christian Socialism.
Noel, Conrad. Socialism in Church History
(Milwaukee: Young Churchman, 1911).
Noel discusses the “socialist” views and work of Kingsley and Maurice
and relates them to their religious beliefs. He denies that they
were broad Churchmen; rather “they protested against broad Churchism as
being almost as anti-Christian as Puseyism or popular Protestantism.
Their lives were devoted to the revival of the Catholic democratic Faith”
Peyrouton, N. C. “Charles Dickens and the Christian
Socialists. The Kingsley-Dickens Myth,” The Dickensian Vol. 58 (May
Peyrouton examines the views and works of Kingsley and Dickens, especially
their social and political opinions. Though the two men agreed in
part on various aspects of society’s ills and their appropriate solutions,
their differences are as patent as their similarities. Peyrouton’s principal
goal in the article is to dismiss what he terms the Kingsley-Dickens Myth,
namely that Dickens through the influence of his novels established a Dickensian
school of which Kingsley became an ardent disciple; that Dickens “by igniting
Kingsley” helped the latter shape Christian Socialism; and that both men
shared many views and ideals (96).
Socialism; Social and Political
Rapple, Brendan A. “The Educational Thought of
Charles Kingsley (1819-75),” Historical Studies in Education Vol.
9, No. 1 (Spring 1997): 46-64.
Rapple writes that though Kingsley’s educational works were not as
considerable as those of such contemporaries as Kay-Shuttleworth, Matthew
Arnold, Spencer, or Huxley, they were still significant. However,
they have generally received scant scholarly attention, with the exception
of his muscular Christianity activities. Contending that Kingsley
the educationist requires a more complete treatment, Rapple, “as a vanguard
to the needed account,” examines Kingsley’s “attitude to the young, his
staunch belief that the State should be deeply implicated in the provision
of education, the relation between Kingsley's 'Muscular Christianity' and
his views on education, his fervent conviction that science should figure
more noticeably in the curriculum, his belief that hygiene and sanitary
knowledge should be universally taught, and his advocacy of female education
at all levels” (47).
Socialism; Muscular Christianity;
Raven, Charles E. Christian Socialism 1848-1854
York: Augustus M. Kelley, 1868) (first published 1920).
Raven discusses Kingsley's contribution to the Christian Socialist
movement. He praises Kingsley's sincere and influential involvement
at the commencement of the campaign -- "without him it could never have
achieved its speedy recognition or its lasting influence" (97). However,
he considers that his participation became increasingly problematic as
the movement proceeded due to those personal faults that grew more prominent
later in his career: "in view of them we cannot altogether regret the fact
that he dropped out of the movement before he found a Newman to bring destructrion
upon him and it together" (101).
Reboul, Marc. “Charles Kingsley: The Rector in
the City,” in Jean-Paul Hulin and Pierre Coustillas (eds.) Victorian
Writers and the City (Lille: Publications de l'Université de
Lille III, 1979): 41-72.
Reboul argues that Kingsley influenced by the Romantics and Neo-Platonic
thought had come to regard contemporary city life to be the opposite of
the Divine. This view was reinforced by such experiences as the Bristol
Riots of 1831, the 1849 cholera epidemic in London’s East End districts
of Bermondsey and Jacob’s Island, and the appalling working conditions
endured by tailors and others in London’s sweat shops. Kingsley’s
solution to the evils of city life involved an elimination of man’s exploitation
of man and a Christianization and a humanization of the excesses of capitalism.
Above all, Kingsley, turning in his later years into an optimistic town-planner,
viewed thorough sanitation reform as the vehicle that would rebuild cities
in the image of God’s kingdom on earth. Increasingly Kingsley believed
“that man was now in a position to conquer and civilise Nature, to master
his environment, and to lay the foundations of a new society, in which
cities would no longer appear as diseased patches soiling the purity of
the landscape, but as nuclei of organisation shining with all the brightness
of their regenerated state” (62).
Socialism; Sanitation; Capitalism;
Schilling, Bernard N. “Kingsley,”
in Human Dignity and the Great Victorians (New York: Columbia University
Press, 1946): 96-122.
Schilling examines Kingsley's work as a humanitarian and his efforts
to dignify the life of England's poor. "Kingsley achieved a working
synthesis between his religion and his radicalism; he made it seem as if
he had to be a humanitarian reformer because of the implications which
he saw in religion, not in spite of them" (96). Schilling discusses
Kingsley's work on behalf of sanitary reform and his campaign against the
terrible conditions of the sweated tailoring trade, stressing Kingsley's
belief that many societal problems had their underlying cause in laissez-faire
capitalism. He also considers Kingsley's advocacy of popular medical instruction
and of cooperative movements, his plans to make art, amusement, country
life and education more available to the public, and his staunch promotion
of public education. Though Kingsley became increasingly conservative
and came to embrace a form of feudalism as he aged, Schilling concludes
that he "bore the mark of all great humanitarians - the union of compassion,
humaneness, and optimism" (122).
and Political Views;
Tozer, Malcolm. “Thomas Hughes: ‘Tom Brown’ versus
‘True Manliness’,” Physical Education Review Vol. 12, No. 1 (1989):
Tozer declares that Thomas Hughes’s Tom Brown’s Schooldays was
largely responsible for the emphasis of the physical in the definition
of the Victorian gentlemen and for the era’s “emerging clamour of hearty
athleticism” (44). Thus, Tozer contends, Hughes severely distorted
the far broader ideal of manliness of his Christian Socialist associates,
Charles Kingsley and F. D. Maurice.
Thomas; Muscular Christianity;
Vulliamy, Colwyn E. "Charles Kingsley and Christian
Socialism," in Writers and Rebels: From the Fabian Biographical Series,
ed. by Michael Katanka (London: Knight, 1976; Totowa, N. J.: Rowman and
Littlefield, 1976), 159-191 (first published as a Fabian Tract in 1914).
Vulliamy examines Kingsley’s views as a socialist as they developed
and changed throughout his life, paying particular attention to his connection
with Chartism, his work in sanitation, his socialist publications, and
his activities in the Christian Socialist movement. Vulliamy stresses
that Kingsley the socialist was extremely constitutional and on no account
revolutionary. In addition, he accepted the system of social classes
as divinely ordained and were not be changed. The pervasive social
ills were to be blamed on the individual not the class. He concludes
that “Kingsley’s power is to be found, not in the startling or original
nature of his views, but in his manly and uncompromising advocacy of those
views, and in the example of a most living and vigorous personality” (189).
and Political Views;
Williams, Stanley. "'Yeast': A Victorian Heresy,"
American Review Vol. 212 (November 1920): 697-704.
Williams discusses Yeast, paying particular attention to the
novel’s characterization and such themes as antipathy to Roman Catholicism
and the espousal of Christian Socialism. Though he discerns distinct
problems with the novel, for example its lack of genus, he praises its
pervasive sincerity and Kingsley’s palpable ardor as well as its presentation
of important Victorian disputes and movements. While students of
Victorian literature will readily discern the problems of this “potpourri”,
“they will understand the Victorians better, and so think their reading
worth while” (704).