Charles Kingsley

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Kingsley, Charles,

1819–75, English author and clergyman. Ordained in 1842, he became vicar of Eversley in Hampshire in 1844. From 1848 to 1852 he published tracts advocating Christian socialismChristian socialism,
term used in Great Britain and the United States for a kind of socialism growing out of the clash between Christian ideals and the effects of competitive business.
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. These views were embodied in his first two novels, Alton Locke (1850) and Yeast (1851), both of which deal with contemporary social problems. In his subsequent novels, including Hypatia (1853), Westward Ho! (1855), and Hereward the Wake (1866), he used historical settings to communicate his ideas. A statement denigrating the Roman Catholic clergy, made by Kingsley in an article, started a controversy with John Henry NewmanNewman, SaintJohn Henry,
1801–90, English churchman, theologian, and writer, cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, one of the founders of the Oxford movement, b. London. Newman was canonized in 2019 by Pope Francis.
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 that resulted in Newman's famous Apologia. In 1859, Kingsley was made chaplain to Queen Victoria. From 1860 to 1869 he was professor of modern history at Cambridge and in 1873 was appointed canon of Westminster. Several collections of his sermons were published during his lifetime. Included among his other notable work is the well-known children's book The Water Babies (1863).


See Letters and Memories (ed. by his wife, 2 vol., 1877, repr. 1973); biographies by M. F. Thorp (1937, repr. 1969), U. Pope-Hennessy (1948, repr. 1973), and B. Colloms (1975); study by A. J. Hartley (1981); S. Harris, Charles Kingsley: A Reference Book (1981).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Kingsley, Charles


Born June 12, 1819, in Holne, Devonshire; died Jan. 23, 1875, in Eversley, Hampshire. English writer and publicist.

In the spirit of “Christian socialism,” Kingsley came out against the revolutionary current in Chartism. His novel Alton Locke (1850) shows the transformation of an active Chartist agitator into a meek reformer. Kingsley’s historical novels (for example, Hypatia, published in 1852–53; Russian translation, 1893) are directed against religious fanaticism and glorify the superiority of the Anglican Church over Catholicism. His novel Hereward the Wake (1866) is devoted to the history of the popular uprising against William the Conqueror in 1070. Kingsley also wrote sermons and lectures, as well as a collection of verses (1872).


The Life and Works, vols. 1–19. London, 1901–03.


Istoriia angliiskoi literatury, vol. 2, fasc. 2. Moscow, 1955.
Baldwin, S. E. Charles Kingsley. New York, 1934.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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This required the vilification of Charles Kingsley who, despite his participation in the demolition of Buckle, became the exemplification of everything a professional historian was not.
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Chapter Two, "Racist Rantings, Travellers' Tales, and a Creole Counterblast," deals with the impact on the British West Indies of racist ideas and writings by men such as James Froude, Thomas Carlyle, and Charles Kingsley. The caustic responses of West Indians to such biased writings provide the foundation of Creole nationalism.
Berry on the reception of Darwin's theory by both biologists and theologians, and another by Amy Laura Hall on Charles Kingsley's response--are exceptions to the strongly theological flavor evident in topics such as intelligent design, ecology, providence, the Fall and sin, ethics, evil, and the status of natural theology.
To exemplify the important Victorian quality of manliness, the father as 'omniscient guide,' Sanders cites Charles Kingsley, Christian Socialist and writer who saw himself as an educator (he and Richard Lovell Edgeworth being known for their authoritarian, educational children's books).
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1819: Charles Kingsley, the English clergyman who wrote The Water Babies, was born in Holne, Devon.