Charles Dickens
Byrom, Thomas.  “Introduction” to Charles Kingsley, Alton Locke: Tailor and Poet (London: Dent 1970): v-xi.
Byrom considers Alton Locke to be an ambiguous and confusing novel.  Kingsley is ambivalent about violence.  While he clearly sides with Alton and the notion of a fighting working class, he also agrees with the orderly and conservative ideals of an aristocracy enlightened by the Church.  Kingsley is surprising in leaving Catholicism relatively untouched; rather it is the dissenters, especially the Baptists, who receive a harsh criticism.  Also, the Tractarians are criticized as is Transcendentalism which Bryom considers Kingsley failed to understand properly.  Unlike Yeast which suffered from an excessive authorial presence, the autobiographical mode of Alton Locke results in a work more a novel than a tract.  Bryom concludes that Alton Locke, though entertaining, “is only a fitful success.  Reading it is rather like watching a film in which much of the footage is out of focus” (ix).  Though it is primarily to be considered a failure when compared to the works of Dickens, this is instructive.  “Alton Locke was written when English fiction enjoyed its greatest moment, and without it we should have a harder time understanding the achievement of Dickens, who in so many respects shared the conservative, reforming, doubting, bitter, compassionate sensibility of the stuttering Rector of Eversley” (x).

Alton Locke; Dissent; Transcendentalism; Dickens; Social and Political Views.

Keating, P. J.  The Working Classes in Victorian Fiction (New York: Barnes & Noble, 1971).
Keating makes numerous references to Kingsley in this work, particularly to Alton Locke.  Keating declares that the depiction of slum life in the episode where Sandy Mackaye takes young Alton on a tour of working-class London is representative of most pre-1880s accounts of slum life in Victorian fiction.  It is all foulness, all horror, with no redeeming vitality, humor or humanity.  Keating contrasts this type of scene with what he declares are the more subtle portrayals of slum life in Dickens.  Though the latter also frequently represents the squalor of slums, he usually depicts their inhabitants as possessing humor and vigor.  He humanizes the slum and, unlike Kingsley, does not accept that the pervasive physical meanness represents the whole of working-class life.

Alton Locke; Dickens; Working-Class life, Depiction of.

Manlove, Colin.  “Charles Kingsley, H. G. Wells, and the Machine in Victorian Fiction,” Nineteenth-Century Literature Vol. 48, No. 2 (Sept. 1993): 212-239.
Manlove declares that apart from Samuel Butler in his Erehwon, the only important Victorian writers who focus on the central role the machine plays in life and nature are H. G. Wells, in The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds, and Kingsley, in The Water-Babies.  He argues that though The Water-Babies may appear to be a marine pastoral, machines and engines are mentioned over and over again and the animals themselves are treated as in part machines.  He considers that The Water-Babies reflects Kingsley's view that the whole order of nature functions as one great engine.  In fact, the content and the style of the novel renders it a type of organic engine itself.  "The Water-Babies is an amazing diversity of contexts, characters, and apparent irrelevancies, all bound together by secret principles that make it a machine without being a monolithic one -- indeed, it manages to fuse all the variety that Kingsley saw in nature with the purposiveness of the engine."

Dickens; Machine, The; The Water-Babies.

Myer, Valerie Grosvenor.  "Charles Kingsley's Hypatia: A Seminal Novel," Notes and Queries Vol. 39, No. 2 (June 1992): 179-180.
Myer writes that Dickens and Eliot were influenced by Hypatia and that there are echoes of incidents in this novel in their own Great Expectations and Daniel Deronda respectively.

Dickens; Eliot, George.

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.

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