Sanitation
Archer, Richard Lawrence.  Secondary Education in the Nineteenth Century (London: Cass, 1966).
Archer discusses the educational thought and practice of Kingsley and their subsequent influence on British education.  He stresses the connection for Kingsley between religion and education; both served the same end.  Moreover, science in the curriculum was essential and was in no respect against the teaching of religion.  His ideal of mens sana in corpore sano went hand in hand with his espousal of muscular Christianity.  He detested “the identification of bodily feebleness with spiritual strength” (200).  Archer also examines Kingsley’s important role in the sanitary movement and his work in having hygienic instruction in schools.

Education; Muscular Christianity; Sanitation; Science.
 

Barnard, H. C.  A History of English Education From 1760.  2nd ed.  (First published 1947) (London: University of London Press, 1961).
Barnard provides a very brief overview of Kingsley the educationist.  He declares that Kingsley was a strong advocate of science in the school curriculum and held that it complemented the study of religion.  Moreover, he was a firm believer that a knowledge of science was essential for progress in the hygienic and sanitary reform movement.

Education; Sanitation.
 

Cunningham, Valentine. "Soiled Fairy: The Water-Babies in its Time," Essays in Criticism Vol. XXXV, No. 2 (April 1985): 121-48.
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.

The Water-Babies; Social and Political Views; Fairy-Story Motifs; Sanitation; Cheap Clothes and Nasty; Glaucus; Religion.
 

Fasick, Laura.  "Charles Kingsley's Scientific Treatment of Gender," in Hall, Donald E. (ed.).  Muscular Christianity: Embodying the Victorian Age (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1994): 91-113.
Laura Fasick examines Kingsley's representations of women against the background of the age's scientific theories, considering that his depiction of disease, unsanitary conditions, and bodily ill-treatment in his novels represents an attempt to define strict gender distinctions.  She argues that "The 'factual' basis on which Kingsley founded his concern for the maintenance of distinct gender roles was not only scientifc, but specifically hygienic. . . . Kingsley is as obsessed with sexuality, for him sanctified by monogamous marriage, as with hygiene, and these interests effectively merge into one" (91).

Females; Sexuality; Sanitation; Science.
 

Findlay, Isobel M.  "Charles Kingsley," in Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 190: British Reform Writers, 1832-1914. Edited by Gary Kelly and Edd Applegate (Detroit: Gale, 1998): 145-159.
Findlay provides a bibliography of Kingsley’s own works, a short list of further secondary readings, an account of his life and writings with particular emphasis on his social and political views as expressed in his reformist works.  “The personal success that Charles Kingsley enjoyed within the Church and other established social institutions throughout his life did not prevent him from making important contributions to the cause of reform in England.  Although he has been often dismissed as a mere popularizer of the thinking of others, especially of Maurice, Kingsley achieved much though his parochial duties and his activities involving political organization, print culture, and education.  If he did not resolve contradictions at the heart of reform or reconstruct hierarchic notions of the healthy and unified social body, the power and particularity of his writing and public oratory nevertheless generated significant social change” (157).

Overview; Social and Political Views; Sanitation; Racial Prejudices.
 

Rapple, Brendan A.  “The Educational Thought of Charles Kingsley (1819-75),” Historical Studies in Education Vol. 9, No. 1 (Spring 1997): 46-64.
Rapple writes that though Kingsley’s educational works were not as considerable as those of such contemporaries as Kay-Shuttleworth, Matthew Arnold, Spencer, or Huxley, they were still significant.  However, they have generally received scant scholarly attention, with the exception of his muscular Christianity activities.  Contending that Kingsley the educationist requires a more complete treatment, Rapple, “as a vanguard to the needed account,” examines Kingsley’s “attitude to the young, his staunch belief that the State should be deeply implicated in the provision of education, the relation between Kingsley's 'Muscular Christianity' and his views on education, his fervent conviction that science should figure more noticeably in the curriculum, his belief that hygiene and sanitary knowledge should be universally taught, and his advocacy of female education at all levels” (47).

Education; Children; Christian Socialism; Muscular Christianity; Science; Sanitation; Females.
 

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).

The Water-Babies; Water Motif; Cleanliness; Sanitation; Religion; Social and Political Views.
 

Reboul, Marc.  “Charles Kingsley: The Rector in the City,” in Jean-Paul Hulin and Pierre Coustillas (eds.) Victorian Writers and the City (Lille: Publications de l'Université de Lille III, 1979): 41-72.
Reboul argues that Kingsley influenced by the Romantics and Neo-Platonic thought had come to regard contemporary city life to be the opposite of the Divine.  This view was reinforced by such experiences as the Bristol Riots of 1831, the 1849 cholera epidemic in London’s East End districts of Bermondsey and Jacob’s Island, and the appalling working conditions endured by tailors and others in London’s sweat shops.  Kingsley’s solution to the evils of city life involved an elimination of man’s exploitation of man and a Christianization and a humanization of the excesses of capitalism.  Above all, Kingsley, turning in his later years into an optimistic town-planner, viewed thorough sanitation reform as the vehicle that would rebuild cities in the image of God’s kingdom on earth.  Increasingly Kingsley believed “that man was now in a position to conquer and civilise Nature, to master his environment, and to lay the foundations of a new society, in which cities would no longer appear as diseased patches soiling the purity of the landscape, but as nuclei of organisation shining with all the brightness of their regenerated state” (62).

Christian Socialism; Sanitation; Capitalism; Town-planning.
 
 

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).

Overview; Sanitation; Social and Political Views; Religion; Education; Christian Socialism.

 

Return to Top