Hereward the Wake
Baldwin, Stanley E. Charles Kingsley (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1934).
This is a book length treatment of Kingsley's life and works.  After chapters providing a brief biography, a discussion of the background of the novels, and a consideration of the influence of Carlyle and Maurice, Baldwin devotes separate chapters to each of the novels: Yeast, Alton Locke, Two Years Ago, Hypatia, Westward Ho!, and Hereward the Wake.  Baldwin is measured in his assessment, though he still finds much to praise in Kingsley's diverse literary endeavors. Nevertheless, he considers Kingsley the man as more prominent than his literature.  "Some men's writings are the greatest part of them, and posterity studies their lives through a spirit of curiosity excited by their works.  In a sense this is true of Kingsley, but in a truer sense many are reading Kingsley's literary works because of the indelible impression his personality made upon his fellow men, for whom, in all his activities, he labored.  His life in itself was a poem of deep lyric passion" (194).

Full Book Treatment; Overview; Carlyle; Maurice; Yeast; Alton Locke; Two Years Ago; Hypatia; Westward Ho!; Hereward the Wake.

Evans, Rosemary.  “Hereward the Wake: An Introduction,” Aberdeen University Review Vol. 49, No. 166 (Autumn 1981): 76-79.
Evans is fulsome in her praise of Hereward the Wake (1866).  She admires its absolutely natural dialogue, its splendidly real characterization; its historical accuracy that is as correct as is reasonably possible; its fine drama, its succinctness of writing; its beauty.  “. . . the result is one of the finest novels in our literature – and one, alas, that has been passed over and neglected” (76).

Hereward the Wake.

Harris, Styron.  “The 'Muscular Novel': Medium of a Victorian Ideal,” Tennessee Philological Bulletin Vol. 27 (1990): 6-13.
Harris discusses the notion of “muscular Christianity”.  It is epitomized in three dominant figures of the novels: Amyas Leigh in Westward Ho!, Tom Thurnall in Two Years Ago, and Hereward in Hereward the Wake.  Harris also discusses Kingsley’s influence on Thomas Hughes and on Hughes’s portrayal of muscular Christianity in his novels Tom Brown’s Schooldays, The Scouring of White Horse, and Tom Brown at Oxford.  Both novelists took care to distinguish the muscular Christian from one who is mere muscle and both abhorred the hero of George Alfred Lawrence’s novel Guy Livingstone who personified “muscularity without Christianity or moral considerations”.  Nevertheless, Harris agrees with David Newsome that despite their broader meaning of muscular Christianity, “the muscular novel according to Kingsley and Hughes contributed to the immense vogue of athletics from the late sixties onwards” (11).

Muscular Christianity; Hughes, Thomas; Westward Ho!; Two Years Ago; Hereward the Wake.

Hartley, Allan John. The Novels of Charles Kingsley: A Christian Social Interpretation (Folkestone: The Hour-Glass Press, 1977).
Hartley in this book-length study interprets Kingsley's novels in the light of the influence of the Christian Social Movement. He contends that Kingsley is unusual in using novels to set forth the message of one whom he, together with many others, viewed as the age's greatest prophet, F. D. Maurice. "The value of Kingsley's novels ultimately lies less in their advocacy of liberality and reform, than in their insistent justification of both on the basis of Christian humanism.  Kingsley's inspiration sprang from Maurice whose reading of the Bible had shown his disciple the meaning, both of Christianity and of history, and the novels proclaim that social improvement had necessarily to proceed within the existing framework of society, which for Kingsley meant a Christian dispensation based on Commandments engraven on tablets of stone and interpreted by sacrificial love.  A minor prophet proclaiming a minor one, Kingsley thus added a new dimension to the novel" (169).

Christian Socialism; Maurice; Religion; Social and Political Views; NovelsYeast; Alton Locke; Hypatia; Westward Ho!; Two Years Ago; Hereward the Wake.

Newby, Richard L.  “Wilkie Collins's Man and Wife: Kingsley's Athlete Scouted,” McNeese Review Vol. 26 (1979-80): 47-54.
Newby discusses Wilkie Collins's castigation in his 1869-70 Man and Wife of Kingsley's vaunted athleticism. He provides numerous reasons for Collins's dislike of Kingsley, ranging from the latter's status as a most respectable Establishment figure to Kingsley's denigration of the importance of the intellect. Collins viewed this anti-intellectualism as being closely connected to Kingsley's athleticism especially as advocated in the three novels Hereward the Wake, Two Years Ago, and Westward Ho!Man and Wife's propagandizing against athleticism is Collins's retaliation.

Collins, Wilkie; Athleticism; Hereward the Wake, Two Years Ago; Westward Ho!

Peck, John.  War, the Army and Victorian Literature (Basingstoke, Hampshire: Macmillan, 1998).
Peck discusses the theme of war in Westward Ho! and Hereward the Wake.  He considers the former novel unusual and honest in its depiction of the economic basis of imperialism.  Kingsley understands that the English fought the Spanish for a commercial cause, while religion and nationalism were mere subservient causes.  With respect to the representation of the hero in Hereward the Wake and Kingsley's other novels, Peck writes that "it becomes possible to see that [Kingsley] might be always more than half aware of the preposterousness of advocating the heroic in a non-heroic age, and of supporting militarism in a society that has turned its back on militarism.  It might be true that his works begin the formulation of a rhetoric of race and empire that will become central in literature by the end of the century, but when his novels are actually read Kingsley's contradictions are far more evident than his convictions" (125).

War; Westward Ho!; Hereward the Wake; 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).

Overview; Children; Glaucus; Westward Ho!; Heroes, The; The Water-Babies; Hereward the Wake; Madam How and Lady Why.

Sanders, Andrew. “Last of the English: Charles Kingsley’s Hereward the Wake,” The Victorian Historical Novel, 1840-1880 (New York : St. Martin's, 1979): 149-167.
Sanders considers that Kingsley's historical novels, despite their obvious inadequacies, are not, in Henry James's terminology, "amateurish." In particular, he praises Hereward the Wake's action, its characterization, and its presentation of a strange medieval period. Sanders also argues that some of this novel's themes, particularly the divine mission of the Teutons, had been anticipated by Kingsley in his 1860 Cambridge lectures, The Roman and the Teuton.  Above all, the novel epitomizes Kingsley's categoric belief that England's Germanic background played a primary role in the nation's historical development. "It is also central to an appreciation of Kingsley's work as an historical novelist, for in it he attempts to examine the concept of a national hero and to relate heroism to national experience" (165).

Hereward the Wake; Novels; The Roman and the Teuton; Teutons;Anglo-Saxons; History

Scott, Patrick.  "Charles Kingsley," in Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 21.  Victorian Novelists Before 1885. Edited by Ira B. Nadel and William E. Fredeman (Detroit: Gale, 1983): 195-207.
This follows 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 major writings, in this case his novels.  A short secondary bibliography is appended.  Several illustrations are also provided.  Scott sums up Kingsley the novelist as follows: ‘If Kingsley never wrote a great work or an unflawed masterpiece, he can now, in light of the new biographical evidence, be recognized as a writer of considerable psychological complexity, one who produced searching and imaginative responses to some of the central issues of the late 1840s” (206).

Overview; Novels; Alton Locke; Yeast; Westward Ho!; Two Years Ago; Hypatia; Hereward the Wake.

Stitt, Megan Perigoe. Metaphors of Change in the Language of Nineteenth-Century Fiction: Scott, Gaskell, and Kingsley (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998).
During the nineteenth century the study of language and linguistic analysis shared with geology certain metaphors for describing change and theories of progress. This book analyses how Kingsley, Walter Scott, and Elizabeth Gaskell treated language and particularly dialect in their novels. From textual study of the novels and an analysis of the language of contemporary science, Stitt explores how different genres affected the Victorian age’s use of metaphor and its frequently conflicting theories of progress.

Geology; Science; Change, Notion of; Progress; Language; Alton Locke; Westward Ho!; Hereward the Wake.

Uffelman, Larry K.  “Kingsley’s Hereward the Wake: From Serial to Book,” Victorians Institute Journal Vol. 14 (1986): 147-156.
Kingsley, according to Uffelman, very carefully revised the text of his last novel in its original serial form for its publication as a book.  Published first in the Protestant journal Good Words, Hereward displays throughout Kingsley’s hatred for effete, feminine monasticism and by extension Roman Catholicism.  However, Uffelman shows that Kingsley as he made revisions for publishing the novel in book form toned down some of his more venomous passages “tempering his story to fit a different medium and to appeal to the taste of a more liberal publisher," Macmillan (155).

Hereward the Wake; Macmillan's; Catholicism; Publication.

Vance, Norman.  The Sinews of the Spirit: The Ideal of Christian Manliness in Victorian Literature and Religious Thought (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985).
Vance devotes two chapters to Kingsley's life, thought, and literary works paying particular attention to themes of the relationship of manliness to religion in his novels.  "Christian manliness was not just an ideal in Kingsley's fiction, it was the basis of his practical work as pastor, teacher and reformer and the essence of his life and experience" (107).

Overview; Yeast; Alton Locke; Hypatia; Westward Ho!; Two Years Ago; Hereward the Wake; Muscular Christianity; Manliness; Newman Controversy.

Young, Michael.  “History as Myth: Charles Kingsley's Hereward the Wake,” Studies in the Novel Vol. XVII, No. 2 (Summer 1985): 174-188.
Young considers Hereward the Wake to be a work of “secular scripture”.  Its aim “is to assert, after the fact, the inevitability of Britain’s rise through history to the status of preeminent world power; to confirm the rightness of this rise; to confer authority on it by linking it both by secular precedent and divine origin; and to project it onto a limitless future by presenting the embodiment of the national enterprise, the empire, as prefiguring the millennium, reunifying the divine and the secular” (174).

Hereward the Wake; History; History as Myth.


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