Brinton, Crane.  English Political Thought in the Nineteenth Century (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1954).
Brinton provides an overview of Kingsley’s life and his major social and political views.  While his Christian Socialism was by no means a system, Kingsley held that a Christian Socialist society would indeed be hierarchical where each one's place is determined by his moral value as well as democratic in the sense that each one's place has been allotted by God.  Brinton considers that Kingsley’s ideal society was based on older English societies where different social classes “were knit together by habits which were genuine human relationships”.  His “programme is singularly like that of Tory Democracy” (125).  Kingsley’s paternalism did not signify that he rejected competition.  Competition was good but workers must first be members of cooperative associations, an ideal similar to “modern guild Socialism” (126).  While Brinton considers that Kingsley’s achievements were not insignificant, his ideals based on his religious faith could accomplish little to improve the very practical ills of working class and under-privileged society.  “His God, his virtue, his England, made too many promises to the flesh – promises unfulfilled to the common man.  For the uncommon man, his faith was even more inadequate.  Taste and intellect alike recoil from the simplicities of a universe on the pattern of Eversley” (130).

Social and Political Views; Alton Locke; Christian Socialism; Religion; Science; Evolution; Democracy; Capitalism; Teutons.

Horsman, Reginald.  “Origins of Racial Anglo-Saxonism in Great Britain Before 1850,” Journal of the History of Ideas Vol XXXVII, No. 3 (July-September 1976): 387-410.
Discusses Kingsley’s frequent espousal of the Teutons and their society and his belief that they regenerated a degenerate Europe at the close of the Roman Empire.  He also mentions the racial prejudices of Kingsley, admirer and defender of Rajah Brooke, and his view that some races were better off dead.  Kingsley was sanguine that the Anglo-Saxons were spreading Teutonic virtues throughout the world and in so doing were enlarging the kingdom of God.  “The reign of world peace, order, and morality was to be established by the Anglo-Saxon-Teutonic Christians, and if necessary it was to be founded on the bodies of inferior races” (410).

Social and Political Views; Racial prejudices; Teutons; Anglo-Saxons.

Sanders, Andrew. “Last of the English: Charles Kingsley’s Hereward the Wake,” The Victorian Historical Novel, 1840-1880 (New York : 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).

Hereward the Wake; Novels; The Roman and the Teuton; Teutons; Anglo-Saxons; History

Return to Top