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Reporting the Death of Charles Kingsley: The Early Biographical Reaction in Newspapers and Magazines

Jan Marten Ivo Klaver


There has long been a lively academic interest in the Victorian author, Christian Socialist and Church of England priest Charles Kingsley. Yet it is only as a minor author that he takes his place in English Literature. As a thinker he is hardly influential today, and as a consequence his works are little read by the general public. Apart from his children’s book The Water-Babies, few of his published works are still in print. But what were the assessments of his importance in the weeks following his death? What did his contemporaries think of a man who during his life was a most influential, and often very controversial, public figure? This essay looks at the reactions in the obituaries that appeared all over the world in the first weeks following Kingsley’s death. These publications are a measure of what people in 1875 thought were his best works and his main qualities, thus revealing to what extent, at the time of his demise, his contemporaries still thought him representative of their generation.


Charles Kingsley; biography; obituaries

Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/ling-2018-002-klav

Copyright (©) 2019 Jan Marten Ivo Klaver – Editorial format and Graphical layout: copyright (©) LED Edizioni Universitarie


Linguæ & - Rivista di lingue e culture moderne
Registered by Tribunale di Milano (06/04/2012 n. 185)
Online ISSN 1724-8698 - Print ISSN 2281-8952

Dipartimento di Scienze della Comunicazione, Studi Umanistici e Internazionali: Storia, Culture, Lingue, Letterature, Arti, Media
Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo

Editor-in-Chief: Roberta Mullini
Editorial Board: Maurizio Ascari - Stefano Beretta - Antonio Bertacca- Tania Collani - Chiara Elefante - Marina Guglielmi - Maryline Heck - Richard Hillman - Reinhard Johler - Stephen Knight - Cesare Mascitelli - Sonia Massai - Aurélie Moioli - Maria de Fátima Silva - Bart Van Den Bossche 

Editorial Staff: Margaret Amatulli - Alessandra Calanchi - Riccardo Donati - Ivo Klaver  - Massimiliano Morini - Antonella Negri - Luca Renzi

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