|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).
Muller, Charles H. “The Water Babies:
Moral Lessons for Children.” UNISA English Studies Vol. 24, No.
1 (1986): 12-17.
Muller discusses the numerous biblical and moral lessons in The
Water-Babies and the work’s patent allegorical and didactic significance.
However, he stresses that the fable’s major aim is to assert God’s abiding
love and the ever presence of divine providence.
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).
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;