Charles Kingsley : as University Professor

Also Read

      Charles Kingsley (1819-1875) was a Devonshire man, being born at Holne and brought up at Clovelly. He completed his education at Cambridge (1842), where he was very successful as a student, and took orders. During his early manhood he was a strenuous Christian Socialist, and for the first few years of his curacy he devoted himself to the cause of the poor. All his life was spent, first as curate and then as rector, at Eversley, in Hampshire. In the course of time his books brought him: honours, including the professorship of history at Cambridge and a chaplaincy to the Queen.

Kingsley first novels, Alton Locke, Tailor and Poet (1850), and Yeast, a Problem (first published in Fraser's Magazine in 1848), deal in a robust fashion with the social questions of his day. They are crude in their methods, but they were effective both as fiction and social propaganda.
Charles Kingsley

      Kingsley first novels, Alton Locke, Tailor and Poet (1850), and Yeast, a Problem (first published in Fraser's Magazine in 1848), deal in a robust fashion with the social questions of his day. They are crude in their methods, but they were effective both as fiction and social propaganda. Hypatia, or New Foes with an Old Face (1853), has for its theme the struggle between early Christianity and intellectual paganism; in workmanship: it is less immature, but the cruelly tragic conclusion mado it less popular than the others. Westward Ho! (1855), a tale of the good old days of Queen Elizabeth, marks the climax of his career as a novelist. At first the book strikes the reader as being wordy and diffuse, and all through it is marred with much tedious abuse of Roman Catholics; but once the tale roams abroad into exciting scenes it moves with a buoyant zest, and reflects with romantic exuberance the spirit of the early sea-rovers. Two Years Ago (1857) and Hereward the Wake, 'Last of the English' (1866) did not recapture the note of their great predecessor.

      Kingsley excels as the manly and straightforward story-teller. His characters, though they are clearly stamped and visualized, lack delicacy of finish, yet they suit his purpose excellently. In treatment he revels in a kind of lord description which is not always successful.

      As a poet Kingsley achieved some remarkable results, especially in his short poems. Of these a few, including the familiar Sands of Dee, The Three Fishers, and Airly Beacon, are of the truly lyrical cast: short, profoundly passionate, and perfectly phrased. In his longer works, such as his poetical drama, The Saint's Tragedy (1848), his hand is not nearly so sure. Kingsley could write also a rhythmic Semi-poetical prose, as is seen in his book of stories from the Greek myths called The Heroes (1856) and to a less degree in his delightful fantasy The Water Babies (1863).

Post a Comment

If you have any doubts, let me know

Previous Post Next Post

Search Your Question Here