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In 1850 Thomas Carlyle advised Charles Kingsley to "pay no attention at all to the foolish clamour of reviewers, whether laudatory or condemnatory" (LK 1: 245).' Kingsley had just published his first two novels, Alton Locke and Yeast; he thanked Carlyle for the advice and assured him that he would welcome the "folios of 'articulate wind"' not as inducements to improve his style or as coercion to accept the increasingly demanding artistic norms for the novel, but as vindications of his efforts to touch "some really deep cancer" in society (LK 1 :267). By the end of the decade, however, he sounded less sure of the direction he had taken, less confident that Carlyle had been the best of all possible literary mentors. "One is sickened by the futilities of critics," he writes in 1858. "Every one flatly contradicting the other, both when praising and when blaming! I never saw till now how worthless opinions of the press are . ... I long for a guide; but where is there one?" (LK 2: 55).
Hawley, J. C. (1992). Charles Kingsley and Literary Theory of the 1850’s. Victorian Literature and Culture 19, 167-88.