|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).
Rosen, David. "The Volcano and the Cathedral: Muscular
Christianity and the Origins of Primal Manliness," in Hall, Donald E. (ed.).
Muscular Christianity: Embodying the Victorian Age (Cambridge, U.K.:
Cambridge University Press, 1994): 17-44.
David Rosen provides a lengthy analysis of the development of Kingsley's
views on muscular Christianity and manliness. He stresses that these were
complex, many sided notions and that Kingsley's views on these topics,
as well as his practical involvement in complementary areas, continuously
evolved throughout his life. Rosen argues that among the many influences
on Kingsley's concept of manliness was the notion of Platonic thumos
Kingsley considered was a primal manly force, the root of all virtue and
which was manifested through sex, fighting, and morality. Rosen contends
that Kingsley's views on manliness and related topics were highly influential
and that diverse notions of Anglo-American masculinity from the mid-nineteenth
century to the present owe much to Kingsley.
Christianity; Sexuality; Plato;
Vance, Norman. “Kingsley’s Christian Manliness,”
Vol. LXXVIII, No. 655 (January 1975): 30-38.
Vance declares that Plato's doctrine of thumos was central to
Kingsley's notion of manliness. In addition, his ideal of manliness
required a sound religious basis as well as a distinct moral independence
that eshews fatalism and moral inertia. Rejecting what he called
the Manichaeism of some Tractarians and Evangelicals who finding the world
hopelessly evil withdraw from it, Kingsley held that the ideal of true
Christian manliness required working strenuously within the world to ameliorate
it. Kingsley also embraced the more common understanding of manliness by
lauding the cultivation of the body by sport and physical exertion.
Christianity; Manliness; Religion;