|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).
Smith, Sheila M. “Blue Books and Victorian Novelists,”
Review of English Studies, New Ser. Vol. XXI (1970): 23-40.