|Sanders, Andrew. “Last of the English: Charles Kingsley’s
the Wake,” The Victorian Historical Novel, 1840-1880
: St. Martin's, 1979): 149-167.
Sanders considers that Kingsley's historical novels, despite their obvious inadequacies, are not, in Henry James's terminology, "amateurish." In particular, he praises Hereward the Wake's action, its characterization, and its presentation of a strange medieval period. Sanders also argues that some of this novel's themes, particularly the divine mission of the Teutons, had been anticipated by Kingsley in his 1860 Cambridge lectures, The Roman and the Teuton. Above all, the novel epitomizes Kingsley's categoric belief that England's Germanic background played a primary role in the nation's historical development. "It is also central to an appreciation of Kingsley's work as an historical novelist, for in it he attempts to examine the concept of a national hero and to relate heroism to national experience" (165).