Christian Socialism
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).

Christian 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 Socialist movement.

Christian Socialism.

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).

Christian Socialism; Social and Political Views.

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).

Alton Locke; Christian Socialism.

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).

Social and Political Views; Alton Locke; Christian Socialism; Religion; Science; Evolution; Democracy; Capitalism; Teutons.

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 in 1903).
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).

Overview; Social and Political Views; Christian Socialism; Alton Locke; Yeast; Novels.

Christensen, Torben.  Origin and History of Christian Socialism 1848-1854  (Aarhus, Denmark: Universitetsforlaget, 1962).
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.

Christian Socialism; Chartism; Alton Locke.

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).

Alton Locke; Chartism; Christian 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” (156).

Overview; Christian Socialism; Social and Political Views; Catholicism; Alton Locke; Yeast.

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).

Christian Socialism; Maurice; Religion; Social and Political Views; NovelsYeast; Alton Locke; Hypatia; Westward Ho!; Two Years Ago; Hereward the Wake.

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; Social and Political Views.

Jones, Tod E.  “Matthew Arnold's 'Philistinism' and Charles Kingsley,” Victorian Newsletter No. 94  (Fall 1998): 1-10.
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).

Philistinism; Arnold, 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 1981): 207-215.

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” (215).

Sermons; Preacher, Kingsley as; Eversley; Religion; Christian Socialism.

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): 115-141.
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).

Christian Socialism; Periodicals, Contributions to.

Lodge, David. “Introduction” to Charles Kingsley, Alton Locke: Tailor and Poet, ed. Herbert Van Thal (London: Cassell, 1967): vii-xviii.
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" 

Alton Locke; Christian Socialism; Social and Political Views; Chartism.

Morton, A. L. “Parson Lot,” in his The Matter of Britain: Essays in a Living Culture (London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1966): 137-143.
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 later” (143).

Overview; Christian Socialism; Chartism.

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 sphere.

Overview; Maurice; Social 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” (245).

Religion; Christian Socialism; Maurice.

Peyrouton, N. C.  “Charles Dickens and the Christian Socialists. The Kingsley-Dickens Myth,” The Dickensian Vol. 58 (May 1962): 96-109.
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).

Dickens; Christian Socialism; Social and Political Views.

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).

Education; Children; Christian Socialism; Muscular Christianity; Science; Sanitation; Females.

Raven, Charles E.  Christian Socialism 1848-1854 (New 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).

Christian Socialism.

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).

Christian Socialism; Sanitation; Capitalism; Town-planning.

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).

Overview; Sanitation; Social and Political Views; Religion; Education; Christian Socialism.

Tozer, Malcolm.  “Thomas Hughes: ‘Tom Brown’ versus ‘True Manliness’,” Physical Education Review Vol. 12, No. 1 (1989): 44-48.
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.

Manliness; Hughes, Thomas; Muscular Christianity; Christian Socialism.

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).

Overview; Social and Political Views; Chartism; Christian Socialism.

Williams, Stanley.  "'Yeast': A Victorian Heresy," North 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).

Yeast; Catholicism; Christian Socialism.


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