|Gottlieb, Evan M. "Charles Kingsley, the Romantic
Legacy, and the Unmaking of the Working-Class Intellectual," Victorian
Literature and Culture (VLC) Vol 29, No. 1 (2001): 51-65.
Gottlieb provides an interpretation of Alton Locke that is dissimilar to many other treatments of the industrial novel in general and Kinglsey's novel in particular. He argues that Alton Locke and the representation of the working-class poet are "safely apolitical" and in fact serve the interests of the middle classes. The prevailing views of the narrator and novel succeed, in fact, in espousing middle-class values more than the concerns of the working classes. "The ideological work of Alton Locke is to reassure its middle-class readers that it is not possible for a working-class person to be an intellectual and remain loyal to his class" (63). The novel, in short, reassures middle-class readers who may be fearful of a workers' revolution.
Alton Locke; Social and Political Views; Social and Political Novel; Romantic Poets; Political thought, Influences on his.