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.

Wood, Naomi.  A (Sea) Green Victorian: Charles Kingsley and the The Water-Babies,  Lion and the Unicorn Vol. 19, No. 2 (1995): 233-52.
Wood argues that Kingsley's naturalism, especially as depicted in The Water-Babies, may be considered as proto-environmentalism.  Kingsley throughout this tale blames his contemporaries' too ready and uncritical embracing of machinery and industry as responsible for Victorian England's pervasive pollution.  He contrasts this man-made wastefulness with nature's productive ways which are invariably economical, pleasurable, and clean.  Wood considers that The Water-Babies anticipates certain contemporary environmentalist agendas and, remaining "a rich and many-layered commentary on the biological and metaphorical relationship between humans and their environment," may still be a relevant environmentalist tract (249).

The Water-Babies; Environmentalism; Malthus.

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