|Brock, W. H. "Glaucus: Kingsley and the
Seaside Naturalists," Cahiers Victoriens et Edouardiens Vol. 3 (1976):
Brock examines Kingsley the seaside naturalist, placing him in the
context of the contemporary scientific community. Though much of
his work, for example Glaucus, was derivative and popular in nature,
he was a good amateur naturalist. For two thirds of the century there
were few professional natural historians. Brock sees one of Kingsley's
most significant contributions to science being his advocacy for increased
science education and his desire that it be a suitable occupation for all
social classes. Science might prove an appropriate entrée
for advancement into higher society for an individual barred by more traditional
societal conventions. “. . . Kingsley became a powerful spokesman
for science education at a time when this was becoming an important issue
among the professional scientific community” (34).
Cunningham, Valentine. "Soiled Fairy: The Water-Babies
in its Time," Essays in Criticism Vol. XXXV, No. 2 (April 1985):
Cunningham analyzes many of the causes and issues Kingsley treats with
heat and hysteria in The Water-Babies declaring that they frequently
coincide with the age’s heatedness and hysterias for these causes and issues.
Cunningham also discusses The Water-Babies’ various affinities to
other classic fairy-story motifs.
and Political Views;
Clothes and Nasty; Glaucus;
Muller, Charles H. “Spiritual Evolution and Muscular
Theology: Lessons from Kingsley’s Natural Theology,” Studies in English
Vol. 15 (March 1986): 24-34.
Kingsley’s understanding of the relationship between science and religion
is quite straightforward according to Muller. The natural world for
Kingsley everywhere reveals the work of God; everything physical is but
a reflection of the Eternal Realities. The work of the scientist
is essentially a glorification of the Creator. “As a religious thinker,
Kingsley was deductive and intuitive in his logic; as a scientific thinker,
he was inductive, seeing the infinite in the finite, or maxima in minimis,
as exemplified by the wonders of creation in so lowly a creature as the
spider-crab. In seeing the divine mirrored in a pebble or spore,
however, he was combining a scientific and religious vision of life –
uniting the function of the microscope and the telescope, as it were” (31).
O’Gorman, Francis. "'More interesting than all the
books, save one': Charles Kingsley’s Construction of Natural History,"
in Juliet John and Alice Jenkins. Rethinking Victorian Culture (London:
Macmillan, 2000): 146-161.
Francis O’Gorman examines carefully the text of Glaucus; or, The
Wonders of the Shore (1854-5). He reveals that Kingsley displays
a common Victorian tendency in linking the study of natural history with
that of self-improvement. Such study may be a productive use of leisure
time if it helps strengthen one’s moral virtues. Drawing repeatedly
on the theme of medieval chivalry, Kingsley invests the natural historian
with the heroic qualities of a knight. O’Gorman also points to the
theology of Glaucus which shows nature as consistently illustrating
God’s bounty. The student of the natural world sees the pervasive
presence of God the creator everywhere. In addition, O’Gorman sees
Kingsley’s imperialistic, colonialist tendencies revealed in the desire
to conquer nature. For example, he discusses colonial connotations
in the mundane task of collecting for the aquarium: “The natural historian’s
collection . . . implicitly asserts the authority of the collector to appropriate
and display ‘foreign’ ways of life, to signify superiority by disclosing
his power to organize, describe and own examples of other forms of life”
History; Moral Lessons; Imperialism;
Rapple, Brendan A. "Charles Kingsley," in Dictionary
of Literary Biography, Volume 163: British Children's Writers, 1800-1880.
Edited by Meena Khorana (Detroit: Gale 1996): 136-147.
Following the usual format of the DLB, a bibliography of Kingsley’s
own works is followed by an account of his life interspersed with an analysis
of his writings, in this case his works for children. A short secondary
bibliography is appended. Several illustrations are also provided.
Rapple’s assessment: “Tastes change, and it is not surprising that modern
children eschew works intended for their Victorian ancestors. The
Heroes has been supplanted by other retellings of the Greek tales;
the science of Glaucus and Madam How and Lady Why no longer
has appeal, and today's youth would reject the books’ pervasive social
commentary, sermonizing, and didacticism. Nor is Westward Ho!
read much by present-day youngsters, though it is still available in a
children's edition. The significant exception has been the consistently
high readership, especially in the United Kingdom, for The Water-Babies,
of which there are probably more editions, adaptations, and abridgements
in print today than in Kingsley's own time. The work’s simplicity,
brilliant fantasy, and affection for the young, despite its frequent preaching,
still capture the devotion of children. It is The Water-Babies,
though its author would never have foretold it, that will ensure Kingsley
a high rank in the history of children's literature” (146).
Ho!; Heroes, The; The
Water-Babies; Hereward the Wake;
How and Lady Why.