Adamson, John William. English Education, 1789-1902 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1964; first published 1930).
Among several other mentions of Kingsley, Adamson refers to his advocacy of improved educational opportunities for women.

Females; Education; Muscular Christianity

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.

Calder, Jenni.  Women and Marriage in Victorian Fiction (London: Thames and Hudson, 1976).
Kingsley, writes Calder, viewed the home as the primary place for women.  Middle class women might do good work on behalf of the underprivileged but they should never neglect their own families.  “. . . fundamentally he could see no other role for them in the state except as educators of womanhood” (76).


Christensen, Allan C.  “Sick Mothers and Daughters: Symptoms of Cultural Disorder in Novels by Manzoni, Dickens, Kingsley, Bulwer-Lytton, James,” RSV: Rivista di Studi Vittoriani Vol. 7, No. 4 (January 1999): 5-32.
Christensen discusses the relationship of mother and daughter in Two Years Ago in the context of  society's "sick cultural system" (6).  “The passionate reunification of mother and daughter thus comes to typify not only the event that will restore health to a particular plague-stricken culture but also the redemption of the human race” (26).

Two Years Ago; Mothers and Daughters; Females; Social and Political Views.

Fasick, Laura.  "Charles Kingsley's Scientific Treatment of Gender," in Hall, Donald E. (ed.).  Muscular Christianity: Embodying the Victorian Age (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1994): 91-113.
Laura Fasick examines Kingsley's representations of women against the background of the age's scientific theories, considering that his depiction of disease, unsanitary conditions, and bodily ill-treatment in his novels represents an attempt to define strict gender distinctions.  She argues that "The 'factual' basis on which Kingsley founded his concern for the maintenance of distinct gender roles was not only scientifc, but specifically hygienic. . . . Kingsley is as obsessed with sexuality, for him sanctified by monogamous marriage, as with hygiene, and these interests effectively merge into one" (91).

Females; Sexuality; Sanitation; Science.

Hall, Donald E.  “Kingsley as Negotiator: Class/Gender Discord/Discourse in Yeast and Alton Locke,” in Fixing Patriarchy: Feminism and Mid-Victorian Male Novelists (New York: New York University Press, 1996): 63-83.
Hall stresses the number and the range of scholars' polarized accounts of Kingsley's views on gender issues.  However, he argues that the many diverse and conflicting opinions of this multi-faceted man are "emblematic of an age and process of negotiation . . . . If we view Kingsley as an active negotiator among parties holding radically divergent views, we fully expect to find that his perspectives involve both give and take, both concession and retrenchment" (66-67).  He considers that the tensions and the diversity of Kingsley's views mirror the complexities and confusion of the age.  He goes on to analyze in detail the class, gender, and feminist implications in Yeast and Alton Locke.

Negotiator, Kingsley as; Yeast; Alton Locke; Females.

Harrington, Henry R.  “Charles Kingsley's Fallen Athlete,” Victorian Studies Vol. 21, No. 1 (Autumn 1977): 73-86.
In his treatment of Kingsley's views on sport, physical activity, and the nature of manliness, Harrington declares that Kingsley, who detested the notion of muscular Christianity, held that the manly Christian's passions must be checked by "'feminine virtue'", that is morality and self-restraint.  Kingsley believed that it was difficult for the manly Christian to come down from the exalted sporting moment which offered distraction from the problems of normal existence and from sexual frustration.  To do so is essentially a fall.  However, "because of 'feminine virtue', it is a fortunate fall.  Within Kingsley's private theodicy, the fallen athlete and the manly Christian are one in a fictional world redeemed by his faith in 'feminine virtue'" (74).

Athleticsm; Sport; Muscular Christianity; Females.

Hawley, John C., S.J.  “The Muscular Christian as Schoolmarm,” in Kristine Ottesen Garrigan, Victorian Scandals: Represenations of Gender and Class (Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press, 1992): 134-156.
Hawley examines Kingsley's views on the role of women in society, focusing in particular on their educational provision. Believing that the deliberately inadequate education of many young middle-class women had rendered them just as much societal victims as the children of the poor, Kingsley argued that the education of the former must be improved. Hawley declares that Kingsley held a middle ground between the conservatives who viewed women's education as essentially decorative and the progressives who considered that the male and female curriculum should be identical: "Kingsley's implied compromise endorses subjects that would turn out intelligent social workers rather than stereotypical bluestockings" (139).  Hawley also states that Kingsley's work and writings supporting improved education for women was not complemented by support for all aspects of the women's movement.  Believing in essential differences between men and women and ultimately ambivalent on the Woman Question, Kingsley was critical of women's suffrage and caricatured those women who refused to allow men to lead the movement for their rights.

Education; Women's Movement; Females.

Labbe, Jacqueline M.  “The Godhead Regendered in Victorian Children’s Literature,” in Alice Jenkins and Juliet John (eds.) Rereading Victorian Fiction (UK: Macmillan, 2000): 96-114.
Labbe argues that many texts of Victorian children’s literature substituted the Wise Woman, the Fairy Godmother, for God the Father as the sage of choice.  Christianity, in short, was being feminized.  In The Water-Babies such “female deities” as Mother Carey, Mrs Doasyouwouldbedoneby, and Mrs Bedonebyasyoudid with their female virtues of love, compassion and inherent knowledge are more important than the more manly qualities in the divine order.  “In Kingsley’s version of the female Christ, he realigns Christ’s gender, or rather his sex; this female Christ poses no threat to established gender roles, but rather makes plain the femininity of Christ’s character” (104).

Females; Religion; Manliness; The Water-Babies.

La Nauze, J. A. “A Letter of J. S. Mill to Charles Kingsley,” Australian Quarterly  Vol. XVIII, No. 4 (December 1946): 30-34.
La Nauze discusses and publishes for the first time a letter from Mill to Kingsley.  It is a reply to a letter from Kingsley and both letters concerned the status and the suffrage of women.

John Stuart Mill; Females.

Muller, Charles H.  “The Heroes: Kingsley’s Moral Lessons,” Textures Vol. 2 (1986): 37-44.
Muller sees The Heroes, Kingsley’s retelling of the Greek legends, as “almost undisguised moral lessons.  This is clear from the biblical style, the personal addresses to the reader, the moral stance and numerous moral dictums and exhortations spun around the old Greek heroes who are presented as models of positive initiative, daring, courage and majesty – moral models for the young reader to admire and emulate” (37).

Heroes, The; Moral Lessons; Religion; Manliness; Females.

Muller, Charles H.  “Westward Ho! -- Sermon in the Guise of  Adventure,” UNISA English Studies Vol. 23, No. 1 (1985): 15-20.
Muller argues that Kingsley’s primary purpose in Westward Ho! was a moral one, the reinforcement of English Protestant values. The adventure story was clearly secondary to the delineation of the characters’ virtues and sins.  In addition to Kingsley’s own sermonizing commentary, the characters epitomize Christian and moral purpose.  For example, Eustace personifies moral failure, Amyas typifies perfect Christian ideals.  Such themes as self-rule, personal or self sacrifice, and divine providence pervade the novel.  Muller also stresses the important virtuous and moral qualities as depicted in the novel’s women characters, Amyas’s mother, Mrs Leigh, Rose Salterne, Ayacanora.  Kingsley’s message, according to Muller, “to all his masculine readers is, to value the spiritualising love of woman; and to his women readers, to emulate the spiritual example of this perfect Christian woman” (20).

Westward Ho!; Moral Lessons; Females; Characterization in Novels.

Rapple, Brendan A.  “The Educational Thought of Charles Kingsley (1819-75),” Historical Studies in Education Vol. 9, No. 1 (Spring 1997): 46-64.
Rapple writes that though Kingsley’s educational works were not as considerable as those of such contemporaries as Kay-Shuttleworth, Matthew Arnold, Spencer, or Huxley, they were still significant.  However, they have generally received scant scholarly attention, with the exception of his muscular Christianity activities.  Contending that Kingsley the educationist requires a more complete treatment, Rapple, “as a vanguard to the needed account,” examines Kingsley’s “attitude to the young, his staunch belief that the State should be deeply implicated in the provision of education, the relation between Kingsley's 'Muscular Christianity' and his views on education, his fervent conviction that science should figure more noticeably in the curriculum, his belief that hygiene and sanitary knowledge should be universally taught, and his advocacy of female education at all levels” (47).

Education; Children; Christian Socialism; Muscular Christianity; Science; Sanitation; Females.

Walsh, Susan A.  “Darling Mothers, Devilish Queens: The Divided Woman in Victorian Fantasy,” The Victorian Newsletter No. 72 (Fall 1987): 32-36.
Walsh discusses the treatment of women in The Water-Babies.  Mrs Doasyouwouldbedoneby, a nurturing spirit, is kindness and gentleness personified and loved by all babies.  She even “suffers the little children to come to her in a somewhat cloying version of the New Testament invitation” (33).  On the other hand, Mrs Bedonebyasyoudid, though compassionate, has the task of being strict and tough.  She enforces morals and provides retribution to those who don’t measure up to proper high standards.  The enigmatic Mother Carey combines the soft kindness of Mrs Doasyouwouldbedoneby and the ancient austerity of Mrs Bedonebyasyoudid.  Though amazingly fertile and fecund, she “suggests a kind of spontaneous, ceaseless birth that is also removed and static” (33).  Accordingly, declares Walsh, one may easily discern “in these dual personifications the division perceived by countless Romantic and Victorian writers within the female figure itself, as gentle monitress on the one hand, and sleepless moral enforcer on the other” (33).

The Water-Babies; Females.

Wijesinha, Rajiva.  The Androgynous Trollope: Attitudes to Women Amongst Early Victorian Novelists (University Press of America, 1982).
From a study of his novels Wijesinha concludes that Kingsley held that woman's primary role was to attach herself to a man and to serve him.  Woman was made for man.  Man was to guide and control, woman was an instrument.

Females; Novels.


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