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, John Henry,
1801–90, English churchman, cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, one of the founders of the Oxford movement, b. London. Early Life and Works
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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).

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.