|Allen, Peter. “Christian Socialism and the Broad
Church Circle,” Dalhousie Review Vol. 49 (Spring, 1969): 58-68.
Allen discusses Kingsley’s involvement in the Christian Socialist movement
of 1848-1854. He argues that most of the Christian Socialists were
members of the Broad Church circle and that political radicalism or political
socialism was far from being their principal concern. Rather, they
believed that moral or educational reform of the working classes must precede
political action, a viewpoint strongly adhered to by Kingsley. Though
a minority of the Christian Socialists, for example J. M. Ludlow, advocated
extreme political reform, Allen suggests that the evidence indicates
“that we cannot understand Christian Socialism and its leaders if we look
only to the history of political radicalism, but that the movement might
appear in a new and valuable light through a thorough study of the Broad
Church circle. Rather than seeing Christian Socialism as primarily
a political movement diverted from its true aims, we should, I think, see
it as an outgrowth of a school of religious thought and of a certain intellectual
and social group in Victorian society” (66-67).
Socialism; Religion; Social
and Political Views.
Baker, Joseph Ellis. The Novel and the Oxford
Movement (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1932): 88-100.
Baker argues that Kingsley’s hostility to the Oxford Movement was based
on a quite different view concerning the nature of man. Whereas the
Oxford Movement held that man's nature was essentially sinful, Kingsley,
“of the school of Rousseau”, believed that it was essentially good (88).
Baker reviews the novels of this “pugnacious Protestant” for anti-Catholic
sentiments (99). “Though Kingsley’s pictures of Tractarians are so
obviously prejudiced that it is hardly necessary to correct them, his comments
help to reveal the core of his own vigorous mind, and the setting of the
Oxford Movement within the framework of other mid-century ideas” (100).
Blinderman, Charles S. “Huxley and Kingsley,”
Newsletter No. 20 (1961): 25-28.
Blinderman studies the relationship between Kingsley and T. H. Huxley.
Both men enjoyed a close personal friendship. However, Blinderman
argues that despite such surface similarities as their mutual approval
of determinism and Stoicism, their dislike of Positivism, their popularization
of science, and the fact that both were charged with unorthodoxy, in certain
fundamental respects, particularly their underlying attitudes to science
and to religion, they were quite dissimilar and distinct. “A study
of the relationship between Huxley and Kingsley suggests that while friendship
can provide a forum for the cordial debate of ultimate issues, ideological
differences, however, obscured by social amenities, prevail as barriers
to the reconciliation of irreconcilable world-views” (28).
Brinton, Crane. English Political Thought
in the Nineteenth Century (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1954).
Brinton provides an overview of Kingsley’s life and his major social
and political views. While his Christian Socialism was by no means
a system, Kingsley held that a Christian Socialist society would indeed
be hierarchical where each one's place is determined by his moral value
as well as democratic in the sense that each one's place has been allotted
by God. Brinton considers that Kingsley’s ideal society was based
on older English societies where different social classes “were knit together
by habits which were genuine human relationships”. His “programme
is singularly like that of Tory Democracy” (125). Kingsley’s paternalism
did not signify that he rejected competition. Competition was good
but workers must first be members of cooperative associations, an ideal
similar to “modern guild Socialism” (126). While Brinton considers
that Kingsley’s achievements were not insignificant, his ideals based on
his religious faith could accomplish little to improve the very practical
ills of working class and under-privileged society. “His God, his
virtue, his England, made too many promises to the flesh – promises unfulfilled
to the common man. For the uncommon man, his faith was even more
inadequate. Taste and intellect alike recoil from the simplicities
of a universe on the pattern of Eversley” (130).
and Political Views; Alton Locke;
Buckley, Jerome Hamilton. The
Victorian Temper: A Study in Literary Culture (London: Frank Cass 1966;
first published 1952).
Buckley makes numerous diverse references to Kingsley. With respect
to Kingsley’s attitude to religion and Mammon worship Buckley stresses
his detestation for the manifest evils of the industrial revolution and
the harm they cause to body and soul. Yet Kingsley was assured that
the new age was here to stay and that religion would aid in combating an
excessive focus on materialism. “If his victory was never won, he
yet succeeded more than any other popular apologist in reminding the mid-Victorians
that the objects of religion might animate their common activity no less
than the lonely meditations of the brooding conscience” (123).
Childers, Joseph W. “Alton
Locke and the Religion of Chartism,” in Novel Possibilities: Fiction
and the Formation of Early Victorian Culture (Philadelphia: University
of Pennsylvania Press, 1995): 132-157.
In his analysis of Alton Locke Childers
focuses in particular on the relationship between politics and religion.
He argues that the spiritual reform advocated, the "religion of Chartism",
alleviates the fear of the middle classes of a revolt based on immorality
or infidelity, since the reform is strongly linked to the tenets of religion,
of Christianity. However, the advocacy has little social value as
long as it remains the subjective view only of Alton. For real change
to be effected, these views must be embraced by a wider public.
and Political Novel.
Conacher, W. M. “Charles Kingsley,” Queen’s
Quarterly Vol. 45 (1938): 503-511.
Conacher presents a sketch of Kingsley’s life and works. He praises
the characterization in Hereward the Wake; it surpasses that of
Bulwer Lytton’s Harold and that of Scott’s Ivanhoe.
While he criticizes Kingsley’s anti-Catholic treatment in Westward Ho!
as being mere bigotry and not based on proper historical facts, he admires
the novel’s color and romance. Though Hypatia has matter for
a masterpiece, “haste, over-enthusiasm, and lack of artistry have spoiled
it” (509). Alton Locke is modern in its sympathy for the working
classes and its political views, while Yeast, though the work of
a young author, is praised for its “generous feeling” (510). Kingsley,
according to Conacher, “railed at John Bull in life and in letters and
was essentially in the end John Bull himself” (511).
Cunningham, Valentine. "Soiled Fairy: The Water-Babies
in its Time," Essays in Criticism Vol. XXXV, No. 2 (April 1985):
Cunningham analyzes many of the causes and issues Kingsley treats with
heat and hysteria in The Water-Babies declaring that they frequently
coincide with the age’s heatedness and hysterias for these causes and issues.
Cunningham also discusses The Water-Babies’ various affinities to
other classic fairy-story motifs.
and Political Views;
Clothes and Nasty; Glaucus;
Daumas, Phillippe. “Charles Kingsley's Style
in Alton Locke,” Les Langues Modernes Vol. 63 (1969): 169-75.
Daumas argues that due to Kingsley’s conflicting views on Chartism
there is a certain mystification in Alton Locke. Though the
novel seems to be an advocacy of Chartism and social reform, the reader
when finished understands that it is really an espousal of charity and
Christianity. “Contrary to what one had been led to think, Alton
Locke is not a tract in support of socialism, but a vindication of
Kingsley’s own conception of Christianity” (169).
and Political Views;
Dawson, Carl. "Polemics: Charles Kingsley and Alton
Locke," in his Victorian Noon: English Literature in 1850 (Baltimore:
Johns Hopkins University Press, 1979): 179-202.
Dawson provides an overview of Kingsley’s character, his social and
religious views, especially those on Roman Catholicism, and his involvement
in and his diverse attitudes towards socialism. He discusses Alton
Locke, “perhaps one of the oddest literary documents of nineteenth-century
England” (180), declaring that its recognition in modern times owes something
to Kingsley’s treatment being relevant to contemporary Marxist assessments
of literature. “Kingsley articulates the sense of waste in
his protagonist’s life; he equates Alton with the social upheavals of his
age, setting him against middle-class virtues and assumptions; and he creates
in Alton a psychic battle between social activism and pastoral escape”.
In addition, “Alton Locke could figure in the survey that
Georg Lukács, makes of the middling hero in nineteenth-century historical
and Political Views;
Downes, David Anthony. “Reverend Charles Kingsley:
Prophet of Convulsion,” in The Temper of Victorian Belief: Studies in
the Religious Novels of Pater, Kingsley, and Newman (New York: Twayne,
Downes examines Kingsley’s style, which he terms “plain prophecy”,
and his religious views. He also discusses differences in style and
temper between Kingsley and Newman, arguing that time has effected a “monumental
irony on historical and critical judgment”. He considers Newman to
be a “medieval personalist” whereas Kingsley is a “prophetical modernist”
(81). Hypatia, argues Downes from his lengthy treatment of
the novel, “represents Kingsley’s search for a way of expressing how religious
faith in Christianity happens, and what it means in the most concrete personalist
terms his imagination would conjure. However philosophically vague,
there is an attempt at a kind of phenomenology of faith, what Newman called
‘a grammar of assent.’ The tenability of Christianity as believable
by people encountering their worlds on the most basic human levels is what
Kingsley was striving to examine” (79).
Hanawalt, Mary Wheat, "Charles Kingsley and Science,"
in Philology Vol. 34, No. 4 (October, 1937): 589-611.
Hanawalt examines Kingsley’s interest and endeavors in science, arguing
that his broader philosophy and art have been misunderstood because of
the neglect shown to Kingsley the scientist. To remedy this neglect
and this misunderstanding she discusses firstly, Kingsley’s lifelong interest
in science; secondly, the relation between his science and the art of his
novels and poetry; thirdly, his views on the relation of science to religion
and the importance of science in man’s existence; and, fourthly, the general
influence of science on his philosophy.
Hartley, Allan John. The Novels
of Charles Kingsley: A Christian Social Interpretation (Folkestone:
The Hour-Glass Press, 1977).
Hartley in this book-length study interprets
Kingsley's novels in the light of the influence of the Christian Social
Movement. He contends that Kingsley is unusual in using novels to set forth
the message of one whom he, together with many others, viewed as the age's
greatest prophet, F. D. Maurice. "The value of Kingsley's novels ultimately
lies less in their advocacy of liberality and reform, than in their insistent
justification of both on the basis of Christian humanism. Kingsley's
inspiration sprang from Maurice whose reading of the Bible had shown his
disciple the meaning, both of Christianity and of history, and the novels
proclaim that social improvement had necessarily to proceed within the
existing framework of society, which for Kingsley meant a Christian dispensation
based on Commandments engraven on tablets of stone and interpreted by sacrificial
love. A minor prophet proclaiming a minor one, Kingsley thus added
a new dimension to the novel" (169).
Socialism; Maurice; Religion;
and Political Views;
Ho!; Two Years Ago; Hereward
Hawley, John C., S. J.
“Baptizing the Victorian Epimetheus,” Science et Esprit Vol.
XLIII, No. 3 (1991): 349-354.
Kingsley, declares Hawley, was unusual among Victorian clerics in being
an explicit advocate of technology. However, he was also very aware
of the grave social problems, especially among the working classes, brought
about by technology. Still his main criticism was directed at the
spirit of competition bred by the industrial age. Kingsley had “a
complex response to technology. He never portrayed the pursuit of
technology as a meaningful life in itself; he did, however, recognize its
potential for liberating men and women to engage in such a quest” (354).
and Political Views;
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).
Theology; Arnold, Matthew; Huxley;
Hawley, John C., S.J. “Charles Kingsley and the
Media,” Thought: a Review of Culture and Ideas Vol. 67, No.
266 (September 1992): 287-301.
Hawley goes beyond Kingsley’s well-known contretemps with Newman and
examines his numerous other struggles and interactions with a broad group
of parties in the Victorian Church. He discusses the many changes
and stages in the development of Kingsley’s final religious views, arguing
that despite his frequent sectarian antipathies, for example to Roman Catholicism,
and his bigotry, he adopted a middle path and became a staunch advocate
of moderate Anglicanism. “In the face of opposition from virtually
all quarters, Kingsley staunchly defended a position somewhere in the middle,
now appealing to reason, now appealing to authority, frequently emotional
and ever-insistent upon the moral imperative he grounded in Jesus of Nazareth.
He embodied in all his inconsistency an adaptable Christianity . . . a
Christianity not far from today’s norm” (300).
Hawley, John C., S.J. “The Water Babies
as Catechetical Paradigm,” Children's Literature Association Quarterly
Vol. 14, No. 1 (Spring 1989): 19-21.
Hawley declares that The Water-Babies has two principle functions,
to entertain and to teach. The goal of education for Kingsley was
ultimately a religious one. Little Tom’s adventures, his evolutionary
progress, the lessons learned all end in religious salvation. Kingsley
also uses The Water-Babies to show that science and evolution can
co-exist with religion. “With the publication of this novel he offers
his most attractive, deceptively simple presentation of the argument that
all purely scientific explanations of reality would benefit by being placed
in the larger context of Christian revelation” (20).
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”
Hickin, Rev. Leonard. “Charles Kingsley, 1819-1875,”
Expository Times Vol. LXXXVI, No. 5 (Feb. 1975): 146-150.
This is an appreciation of the life and works of Kingsley one hundred
years after his death. Hickin focuses on Kingsley’s Christianity,
his religious views and his practical work as a minister. He concludes
that he “was a devoted pastor, a gifted preacher, and an outstanding Christian
Kingsley as; Religion.
Houghton, Walter E. “The Issue Between Kingsley
and Newman,” Theology Today Vol. IV (April 1947): 81-101.
Houghton argues that the fundamental disagreement between Kingsley
and Newman was the fundamental dichotomy between Protestant Liberalism
and Christian Orthodoxy. Though in many respects Kingsley was a conservative
and a public enemy of those espousing the liberal cause, in religion he
followed the liberalism of the likes of Maurice and Carlyle. While
we read such thinkers to understand liberal ideology, argues Houghton,
we study Kingsley to comprehend Protestant Liberalism in its actual practice.
Controversy; Newman, John Henry; Religion;
Irvine, William. Apes, Angels, & Victorians:
The Story of Darwin, Huxley, and Evolution (New York: Time, 1963; 1st
Irvine discusses the relationship and correspondence between Kingsley
and Thomas Henry Huxley, stressing their views on science and religion.
Despite their radically different attitudes towards religion, both men
had a strong mutual respect for each other. Irvine mentions the openness
and honesty of Huxley’s attitude towards Kingsley.
Karl, Frederick R. An Age of Fiction: The
Nineteenth Century British Novel (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux,
In his treatment of Alton Locke Karl focuses on Kingsley’s social
and political views. Locke comes to believe that the Chartist goals,
and all political and social aims, can only be realized if linked to Christianity,
a belief earnestly held by Kingsley. However, Karl declares that
Kingsley’s argument turns into the “hollow rhetoric” of those who, fearing
radical change, advise prudence (335). The working classes must wait
until others decide it is time for their equality; they must not decide
for themselves. Because of what he considers the weakness of this
thesis, Karl believes that Alton Locke has a “flabby intellectual
spine”. While the novel is praised for some excellent scenes, the
characters when they think or act appear “platitudinous or intellectually
shallow”. Karl’s conclusion is that Kingsley, despite his compassion
for the poor, “has not worn well, but less for the old-fashioned nature
of his narrative than for the intellectual assumptions behind the novel”
and Political Views;
Keep, David J. “The Theology of Charles Kingsley’s
Village Sermons,” The Evangelical Quarterly Vol. LIII, No. 4 (Oct-Dec
Keep examines Kingsley’s sermons to the congregation at Eversley during
the relatively unstable social and political period 1849-1854, the time
Kingsley’s own radical views and writing were at their peak. He declares
that though these village sermons were clearly written and free from theological
jargon they were on the whole not very extremist nor exciting. They
were particularly limited “in their failure to deal with the profound theological
questions posed by unitarianism and the questions raised by higher criticism”
(214). However, they did reveal “an optimistic eschatology that God
was working through technological progress and that change should be welcomed”
Kingsley as; Eversley; Religion;
Labbe, Jacqueline M. “The Godhead Regendered
in Victorian Children’s Literature,” in Alice Jenkins and Juliet John (eds.)
Victorian Fiction (UK: Macmillan, 2000): 96-114.
Labbe argues that many texts of Victorian children’s literature substituted
the Wise Woman, the Fairy Godmother, for God the Father as the sage of
choice. Christianity, in short, was being feminized. In The
Water-Babies such “female deities” as Mother Carey, Mrs Doasyouwouldbedoneby,
and Mrs Bedonebyasyoudid with their female virtues of love, compassion
and inherent knowledge are more important than the more manly qualities
in the divine order. “In Kingsley’s version of the female Christ,
he realigns Christ’s gender, or rather his sex; this female Christ poses
no threat to established gender roles, but rather makes plain the femininity
of Christ’s character” (104).
Lackey, Lionel. “Kingsley’s Hypatia: Foes
Ever New,” The Victorian Newsletter No. 87 (Spring 1995): 1-4.
Lackey examines the theme and structure of Hypatia. The
novel’s pejorative depiction of many aspects of the early Church was met
with much disfavor by many religiously conservative critics. Though
the novel’s ostensible thesis, according to Lackey, is that the early Church
despite its faults was better than the atheism it replaced, the true thesis
is that this Church’s bigotry, persecution, and violence are far from real
Christianity. Lackey ends by suggesting that a consideration of Kingsley’s
views may still be relevant in today’s complex civilization; he “poses
an alternative to the poles of a destructive Christianity and a soulless
and Political Views.
Lankewish, Vincent A. “Love Among the Ruins:
The Catacombs, the Closet, and the Victorian ‘Early Christian’ Novel,”
Literature and Culture Vol. 28, No. 2 (Sept 2000): 239-273.
Lankewish considers the Newman-Kingsley debate in the context of Kingsley's
antipathy to what he perceived as Catholics' unnatural attitude toward
sex, especially the Tractarian and Catholic depiction of Christ as spouse,
and their embrace of celibacy which Kingsley frequently regarded as effeminacy.
Kingsley, declares Lankewish, believed that it was only through such relations
as marriage, parenthood, and family that God could be truly known.
Lankewish also discusses Newman's possible homosexuality and Kingsley's
attitude to it. He argues that a consideration of the sexual context
of the Newman-Kingsley dispute provides a useful background to the study
of the Victorian Early Christian novel. He contends, in particular, "that
the Hypatia/Callista conflict not only anticipated the theological
debate that erupted between Kingsley and Newman in 1864, but foreshadowed
the gender and sexual tensions inherent within that debate as well.
Through the representation of the spiritual marriages between Christians
and Christ that Kingsley found so deplorable, Early Christian novels by
Wiseman, Newman, and Pater coopt the genre and transform it into a charged
site for the articulation of sexual difference and, most specifically in
Pater's case, of male-male desire" (252).
Maison, Margaret M. The Victorian Vision:
Studies in the Victorian Novel (New York: Sheed & Ward, 1961).
Maison considers Kingsley’s religious and spiritual thought as represented
in his novels. She declares that matters of the soul tend to be well
overshadowed in these works by stories of adventure, by depictions of physical
activity, by scenes of daring and so on. However, one pervasive religious
theme in Kingsley’s novels is the spiritual development of the characters
through strong physical activity. She contends that one of Kingsley’s
most dominant beliefs is that man’s soul necessarily suffers from long
exposure to dire physical conditions. It was as important a duty
of the parson, Kingsley believed, to care for social, economic, and political
reform as to cater to more spiritual elements. “Thus might Kingsley
answer any critic likely to accuse him of preferring sanitation to meditation”
(127). Maison also briefly considers Kingsley’s desire to reconcile
religion with science.
Manlove, Colin. “MacDonald and Kingsley: A Victorian
Contrast” in William Raeper (ed.) The Gold Thread: Essays on George
MacDonald (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1990): 140-162.
In this article Manlove compares and contrasts the characters, the
views, and the writings of Kingsley and George MacDonald, who, he declares
were arguably the only two significant writers of Christian fantasy in
the Victorian period. Generally, Kingsley, whose belief and involvement
in science were much greater than MacDonald's, places nature first while
MacDonald chooses "supernature." Kingsley's God is so identifiable
with the works of His creation that He is only distinguishable from them
by faith. The God of MacDonald, who has a stronger sense of the supernatural
and the mystical, is invariably a person, whereas for Kingsley He is a
force. Nevertheless, Manlove argues that the two writers for all
their differences share a particular common bond, namely "that they chose,
alone and at almost the same time in the nineteenth century, to put what
they could of the divine presence in the fairy tale" (159).
George; Religion; Science;
Maynard, John. “Victorian Discourses on Sexuality
and Religion,” University of Hartford Studies in Literature Vol.
19, Nos 2 & 3 (1987): 61-69.
For Kingsley, according to Maynard, religion and sexuality are thoroughly
intermingled. His dislike of Newman stemmed in large part from his
strong aversion to religious celibacy. However, all forms of sexual
license for Kingsley was anathema.. The proper place for sexuality
was within marriage, with only one marriage in a lifetime. “Celibacy
is religion without sex; licentiousness, sex without religion. The
via media for Kingsley, married religious sexuality, allows one unified
discourse: married sexuality repairs the Fall and leads us from earth to
heaven, which is only more – and more intensely – of the same” (63).
Kingsley also depicts competing types of sexuality in certain of his writings.
For example, in Hypatia the struggle between the intellectual views
of different religious groups in 5th century Alexandria may be seen as
just as much a competition of opposite sexual styles. Similarly,
Ho! may be understood from the standpoint of opposite sexual religious
world views as the conflict “between chaste, successful Protestants and
lewd, unsuccessful Spanish Catholics” (64).
Meadows, A. J. “Kingsley’s Attitude to Science,”
Vol. LXXVIII, No. 655 (January 1975): 15-22.
Meadows declares that Kingsley was unlike many of his religious contemporaries
in his belief that science and even the theories of Darwin actually strengthened
the truths of Christianity. He also states that Kingsley viewed science
as a vehicle for improving society, for example the promotion of public
health. In addition, Meadows writes that Kingsley though an enthusiastic
practitioner of science was still an amateur in a field that was quickly
Muller, Charles H. “Alton Locke: Kingsley's
Dramatic Sermon,” Unisa English Studies Vol. 14, Nos. 2-3 (1976):
Though much of Alton Locke, according to Muller, reads as a
political tract and Alton himself is represented through most of the novel
as a dangerous agitator, a dramatic change occurs at the end with Alton
renouncing his subversive views and embracing religion as a solution.
Kingsley seeing no distinction between the secular and the religious, believed
that such desiderata as sanitary reform and social emancipation would come
about through spiritual or religious emancipation. Alton Locke may
be viewed not primarily as a Chartist novel but as an expression of Kingsley's
Christian work on behalf of the poorer classes. The novel "is really
a Christian novel, written in the spirit of his sermons which never failed
to emphasize, on the one hand, the Gospel message of the Kingdom of God,
and, on the other, personal salvation or reform" (9).
Muller, Charles H. “The Christian Didactics and the
Sermons of Charles Kingsley,” Communiqué Vol.
9, No. 1 (1984): 14-44.
In a lengthy article Muller declares that Kingsley the preacher was
essentially a teacher. He examines Kingsley’ style of preaching,
his didactic methodology, and his socio-theological didactics. He
declares that Kingsley was a forceful and emotional preacher, sometimes
dynamic and dramatic, but frequently lacking in incisive intellectual argumentation.
When he expounded Scripture and taught about God, whether he preached to
the unsophisticated in Eversley or to royals at the Chapel Royal or Windsor
he was invariably didactic. He was consistent in his didactic material:
“the statutes of a loving but just God. God is often revealed as
severe and terribly exacting. But there are times when God is seen
as the author of benevolence and mercy” (33). Muller declares that
the didactic purpose of Kingsley’s sermons is primarily ethical-moral.
“It teaches, essentially, that there can be no change in the social order,
no purposeful progress towards the perfect realization of God’s kingdom
on earth, without a spiritual revolution first taking place within the
heart and life of the individual. Freedom from sin will mean a new
spiritual democracy, when men have the strength to resist sin and choose
the right” (39).
Kingsley as; Didacticism; Religion.
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. “Poetics and Providence in
Two Years Ago,” UNISA English Studies Vol. 17,
No. 2 (1979): 29-39.
In this study of the respective roles of art and God in Two Years
Ago Muller contends strongly that it was "Kingsley's recognition of
Providence's role in his fiction which undermined the value of his art.
It made his art obstrusively didactic. . . . However, it was chiefly because
of Kingsley's belief in the poetic - or, rather, religious - licence of
Christian art that he considered himself free to obtrude his moral commentary"
Two Years Ago;
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).
Muller, Charles H. Two Sermons of Charles
Kingsley (Pietersburg, South Africa: University of the North, 1979).
This is the text of two previously unpublished sermon manuscripts from
the Morris L. Parrish Collection, Princeton University Library. Muller,
the transcriber, notes Kingsley’s strong vein of compassion pervading the
sermons. The first, originally preached at Eversley in 1846, stresses that
God does not just belong to some far off eschatological future but that
he is at hand in people’s normal daily life. The second sermon, preached
in 1851 at a child’s funeral, also focuses on a comforting God’s presence
in everyday life. Muller discusses the influence of F.D. Maurice’s
teachings on Kingsley’s “understanding of the present relevance of divine
Providence, and of the Kingdom of God as a present and spreading reality”
(3). Carlyle was another important influence. Muller also discusses
the style and the composition of these two sermons. Though they were manifestly
quickly and carelessly written, probably very shortly before delivery,
“Kingsley’s spoken words, as recorded in the sermons, must have had an
almost magical, and very dramatic, effect on his congregation. In
each case the emotional climax shows how directly they came from the heart”(5).
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.
Noel, Conrad. Socialism in Church History
(Milwaukee: Young Churchman, 1911).
Noel discusses the “socialist” views and work of Kingsley and Maurice
and relates them to their religious beliefs. He denies that they
were broad Churchmen; rather “they protested against broad Churchism as
being almost as anti-Christian as Puseyism or popular Protestantism.
Their lives were devoted to the revival of the Catholic democratic Faith”
Paradis, James G. “Satire
and Science in Victorian Culture,” in Bernard Lightman (ed.) Victorian
Science in Context (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997): 143-175.
Paradis points out that though Kingsley was a
strong advocate of the scientific efforts of the likes of Lyell, Darwin,
and Huxley, he also eagerly sought a post-Darwinian equivalent to natural
theology. Kingsley considered that Victorian science was inadequate
in itself as a philosophy of life and caricatured its one-sided scientific
naturalist approach in The Water-Babies.
Theology; The Water-Babies.
Parrish, Geoffrey. “Kingsley and a Victorian
View of Miracles,” Faith and Freedom Vol. 38, No. 114, Part 3 (Autumn
Parrish examines Kingsley’s view of miracles as expressed in Alton
Locke. It is probable that it is Kingsley’s own view that Dean
Winstay expresses, namely that science and revealed religion, though separate,
are complementary sources of knowledge, each enjoying its own sphere of
competence. Parrish makes three points concerning Kingsley’s opinion
on miracles. “There must be a theistic interpretation of the universe,
there must be a belief in the Incarnation, and from these two there comes
the conviction that if Jesus is what Christians believe him to be, he can
do what others cannot, because he knows what the laws of nature really
Locke; Religion; Science.
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).
Prickett, Stephen. “Purging Christianity of its
Semitic Origins: Kingsley, Arnold and the Bible,” in Juliet John and Alice
Jenkins (eds.). Rethinking Victorian Culture (London: Macmillan,
Prickett examines the role of pagan civilization and the Church in
Kingsley is favorable to neither. Rather, his theory of history leads
him to admire the Teutonic races who are civilization’s future. The
Catholicism of fourth-century Alexandria is as doomed as the pagan world
it supplanted. It is merely a proto-Christianity that is “saved only
by the presence within it of certain forward-looking characters who dimly
foreshadow, as it were, the coming age of Teutonic Protestantism a thousand
years in the future” (68-9).
Rapple, Brendan. “The Motif of Water in Charles
Kingsley's The Water-Babies,” University of Mississippi Studies
in English Vol. XI-XII (1993-1995): 259-71.
Kingsley uses the motif of water in The Water-Babies to preach
the virtues of bathing and washing. Cleaning the body and the inculcation
of good sanitary habits is also an effective method of preventing disease.
In addition, washing with water, preferably cold water, helps the attainment
of moral rectitude. “However, the depiction of water as a cleansing
agent may also be viewed in an allegorical sense, namely as purifying morally
and spiritually both the individual Tom as well as the collective society.
Only after Tom's baptismal washing and consequent Christian rebirth does
his deeply felt wish ‘I must be clean, I must be clean’ begin to be truly
satisfied. Only after an analogous allegorical cleansing can any
genuine regeneration of England occur” (269).
and Political Views.
Rauch, Alan. "The Tailor Transformed: Charles Kingsley's
Locke" in his Useful Knowledge: The Victorians, Morality, and 'The
March of Intellect' (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2001): 164-189.
Rauch argues that Kingsley intended Alton Locke: Tailor and Poet,
as its name suggests, to be a novel that harmonized quite disparate themes
and ideas. A staunch believer himself in the truths of religion and science
and their ultimate integration, he hoped that Alton Locke's readers
would also accept their reconciliation and their worth when blended as
a pathway to absolute truth. However, Rauch considers that the novel
failed in this goal and that Kingsley's passionate attempt to reconcile
religion and science did not satisfy and did not convince. While
Alton's own "transformation" uses language taken from science and a purpose
taken from religion, neither are credible. "Because of its attempt to deal
with all controversies single-handedly, Alton Locke is, in fact,
a polemic and thus lacks the kind of intriguing suggestiveness that is
so characteristic of" novels by Jane Webb Loudon, Mary Shelley, and Charlotte
Brontë that succeed in linking "science with tradition without invoking
religion itself" (189).
and Political Views;
Rauch, Alan. "The Tailor Transformed: Charles Kingsley's
Locke and the Notion of Change," Studies in the Novel Vol. 25,
No. 2 (Summer 1993): 196-213.
Rauch considers Kingsley's belief that science and religion are compatible
and that the study of the former could only serve to support the teachings
of faith. Both are truth seeking activities. Kingsley also
found suggestive the parallels between transformations in the natural worlds
and transformations in the spiritual spheres. It is a parallel, declares
Rauch, that Kingsley adapted for the character of Alton in Alton Locke.
Kingsley is drawing on the progressive transformation of forms in the natural
world when he depicts the gradual change of Alton from an atheist and political
agitator to a Christian with a much moderated political reform agenda.
Notion of; Darwin; Alton
Locke; Social and Political
Raven, Rev. Canon C. E. “Charles Kingsley,” The
Listener Vol. 11, No. 283 (13 June, 1934) 1007-1008.
Though holding that Alton Locke is clearly a work of propaganda,
Raven praises it for its scene painting, its descriptions of landscape,
atmosphere, sights, sounds and smells. He declares that the best
work of Kingsley, a passionate lover of nature, was as an interpreter of
recent scientific discoveries in terms of Christianity. “. . . he
was almost the only Churchman of his time to realise that science and the
scientific method were accomplishing a revolution in human thought, and
that unless the Church recognised this it would be unfit to commend its
message to the world” (1008).
Robertson, J. M. A History of Freethought
in the Nineteenth Century. 2 Vols. (New York: Putnam's Sons,
1930). Vol. II, pp. 321-323.
Robertson very briefly discusses Kingsley’s understanding of the compatibility
of science and religion and his acceptance of the theory of evolution.
“'Blighted' by a 'Upas-Shadow': Catholicism’s Function for Kingsley in
Ho!,” Victorian Newsletter Vol. 94 (Fall 1998): 10-17.
Schiefelbein examines Kingsley's severe characterizations
of Catholics in Westward Ho!, especially two of his keenest bete
noires, Catholics' worship of the Virgin Mary and Catholicism's embrace
of asceticism and condemnation of the flesh. Kingsley, advocate of
muscular Christianity and espouser of manliness, detested what he considered
to be effeminate "Mariolatry" which was responsible for weakness and womanishness
in society. He also condemned the asceticism of the Jesuits Parsons
and Campion which he held to be an unnatural rejection of God-given impulses.
They were "spiritual grotesques" (15). However, Schiefelbein also
argues that Kingsley reveals his own ascetic impulses and his attraction
to monkish ways in Westward Ho! and reconciles the opposite pulls
of asceticism and carnal and sexual nature. Schiefelbein concludes
that while "one may certainly object to the role Kingsley assigns to Catholicism
. . . it becomes an effective foil for enlightening his readers - and,
very likely, for reminding himself - of the dangers of Manicheanism" (16).
Mary; Muscular Christianity;
Schilling, Bernard N. “Kingsley,”
in Human Dignity and the Great Victorians (New York: Columbia University
Press, 1946): 96-122.
Schilling examines Kingsley's work as a humanitarian and his efforts
to dignify the life of England's poor. "Kingsley achieved a working
synthesis between his religion and his radicalism; he made it seem as if
he had to be a humanitarian reformer because of the implications which
he saw in religion, not in spite of them" (96). Schilling discusses
Kingsley's work on behalf of sanitary reform and his campaign against the
terrible conditions of the sweated tailoring trade, stressing Kingsley's
belief that many societal problems had their underlying cause in laissez-faire
capitalism. He also considers Kingsley's advocacy of popular medical instruction
and of cooperative movements, his plans to make art, amusement, country
life and education more available to the public, and his staunch promotion
of public education. Though Kingsley became increasingly conservative
and came to embrace a form of feudalism as he aged, Schilling concludes
that he "bore the mark of all great humanitarians - the union of compassion,
humaneness, and optimism" (122).
and Political Views;
Uffelman, Larry K., and P. G. Scott, “Kingsley's
Serial Novels: Yeast,” Victorian Periodicals Newsletter Vol.
IX, No. 4 (December 1976): 111-119.
Uffelman and Scott discuss the early publication history of Yeast
which first appeared anonymously in six monthly installments in Fraser’s
Magazine from July to December 1848 and which was later republished
in volume format in 1851. They pay particular attention to the revisions
Kingsley made in the volume text. In addition to tempering many phrases
which might have upset orthodox religious sensibilities, Kingsley also
added much anti-Catholic material in the 1851 book, especially in the sub-plot
concerning Luke, the Tractarian curate and Lancelot’s cousin. The
other major revision involved expanding the ‘discussion’ element in the
last part of the novel where Lancelot meets the prophet Barnakill.
This tilts “the balance of the novel towards the question of religious
belief” ( 117). With respect to the diverse revisions Uffelman and
Scott declare that “The new and topical sub-plot devoted to Luke’s conversion
to Catholicism made the novel more abstract and theological, as did also
the expanded conversation with the prophet in the last chapter. The
minor revisions, however, suggest an interesting slight softening in Kingsley’s
attitudes to more orthodox religious earnestness, and show also that Kingsley
himself had become aware of some of the unevenness of plot and tone which
serial composition had encouraged in his first novel” (118-119).
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;