|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).
Noe, Mark D. “Kingsley's Alton Locke,”
57, No. 1 (Fall 1998): 24-26.