Last of the English: Charles Kingsley’s Hereward the Wake

  • Andrew Sanders


Charles Kingsley published six full-scale novels in the course of a career in which he managed to combine and confuse the roles of clergyman, poet, essayist, novelist, naturalist, socialist, social reformer, historian and tutor to the Prince of Wales. For each aspect of his life there is an appropriate, if unequal, literary expression. As an antagonistic reviewer of Westward Ho! grudgingly admitted in 1855, Kingsley was one of the most remarkable and voluminous writers of his age with, as he put it, ‘no small infusion of quicksilver’ in his veins.1


Small Infusion Real Weakness Literary Expression Norman Conquest National Epic 
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  1. 2.
    Frederic Harrison, ‘Charles Kingsley’s place in Literature’, The Forum (July 1895), p. 560.Google Scholar
  2. 7.
    Quoted by Guy Kendal in Charles Kingsley and his Ideas (London 1947), pp. 160–1.Google Scholar
  3. See also Fanny Kingsley’s Charles Kingsley: His Letters and Memories of his Life (Macmillan Edition, London 1894), Volume II, p. 344.Google Scholar

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© Andrew Leonard Sanders 1978

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  • Andrew Sanders

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