Baptizing the Victorian Epimetheus

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Les Éditions Bellarmin


If anyone was a "representative " Victorian, it was surely Charles Kingsley. This was certainly the case in his enduring interest in pure science and in its increasingly exciting technological applications during his life. Maturing in what the North British Review in 1859 described as "the age of classification," Kingsley showed a great interest in collecting biological specimens and accumulating statistics. He subsequently gained a reputation in scientific circles as a reasonably enlightened cleric, one who was not so obviously threatened by their work. In the realm of technology and commerce he also appeared, to many, as bullish, joining in Carlyle's call to the Captains of Industry to help revitalize their nation. But, more like Carlyle than Macaulay, his notion of renewal was finally spiritual rather than financial, and that essential aspect of his public persona has been overlooked.