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Science & Education

, Volume 21, Issue 7, pp 977–1013 | Cite as

Darwin’s Other Bulldog: Charles Kingsley and the Popularisation of Evolution in Victorian England

  • Piers J. HaleEmail author
Article

Abstract

The nineteenth-century Anglican Priest Charles Kingsley (1819–1875) was a significant populariser of Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection. Kingsley was successful in this regard because he developed such diverse connections throughout his career. In the 1840s he associated with Chartists and radical journalists; in the 1850s and 1860s he moved freely in scientific circles and was elected Fellow of the Linnean Society of London in 1856 and Fellow of the Geological Society of London in 1863. In 1859 he was appointed Chaplain in Ordinary to the Queen. In 1860 the Prince Consort was willing and able to secure Kingsley appointment as the Regius Professor of Modern History at Cambridge University and he subsequently became tutor to the Prince of Wales. Thereafter he was frequently invited into high Victorian Society. A friend of ‘Darwin’s Bulldog’ Thomas Huxley, of the eminent geologist Charles Lyell and a correspondent of Darwin, at every turn he sought to promote Darwin’s ideas as theologically orthodox, a life-long campaign in which he was eminently successful.

Keywords

Linnean Society Natural Theology Country House Liberal Theologian Prince Consort 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

I would like to thank John Beatty with whom I continue to have fruitful discussions about Kingsley’s theology, his science, and Water Babies, I am grateful too to the archivists at Imperial College London for their prompt and enthusiastic help in my research. Note: for the readers convenience when quoting or citing Kingsley’s correspondence I give the references to the Letters and Memories published by Kingsley’s wife. In instances where her text differs from the manuscript letter, or is only partially reproduced, I have given the reference to the British Library mss collection; the Darwin Correspondence; or the Huxley Papers.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of the History of ScienceUniversity of OklahomaNormanUSA

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