|Alderson, Brian. “Introduction” to Charles Kingsley,
Water-Babies (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995): ix-xxix.
In his introduction to a 1995 edition of The Water-Babies Alderson
discusses the story's first publication as a serial in Macmillan's Magazine,
the subsequent revision of the text for its appearance in book format in
May 1863, and the contemporary market for children's literature. After
a lengthy analysis of The Water-Babies, Alderson treats some of
the critical reaction to it. He concludes with a discussion of the importance
of Kingsley's authorial presence in the novel.
Magazine; Reception of Kingsley's Works.
Hawley, John C., S.J. “Charles Kingsley and Literary
Theory of the 1850s,” Victorian Literature and Culture Vol. 19 (1991):
Hawley discusses Kingsley's literary criticism of his own and of others'
writing as well as other literary critics' views on his writings during
the 1850s. He points out that this period witnessed rapidly emerging
theories of criticism that tended to be disapproving both of Kingsley's
critical views and of his own creative works. In particular, Hawley
examines Kingsley's "growing anxiety to influence, an anxiety expressed
in terms of the aesthetic debate of the day, but rooted in the age's religious
and political questions" (168).
Criticism, Kingsley's; Reception of Kingsley's
Hawley, John C., S.J. “Responses to Charles Kingsley's
Attack on Political Economy,” Victorian Periodicals Review Vol.
XIX, No. 4 (Winter 1986): 131-137.
Hawley discusses the reaction Kingsley and his political and social
views received from the contemporary periodicals with particular attention
to the responses during the Parson Lot and the Christian Socialist period.
Reception of Kingsley's
Works; Christian Socialism;
and Political Views.
Howells, W. D. “Charles Kingsley’s Hypatia,”
in Heroines of Fiction Vol. II (New York and London: Harper &
Brothers, 1901): 1-13.
Howells examines the novel Hypatia and concludes that it was
not an artistic success. Though capable of writing a greater work
about fifth century Alexandria, Kingsley failed in his attempt mainly due
to the weak representation of Hypatia herself, an unattractive and “rather
repellent” character (6). Howells considers Kingsley’s novel to be
on a far higher plane than Bulwer Lytton’s The Last Days of Pompeii,
yet falls below it in artistic effect. While Bulwer was at least
a melodramatist, “Kingsley was no dramatist at all, but an exalted moralist
willing to borrow the theatre for the ends of the church. If we realize
this we shall understand why his figures seem to have come out of the property-room
by way of the vestry” (8). Howells praises Alton Locke for
its potent protest against aspects of society’s injustices, yet criticizes
it on artistic grounds as being excessively polemical.
in Novels; Reception of Kingsley's Works;
Savory, Jerold. “Charles Kingsley in Vanity
Fair and Once a Week," Victorian Periodicals Review Vol.
XIX, No. 4. (Winter 1986): 137-140.
Savory examines cartoon caricature portraits of Kingsley that appeared
in two influential journals in 1872, the literary journal Vanity Fair
the literary miscellany Once a Week. The commentary
accompanying the drawings was generally complimentary.
Caricatures of Kingsley; Reception of Kingsley's
Stang, Richard. The Theory of the Novel in
England 1850-1870 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1959).
Stang refers to Kingsley frequently in this work. For example, he mentions
George Meredith's criticism of Kingsley's excessive hortatory approach
in Two Years Ago, George Eliot's similar condemnation of his didacticism
and moralizing in Westward Ho!, the National Review's 1860
very severe treatment of his general novelist style and art, Blackwood's
branding of Yeast as immoral. Stang also discusses Kingsley's belief that
the novel should include long explanatory passages in order to educate
less intelligent readers.
of Kingsley's Works; Didacticism.
Trevor, Meriol. Newman: Light in Winter
(London: Macmillan, 1962).
Trevor examines the Kingsley-Newman controversy paying particular attention
to Kingsley’s motives in instigating his attack. He considers that
Kingsley’s dislike of Newman stemmed from the early attraction Newman had
for his wife Fanny who intended to join Pusey’s sisterhood. Kingsley
had to win back his wife and depose Newman’s “authoritative image” (327).
Newman was quite unaware that to Kingsley there was a particularly personal
reason for linking virility with truth and cunning with virginity.
For Newman signified to Kingsley, who abhorred Catholic celibacy and the
notion of women choosing virginity, “a powerful father-figure withholding
desirable brides from ardent lovers by the mental bondage of the ideal
of celibacy”. This sexual connotation, according to Trevor, “explains
the passionate hatred evident on every page of the pamphlet in which he
set out to settle the score of twenty years” (328). Trevor also discusses
the reaction of the reviews and the periodicals to the controversy.
of Kingsley's Works.