Life of Charles Kingsley


SKU: 000090 Categories: ,


[000090] Kingsley, Mrs. (Ed), Charles Kingsley – His Letters and Memories of His Life, Henry S. King and Co., London, 1877, Reprint, Good+. Half Calf and Boards, 8vo, Two volumes complete – Volume One – xii, 502pp and Volume Two – x, 496pp.

Uniform half-calf and boards, contrasting leather author / volume labels to spines, raised bands, gilt decoration to spines, all edges marbled, marbled endpapers.

Externally slightly rubbed to extremities, generally very good, internally some browning and off setting to prelims including title and portrait frontispieces, otherwise internally fairly bright and clean.

“The sheer variousness of Kingsley’s career affected his reputation in his own time and subsequently. He did many interesting things in a short lifetime, but few of them supremely well and almost none without controversy. His Christian socialism attracted notice in France and Germany as well as in Britain, though his politics have satisfied neither radicals nor conservatives. He was outstanding as a parish clergyman, though increasingly absent from his parish. The popular preacher, the historian, and the scientific popularizer were soon forgotten. The churchman was recalled, rather unfairly, only as Newman’s luckless antagonist. Kingsley the novelist has fared better: he is still remembered as a children’s writer, mainly for The Water-Babies. Westward Ho! and Hereward the Wake, like The Water-Babies, have been frequently reprinted and adapted, and have survived, a little precariously, as juvenile classics. Alton Locke has retained a more specialised academic readership as a Victorian ‘social-problem’ novel. Literary criticism has become more tolerant of Kingsley’s eccentricities of form and vivid incoherence, if not of his outlook on race, class, and gender. Historians of literature, sexuality, and social movements continue to be interested in his work” (Oxford DNB)