Banton, Michael.  “Kingsley’s Racial Philosophy,” Theology Vol. LXXVIII, No. 655 (Jan., 1975): 22-30.
In this short examination of Kingsley's views on race Banton warns of the danger of presentism, that is interpreting these views in terms of the perspective and context of a later period.  Some of Kingsley's writings, declares Banton, have been considered with a presentism interpretation and he himself "has at times been categorized as a racist by authors who reflect very little before applying this highly elastic contemporary category to people living in a period when the understanding of the biological nature of man was very different" (22).

Racial Prejudices; Presentism; Darwin; Evolution.

Beer, Gillian.  Darwin's Plots: Evolutionary Narrative in Darwin, George Eliot and Nineteenth-Century Fiction (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1983).
Beer considers Kingsley's debt to Darwin and the evolutionary theories in his works, particularly The Water-Babies.  The latter novel, Beer points out, echoes how Darwin's natural order reflects such features of Victorian society as division of labor, competition, and family structures.  Kingsley also follows to a certain degree Darwin's challenge to Malthusian theories.  Like Darwin, Kingsley disputes Malthus by regarding profusion and hyper-productivity as good and in his account of the evolutionary process of the once excluded Tom he challenges Malthusian social theory.  "In its unguarded and unanalytic response to Darwin's ideas and rhetoric, Kingsley's work represents the first phase of assimilation.  He grasped much of what was fresh in Darwin's ideas while at the same time retaining a creationist view of experience" (138).

Darwin; Evolution; Malthus; The Water-Babies.

Beer, Gillian.  “Kingsley: 'pebbles on the shore',” The Listener Vol. 93 (17 April, 1975): 506-7.
Beer briefly considers Kingsley’s views on the importance of catering to children’s imaginative needs.  She reviews certain attributes of The Water-Babies.  It is distressful, very funny, and full of social and political digressions; some of its episodes are cruel and make us wince; it is very sensual and crammed with physical experiences.  She discusses the important role aspects of evolutionary theory play throughout the work.  “It is hard, I think, to over-emphasise the richness of Kingsley’s recognition of mythic elements in the ideas of development and mutation, of ‘metamorphosis’ as Darwin sometimes calls it . . .”  In addition, complementing physical transformation, moral transformation, the responsibility of the individual himself, is a very significant theme in the work.  Beer also stresses that Mother Carey is a female principle of creativity, as opposed to the more usual male God.  Because of the occurrences of child death in The Water-Babies Beer views it as a kindertotenlied, “another of those attempts to give meaning to the death of children, so deeply and terribly needed by the Victorians” (507).

The Water-Babies; Evolution; Females; Child Death; Science.

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.

Hawley, John C., S.J.  “The Water Babies as Catechetical Paradigm,” Children's Literature Association Quarterly Vol. 14, No. 1 (Spring 1989): 19-21.
Hawley declares that The Water-Babies has two principle functions, to entertain and to teach.  The goal of education for Kingsley was ultimately a religious one.  Little Tom’s adventures, his evolutionary progress, the lessons learned all end in religious salvation.  Kingsley also uses The Water-Babies to show that science and evolution can co-exist with religion.  “With the publication of this novel he offers his most attractive, deceptively simple presentation of the argument that all purely scientific explanations of reality would benefit by being placed in the larger context of Christian revelation” (20).

The Water-Babies; Religion; Education; Science; Evolution.

Haynes, Roslynn D.  “Dream Allegory in Charles Kingsley and Olive Schreiner,” in Kath Filmer (ed.) The Victorian Fantasists: Essays on Culture, Society and Belief in the Mythopoeic Fiction of the Victorian Age (New York: St. Martin’s, 1991): 153-170.
Haynes discusses the “Dreamland” sequence in chapter 36 of Alton Locke.  She declares that carefully and relevantly integrated into the novel, this sequence anticipates Darwin’s novel by nine years and reveals a high level of psychological understanding and mythopoeic skill.  She considers that the dream serves several functions: “character analysis, therapeutic experience . . . didactic expression of unanimity between science and religion, and cosmological statement embracing evolution, the myth of the Fall, the Christian doctrine of Redemption through suffering, and sociological parable” (161).

Alton Locke; Evolution.

Haynes, Roslynn D. "The Multiple Functions of Alton Locke's Dreamland," Cahiers Victoriens et Edouardiens Vol. 25 (April 1987): 29-37.
Though Haynes considers that Alton Locke has less literary merit than certain other condition of England novels such as Hard Times, Sybil, Felix Holt, and Mrs. Gaskell's industrial novels, she believes that the dreamland sequence in chapter 36 renders it unique and of special interest.  She is particularly impressed with Kingsley's knowledge of the mechanism of dreams.  In addition, she praises Kingsley's presentation in this chapter of evolutionary theories nine years before the publication of Origin of Species as well as what she considers a very sophisticated characterization of Alton himself.

Alton Locke; Evolution.

Hodgson, Amanda.  "Defining the Species: Apes, Savages and Humans in Scientific and Literary Writing of the 1860s," Journal of Victorian Culture Vol. 4, No. 2 (Autumn 1999): 228-251.
Hodgson examines The Water-Babies, and particularly the characterization of Tom, in the context of the contemporary desire to distinguish humans from animals, especially apes, and the complementary efforts to define the distinctions between white civilized Europeans and "savages".  Her principal aim is to examine the relationship of this children's story to contemporary scientific theories on the nature of species as well as to compare the novel to Browning's 'Caliban upon Setebos'.

The Water-Babies; Science; Evolution; Huxley; Characterization in Novels.

Prickett, Stephen.  “Adults in Allegory Land: Kingsley and MacDonald,” in his Victorian Fantasy (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1979): 150-197.
Prickett provides a lengthy examination of The Water-Babies comparing and contrasting it with several allegorical fantasies of George MacDonald.  Among other topics, he discusses the extent to which Kingsley was influenced by Wordsworth regarding his view of nature and his attitude to childhood, as well as by Rabelais.  He also examines Platonism, religion, evolution, and the nature of allegory in The Water-Babies.  Prickett declares that Kingsley and MacDonald have quite distinct mental sets.  “Kingsley, the botanist, marine biologist and historian is fascinated by every minute detail of this world; ‘other’ worlds are constructs – telling us yet more about this.  MacDonald is a temperamental Platonist, only interested in the surface of this world for the news it gives him of another, hidden reality, perceived, as it were, through a glass darkly” (193).

The Water-Babies; MacDonald, George; Rabelais; Wordsworth; Nature; Children; Religion; Plato; Evolution.

Raven, Rev. Canon C. E.  “Charles Kingsley,” The Listener Vol. 11, No. 283 (13 June, 1934) 1007-1008.
Though holding that Alton Locke is clearly a work of propaganda, Raven praises it for its scene painting, its descriptions of landscape, atmosphere, sights, sounds and smells.  He declares that the best work of Kingsley, a passionate lover of nature, was as an interpreter of recent scientific discoveries in terms of Christianity.  “. . . he was almost the only Churchman of his time to realise that science and the scientific method were accomplishing a revolution in human thought, and that unless the Church recognised this it would be unfit to commend its message to the world” (1008).

Alton Locke; Science; Evolution; Religion.

Robertson, J. M.  A History of Freethought in the Nineteenth Century.  2 Vols. (New York: Putnam's Sons, 1930).  Vol. II, pp. 321-323.
Robertson very briefly discusses Kingsley’s understanding of the compatibility of science and religion and his acceptance of the theory of evolution.

Science; Religion; Evolution.

Street, Brian V.  The Savage in Literature: Representations of ‘Primitive’ Society in English Fiction 1858-1920 (London and Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1975).
Street briefly discusses Kingsley’s depiction of degeneration of society, of race, of individuals.  The main reason for degeneration was weak morality as exemplified by the Doasyoulikes in The Water-Babies. On the other hand, man might also progress once he adheres to the proper Victorian ethical values.  “By following Christian ethics, we will progress ‘up’ the evolutionary scale, but if we are sinful and lazy, like the savages, then we will degenerate” (91).

Degeneration of Society; Evolution.

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