|Amigoni, David. Victorian Biography: Intellectuals
and the Ordering of Discourse (New York: St. Martin’s, 1993).
Amigoni discusses the framing statement or preface, ‘To the undergraduates
of Cambridge,’ that Kingsley added to Alton Locke after his appointment
to the Regius Chair of Modern History at Cambridge in 1860. He points
out that Kingsley did not confine the study of history to the examination
of sources, the collecting of evidence, and the preparation of impartial
and provable claims about the past. Rather, Kingsley held that modern
history is thoroughly focused on the present and what he termed the "‘conditions
and opinions of our fellow-countrymen’". As Amigoni states, modern history
for Kingsley “is concerned on the one hand with exploring the conditions
of life experienced by people living under the social and cultural relations
of the present; and on the other hand Modern History is concerned with
the ‘opinions’ of these people” (77).
Bertonneau, Thomas F. “Like Hypatia Before the
Mob: Desire, Resentment, and Sacrifice in The Bostonians (An Anthropoetics),”
Literature Vol. 53, No. 1 (June 1998): 56-90.
Bertonneau disagrees with the conventional contemporary reading of
the scene in Hypatia where Hypatia is murdered by a Christian mob.
Such reading is that the mob is a true representation of Christianity and
that Kingsley is castigating the hypocrisy and brutality of the new religion.
Rather, Bertonneau argues, just because the crowd thinks of itself as Christian
and acts in the name of this religion, it does not mean that it is in fact
truly Christian. “The truth, in Kingsley’s scene, is that the sacrificial
impulse comes not from Jesus (not from Christianity) but from the mob,
which is motivated by passion, not by compassion . . . . The mob
enacts the very impulse, namely sacrifice, that Jesus would suspend” (89).
Chadwick, Owen. "Charles Kingsley at Cambridge,"
Historical Journal Vol. XVIII, No. 2 (1975): 303-325.
Chadwick examines Kingsley’s time at Cambridge both as an undergraduate
and as the Regius Chair of Modern History. In addition to considering
the circumstances of his election as Professor and the reactions of University
personnel and the wider community, Chadwick discusses such topics as his
pedagogical abilities, the responses of the students, the content of his
lectures, and his philosophy of history. Chadwick also intersperses
accounts of many of Kingsley’s views on, for example, Catholicism, Newman,
science, evolution, sanitation, sexuality, muscular Christianity, together
with brief treatments of some of his novels. He concludes: “But unsophisticated,
no; natural, only when he intended naturalness; innocent, not merely no
but quite the opposite – who would have thought the good man to have so
much blood in his fancy? If you go along with Kingsley until you
begin to know him, you wonder whether this unsubtle man was not one of
the most complicated souls you ever met” (325).
University; History Professor;
and Political Views.
Chadwick, Owen. “Kingsley’s Chair,” Theology
Vol. LXXVIII, No. 655 (Jan., 1975): 2-8.
In this brief article Chadwick considers the background to Kingsley
being offered the Regius Chair of Modern History at Cambridge. He
also posits that later critics have tended to be unfair in their critical
accounts of him as a scholar of history. Though Kingsley was no Creighton
nor Acton, he was better than Goldwin Smith, his contemporary at Oxford.
Moreover, Kingsley was well appreciated by Cambridge's undergraduates.
University; History Professor.
Downes, David Anthony. “Reverend Charles Kingsley:
Prophet of Convulsion,” in The Temper of Victorian Belief: Studies in
the Religious Novels of Pater, Kingsley, and Newman (New York: Twayne,
Downes examines Kingsley’s style, which he terms “plain prophecy”,
and his religious views. He also discusses differences in style and
temper between Kingsley and Newman, arguing that time has effected a “monumental
irony on historical and critical judgment”. He considers Newman to
be a “medieval personalist” whereas Kingsley is a “prophetical modernist”
(81). Hypatia, argues Downes from his lengthy treatment of
the novel, “represents Kingsley’s search for a way of expressing how religious
faith in Christianity happens, and what it means in the most concrete personalist
terms his imagination would conjure. However philosophically vague,
there is an attempt at a kind of phenomenology of faith, what Newman called
‘a grammar of assent.’ The tenability of Christianity as believable
by people encountering their worlds on the most basic human levels is what
Kingsley was striving to examine” (79).
Litvack, Leon B. “Callista, Martyrdom,
and the Early Christian Novel in the Victorian Age,” Nineteenth-Century
Contexts Vol. 17, No. 2 (1993): 159-173.
A primary goal of Hypatia, or, New Foes with an Old Face, according
to Litvack, was to question deeply held Roman Catholic principles and views
of history of such as Newman and Wiseman, authors themselves of martyrological
historical novels Callista (1855) and Fabiola (1854) respectively.
Kingsley throughout Hypatia, written in the early days of his growing
antagonism to Newman, disparages aspects of the Patristic age and especially
the 5th century when Christianity was the state religion. By depicting
the 5th century Church as corrupt and tyrannical, Kingsley was attacking
the contemporary English Roman Catholic Church which was rapidly growing
in influence. “Kingsley enjoins his readers to look to themselves
for justification – not to the past, in which he finds little support for
his faith” (165).
Parker, Christopher. “English Historians and
the Opposition to Positivism,” History and Theory Vol. XXII, No.
2 (May 1983): 120-145.
Parker discusses Kingsley’s views on the philosophy of history, especially
as set out in his 1860 inaugural lecture as Regius Professor of Modern
History at Cambridge, “The Limits of Exact Science as Applied to History”.
Though Kingsley supported the increased use of scientific methods in historical
research in order to seek more order, a natural instinct, he nevertheless
represented “a potent fear of order and prediction, a fear of the future
and therefore, of knowledge of the future and of a predetermined future”
(128). Kingsley, according to Parker, considered it almost blasphemy
to seek complete understanding of God’s laws. Still, Kingsley recognized
the role of the individual, and that of the genius who could reshape man’s
destinies. Though his views on the role of the genius are unclear,
perhaps deliberately, they, declares Parker, “anticipated Nietzsche” (129).
Limits of Exact Science as Applied to History”.
Rhys, Ernest. "Introduction,"
Ho! (London: Dent, 1911; first published 1906): 1-7
In this brief introduction to Westward Ho! Rhys though mentioning that
the story is lacking in historical accuracy and is full of Kingsley's prejudices
nevertheless lauds highly Kingsley's descriptions and vivid writing style.
Rothblatt, Sheldon. The Revolution of the
Dons: Cambridge and Society in Victorian England (New York: Basic Books,
Rothblatt briefly discusses Kingsley’s views on history. He had
an aversion to Comtean influences on undergraduates and teachers and he
disagreed with the positivists’ minimizing of the influence of great individuals
on the course of history. While Kingsley accepted that there were
laws in history and that scientific methods were useful to the historian,
he disagreed with those who held that history was an exact science that
could be explained by the application of a number of physical laws. Rather,
Kingsley believed that history “was mainly biography” (170).
Limits of Exact Science as Applied to History”.
Sanders, Andrew. “Last of the English: Charles Kingsley’s
the Wake,” The Victorian Historical Novel, 1840-1880
: 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,
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
the Wake; Novels;
Roman and the Teuton;
Young, Michael. “History as Myth: Charles Kingsley's
the Wake,” Studies in the Novel Vol. XVII, No. 2 (Summer 1985):
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).
the Wake; History; History