The Saint's Tragedy
Brewer, Elizabeth.  “Morris and the ‘Kingsley Movement',” The Journal of the William Morris Society Vol. IV, No. 2 (Summer 1980): 4-17.
Brewer examines the possible influence Kingsley’s works may have had on Morris.  She believes that it is very difficult to specify categorically that there was a direct influence, though there are many instances where the thought of both men overlapped. She discusses, among others, the attack on celibacy and asceticism in The Saint’s Tragedy and Hypatia; Kingsley’s stress on the importance of the environment in Yeast; the socio-political ideas pervading Alton Locke; Kingsley’s belief in the value of art, an awareness of one's heritage, and the pleasures of rural life to the ordinary working man; the use of the dream device in Alton Locke; the romance as well as the Norse element of Hypatia.

Morris, William; Saint’s Tragedy, The; Hypatia; Alton Locke; Westward Ho!; Yeast; Celibacy; Social and Political Views.
 

Coles, Nicholas.  "Charles Kingsley," in Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 32: Victorian Poets Before 1850. Edited by William E. Fredeman (Detroit: Gale, 1984): 182-190.
In this DLB chapter Coles provides an overview of Kingsley’s life interspersed with a review of his writings, particularly his poetry.  There is a bibliography of Kingsley’s own works together with a short secondary bibliography.  There are also several illustrations.  Coles writes that “Kingsley’s literary career was marked by oscillation among genres rather than by steady development: his dominant themes, however, remained constant.  He was only occasionally a poet and, after a bout of experimentation, worked most successfully in simple established forms.  His longest-lasting pieces were the lyrics which John Hullah set to music” (189).

Overview; Poetry; Saint’s Tragedey, The.
 

Courtney, Janet E.  “Charles Kingsley,” Fortnightly Review Vol. 105 (Jan-June 1919): 949-957.
In the centenary year of Kingsley’s birth Courtney offers a brief general outline of the author’s life and principal works.  She praises Kingsley’s historical novels for their readability though acknowledging the presence of many didactic passages.  She criticizes, however, the modern novels, i.e. Yeast, Two Years Ago, and Alton Locke for their old-fashionedness.  Their chief merit lies in their treatment of social questions rather in their literary skill.  On the other hand, Courtney lauds the children’s stories for their charm and ability to delight. Courtney also discusses the somewhat overlooked study of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, The Saint’s Tragedy (1848).  Though stressing the great interest and attention Kingsley paid to this early work, Courtney criticizes its pervasive didacticism.  “It is a sermon against monkishness and in praise of wedded love, more interesting to read, no doubt, than Kingsley’s sermons strictly so-called, but it does not differ from them essentially” (954).

Overview; Saint’s Tragedy, The; Social and Political Novel.
 

Hawley, John C., S.J. “Newman the Novelist,” America Vol. 163, No. 18 (Dec 8, 1990): 455-457.
Hawley contrasts the opinions of Kingsley and Newman on marriage, sexuality, and celibacy especially as these are presented in their literary works. "In Loss and Gain and Callista Newman enshrined celibacy as a prophetic witness to the spiritual life.  Kingsley countered in his seven novels with his enshrinement of marriage as the highest Christian vocation, and coupled his praise with portrayals of celibate men and women who were fearful, untrustworthy and effeminate" (457).

Newman; Hypatia; Saint's Tragedy, The; Sexuality; Celibacy.
 

Seaver, George.  Charles Kingsley: Poet (Folcroft Library Editions, 1973).
This is a short volume, about forty pages, examining Kingsley's poetry. Seaver declares that his poetic output cannot be considered great either for its output or for its quality.  Still, he praises much of his poetry and argues that "it has its own distinctive note: among the minor poets of our language he stands high" (3-4).  Seaver also lauds the poetic nature of Kingsley's prose; much is "prose-poetry".  In fact, his quality as a poet may be especially seen in his pen-pictures of nature and scenery in his Prose Idylls and in his novels.  However, Seaver concludes that the main interest will abide in Kingsley the man rather than Kingsley the poet.

Overview; Poetry; Prose Rhythm; Saint's Tragedy, The.


Return to Top