Baker, William J.  “Charles Kingsley in Little London,” Colorado Magazine Vol. 45 (1968): 187-203.
In this illustrated article Baker discusses Kingsley’s trip to America and his sojourn in Colorado Springs in 1874.  Kingsley’s connection with and interest in this town stemmed from his son Maurice, who worked there as a railway engineer, and from his daughter Rose, who visited there in 1871-72.  After sketching the English community and the pervasive anglophilia of Colorado Springs, Baker provides a brief account of Kingsley’s visit there where he was particularly impressed by the natural beauties of the Pike’s Peak region.

America; Colorado Springs; Nature.

Beer, Gillian.  “Charles Kingsley and the Literary Image of the Countryside,” Victorian Studies Vol. VIII, No. 3 (March 1965): 243-254.
Beer argues that Kingsley’s genuine love and appreciation of nature and the countryside were combined with an understanding of the frequently difficult lot of the country poor.  He eschewed any aesthetic of landscape which ignored the plight of its inhabitants. Kingsley’s “point is that the starving and sick cannot savour beauty, and that the country poor require help if their life is to become anything better than a mockery of pastoralism” (248).

Nature; Country Poor.

Hawley, John C., S. J.  "Charles Kingsley and the Book of Nature," Anglican and Episcopal History Vol. 61, No. 4 (December 1991): 461-479.
Hawley examines Kingsley as natural theologian and his views on the “meaning” of nature.  He discusses Kingsley’s attempt to bridge the ever widening gap between the claims of science and religion and to establish a vocabulary that would be intelligible to and supportive of both fields.  In this respect he provides a comparison of Kingsley’s views on the theological beliefs of and the search for meaning in Arnold, Huxley, and Darwin.  Kingsley’s aim, according to Hawley, “was to circumvent fears and cynicism, and to move his readers into a world of scientific endeavor and Christian cooperation.  In choosing the commitment of faith over strict empiricism he became for many, in an age of increasing dichotomy between the realms of science and religion, a model of a Christian who hoped that the truths of both would ultimately coalesce” (479).

Nature; Science; Religion; Natural Theology; Arnold, Matthew; Huxley; Darwin.

Henkin, Leo J.  Darwinism in the English Novel 1860-1910: The Impact of Evolution on Victorian Fiction (New York: Russell & Russell, 1963).
For Kingsley the Bible and science were compatible.  He welcomed Darwin’s theories which rendered Nature and all about him more full of divine significance than ever before.  While Kingsley reverenced Nature, “he reverenced more the will that is above Nature.  His reverence for Nature was not antagonistic, but paid homage to his faith in the supernatural” (146).

Science; Religion; Darwin; Nature.

Muller, Charles H.  “Spiritual Evolution and Muscular Theology: Lessons from Kingsley’s Natural Theology,” Studies in English Vol. 15 (March 1986): 24-34.
Kingsley’s understanding of the relationship between science and religion is quite straightforward according to Muller.  The natural world for Kingsley everywhere reveals the work of God; everything physical is but a reflection of the Eternal Realities.  The work of the scientist is essentially a glorification of the Creator.  “As a religious thinker, Kingsley was deductive and intuitive in his logic; as a scientific thinker, he was inductive, seeing the infinite in the finite, or maxima in minimis, as exemplified by the wonders of creation in so lowly a creature as the spider-crab.  In seeing the divine mirrored in a pebble or spore, however, he was combining a scientific and religious vision of life –   uniting the function of the microscope and the telescope, as it were” (31).

Science; Religion; Nature; Natural theology; Glaucus.

Prickett, Stephen.  “Adults in Allegory Land: Kingsley and MacDonald,” in his Victorian Fantasy (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1979): 150-197.
Prickett provides a lengthy examination of The Water-Babies comparing and contrasting it with several allegorical fantasies of George MacDonald.  Among other topics, he discusses the extent to which Kingsley was influenced by Wordsworth regarding his view of nature and his attitude to childhood, as well as by Rabelais.  He also examines Platonism, religion, evolution, and the nature of allegory in The Water-Babies.  Prickett declares that Kingsley and MacDonald have quite distinct mental sets.  “Kingsley, the botanist, marine biologist and historian is fascinated by every minute detail of this world; ‘other’ worlds are constructs – telling us yet more about this.  MacDonald is a temperamental Platonist, only interested in the surface of this world for the news it gives him of another, hidden reality, perceived, as it were, through a glass darkly” (193).

The Water-Babies; MacDonald, George; Rabelais; Wordsworth; Nature; Children; Religion; Plato; Evolution.


Return to Top