Moral Lessons
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).

Heroes, The; Moral Lessons; Religion; Manliness; Females.

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.

The Water-Babies; Moral Lessons; Children; Religion.

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).

Westward Ho!; Moral Lessons; Females; Characterization in Novels.

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” (155)

Glaucus; Natural History; Moral Lessons; Imperialism; Colonialism.


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