|Adams, James Eli. “Pater’s Muscular Aestheticism,”
in Hall, Donald E. (ed.). Muscular Christianity: Embodying the Victorian
Age (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1994): 215-240.
Adams argues that though many would consider that the views of Kingsley
and Walter Pater have little in common and that much of Kingsley's muscularity
was antipathetic to Pater, the latter's thoughts on Greece bear strong
connections to Kingsley's muscular aesthetic of the male body. In
particular, Kingsley's muscular Christianity and celebration of the male
body in effect constituted "an essential precedent for Pater's aestheticism"
Walter Pater; Manliness;
Bloomfield, Anne. “Muscular
Christian or Mystic? Charles Kingsley Reappraised,” International Journal
of the History of Sport Vol. 11, No. 2 (August 1994): 172-190.
In her treatment of Kingsley’s role in the history of human movement,
sport, and aesthetic gymnastics, Bloomfield examines his mystical nature
and his changing views on the religiosity of body, mind and soul.
She also hypothesizes that Kingsley’s views were influenced by the work
of the Swedish philosopher Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772). She concludes
that Kingsley’s work in human movement must be viewed as being more significant
than his commonly accepted role in Muscular Christianity. “Kingsley
possessed a deep commitment to the mystical aspects of Christianity as
well as its physical elements, and in terms of the philosophical development
of human movement this accords him a place uniting two important branches
of human movement, the sports ethic and the dance ethic, both of which
currently stand distanced and bifurcated at polemical points within a common
aesthetic field” (189).
Christianity; Swedenborg, Emanuel; Sport;
Buckton, Oliver S. “'An Unnatural State’: Gender
‘Perversion,' and Newman’s Apologia Pro Vita Sua,” Victorian
Studies Vol. 35, No. 4 (Summer 1992): 359-383.
Buckton contends that Kingsley’s profound antipathy to Newman stemmed
from more than his belief in Newman’s dishonesty. Kingsley also disliked
Newman's embracing of Romanism and what he felt to be Newman's sexual ambiguity.
Moreover, Kingsley’s attitude, argues Buckton, represented opinions widespread
in Victorian society. “One is . . . justified in taking Kingsley’s
views on religious faith, sexual behavior, and gender roles (such as 'manliness')
as more broadly representative of mainstream British society, at
the time of their conflict, than were Newman’s” (379).
Carpenter, Humphrey. “Parson
Lot Takes a Cold Bath: Charles Kingsley and The Water-Babies,” in
his Secret Gardens: A Study of the Golden Age of Children’s Literature
(Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1985): 23-43.
In this chapter Carpenter provides an overview of Kingsley’s life and
works. He suggests that Kingsley’s overt heterosexuality may not
have been so real as he indicates in his letters to his wife. He
praises The Water-Babies for its innovation and readability but
considers that it is also greatly muddled by its multitudinous social and
political commentaries. Quite different from anything else in the
history of children’s literature, declares Carpenter, “it was both brilliant
and a failure, self-contradictory, muddled, inspiring, sentimental, powerfully
argumentative, irrationally prejudiced, superbly readable” (24).
Chitty, Susan. The Beast and the Monk: A Life
of Charles Kingsley (New York: Mason/Charter, 1975).
For this excellent book-length biography of Kingsley Chitty had access
to three hundred love letters from Kingsley to Fanny that had hithertoo
not been viewed by anyone outside the family, as well as to a locked diary
kept by Fanny in Nice during her year's separation from Kingsley in 1843.
The latter contained some revealing, sexually charged drawings. Chitty
declares that it is because of these new sources "that the present biography
can claim to give a fuller and more intimate picture of Kingsley than any
that has till now appeared" (17).
Full Book Treatment;
and Political Views.
DeLaura, David J. “The Context of Browning’s
Painter Poems: Aesthetics, Polemics, Historics,” PMLA Vol. 95, No.
3 (May 1980): 367-388.
DeLaura contends that the neo-Catholic art thesis of Alexis François
Rio as set forth in his 1836 De la poésie chrétienne
is essential for an adequate interpretation of Robert Browning’s painter
poems of the 1840s and 1850s. He also discusses how Kingsley was
earlier influenced by Rio’s work and argues that Kingsley’s artistic views
and his rejection of the Rio thesis constituted an important source for
Browning’s artistic ideas. He examines the passage in Yeast
where Kingsley has Barnakill present a Protestant view of art and a repudiation
of the Roman Catholic approach to art. He also discusses Kingsley’s
treatment in Alton Locke where he “uses the context of painting
to develop the more positive aspect of the new Protestant aesthetic of
realism” (377). Moreover, DeLaura, in his examination of Kingley’s
review of Jameson’s 1849 Sacred and Legendary Art, sees his antipathy
to Rio’s Catholic view of art to have a strong sexual basis. In this
work his “tone of intense leering and almost scurrilous derision . . .
is a measure of how deeply disturbing and threatening Kingsley found the
new ‘ascetic’ rewriting of art history” (377).
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).
Haley, Bruce. The Healthy Body and Victorian
Culture (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1978).
Haley in discussing Kingsley's confrontation with Newman focuses on
his complex relationship with the notion of muscular Christianity.
Kingsley disliked the term and found offensive such critics as T. C. Sanders
and Fitzjames Stephen who stressed the "muscular" aspect of his Christianity.
Still, Kingsley strongly believed that the spiritual life was very compatible
with both a sexual and a vigorous, active, sporting life. Haley declares
that he found philosophical justification for this attitude in three of
Carlyle's theories: "the body is an expression of spirit, and therefore
the obedience to healthy impulse is a sign of constitutional harmony; the
state of health is a knowledge of the laws of nature and a compliance with
these laws; and heroism is a life of action made possible by observing
the laws of health" (111-112).
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"
Tragedy, The; Sexuality;
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).
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).
Newsome. David. Godliness and Good Learning:
Four Studies on a Victorian Ideal (London: Cassell, 1961).
Mention of Kingsley occurs frequently in Newsome’s work. Newsome
is particularly interested in Kingsley’s notion of manliness which he views
as being very similar to the robustness, feistiness and vigorous vitality
of thumos, as opposed to the higher excellence of arete,
equated by Coleridge with manliness. Newsome also stresses that Kingsley,
the first to combine manliness with godliness, considered manliness to
be “an antidote to the poison of effeminacy – the most insidious weapon
of the Tractarians – which was sapping the vitality of the Anglican Church”
(207). Manliness for Kingsley was using to the full all the qualities
with which God has endowed men, including the sexual function. That
is why Roman Catholicism’s celibacy provided strong evidence of that religion’s
lack of manliness and its consequent falling away from appropriate godliness.
Christianity; Sexuality; Celibacy;
Rosen, David. "The Volcano and the Cathedral: Muscular
Christianity and the Origins of Primal Manliness," in Hall, Donald E. (ed.).
Muscular Christianity: Embodying the Victorian Age (Cambridge, U.K.:
Cambridge University Press, 1994): 17-44.
David Rosen provides a lengthy analysis of the development of Kingsley's
views on muscular Christianity and manliness. He stresses that these were
complex, many sided notions and that Kingsley's views on these topics,
as well as his practical involvement in complementary areas, continuously
evolved throughout his life. Rosen argues that among the many influences
on Kingsley's concept of manliness was the notion of Platonic thumos
Kingsley considered was a primal manly force, the root of all virtue and
which was manifested through sex, fighting, and morality. Rosen contends
that Kingsley's views on manliness and related topics were highly influential
and that diverse notions of Anglo-American masculinity from the mid-nineteenth
century to the present owe much to Kingsley.
Christianity; Sexuality; Plato;
“'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;
Trevor, Meriol. Newman: Light in Winter
(London: Macmillan, 1962).
Trevor examines the Kingsley-Newman controversy paying particular attention
to Kingsley’s motives in instigating his attack. He considers that
Kingsley’s dislike of Newman stemmed from the early attraction Newman had
for his wife Fanny who intended to join Pusey’s sisterhood. Kingsley
had to win back his wife and depose Newman’s “authoritative image” (327).
Newman was quite unaware that to Kingsley there was a particularly personal
reason for linking virility with truth and cunning with virginity.
For Newman signified to Kingsley, who abhorred Catholic celibacy and the
notion of women choosing virginity, “a powerful father-figure withholding
desirable brides from ardent lovers by the mental bondage of the ideal
of celibacy”. This sexual connotation, according to Trevor, “explains
the passionate hatred evident on every page of the pamphlet in which he
set out to settle the score of twenty years” (328). Trevor also discusses
the reaction of the reviews and the periodicals to the controversy.
of Kingsley's Works.