Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Ohio University Press


In 1859 the Saturday Review was one of the first journals to associate Charles Kingsley with a "younger generation of writers of fiction" who fostered the sentiment that "power of character in all its shapes goes with goodness." "Who does not know," the reviewer asked, "all about the 'short, crisp, black hair,' the 'pale but healthy complexion,' the 'iron muscles,' 'knotted sinews,' 'vast chests,' 'long and sinewy arms,' 'gigantic frames,' and other stock phrases of the same kind which always announce, in contemporary fiction, the advent of a model Christian hero?"1 After Kingsley's death in 187 5, however, Henry James and others spoke up in his defense and correctly identified the novelist George Lawrence, considered by many to be Kingsley's literary disciple, as the real proponent of the brutes commonly called "Muscular Christians."2 Kingsley himself had something much more human in mind, and it was an ideal he preached not only to men but also to women.

Chapter of

Victorian Scandals


Kristine Ottesen Garrigan


Copyright © 1992 Ohio University Press. Reprinted with permission.



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