Faber, Richard.  Proper Stations: Class in Victorian Fiction (London: Faber and Faber, 1971).
Faber discusses Kingsley’s views on class relations focusing in particular on the novels Yeast and Alton Locke.  He also pays especial attention to a comparison and contrast of these views with those of Disraeli.  Because of his belief in a Christian Brotherhood, Kingsley was more genuinely democratic than Disraeli.  He also had less interest than Disraeli in the place of old blood and family.  Both men, however, conscious of social problems pervading the working classes, wished to improve the condition of the people through such intervention as better sanitation, increased church action, and greater involvement of the upper classes.  Still, contends Faber, both men, despite some radical sympathies, were essentially Conservatives, Kingsley becoming more conservative as he aged.  Nevertheless, Kingsley who wished that upper class qualities be more widely disseminated among all classes, was not rigid in his opinions on class, mainly due to his notion of a Christian Brotherhood.  “The ideal of Christian Brotherhood may have encouraged some illusions about existing, or impending, class relations; but it saved Kingsley from the sense of caste that oppressed so many of his contemporaries” (96).

Social and Political Views; Disraeli; Yeast; Alton Locke.

Smith, Sheila M.  “Blue Books and Victorian Novelists,” The Review of English Studies, New Ser. Vol. XXI (1970): 23-40.
Smith considers the use by Kingsley and Disraeli in Yeast and Sybil respectively of the 1843 Blue book, Report on the Employment of Women and Children in Agriculture.  Echoing his brother-in-law Sir Sidney Godolphin Osborne who had supplied evidence for the Report, Kingsley in Yeast rejects the common romantic depiction of the countryside as beautiful and idyllic especially when contrasted with the ugliness and squalor of industrial cities.  Smith also declares that Kingsley in common with other Victorian novelists used the content of Blue books to express ideals and spiritual truths.  In writing of the misery and dreadfulness of rural areas, Kingsley "expressed his belief in man's responsibility for his brother, gave the lie to romantic, idealized descriptions of the countryside, and suggested the way in which the Christian Church can help redeem society" (39).

Yeast; Blue Books; Rural Life; Disraeli.


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