Charles Kingsley: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Charles Kingsley.

  • Charles Kingsely was born in Holne, Devon on 12 June 1819.

  • He studied at King’s College London and at Magdalene College, Cambridge.
  • Like his father, he decided to pursue a career in the church, and in 1844 he became the rector of Eversley, Hampshire.
  • In 1859, Charles Kingsley was made chaplain to Queen Victoria.

Charles Kingsley

  • In 1860 he became a professor of modern history at the Univeristy of Cambridge.
  • He was a member of the 1866 Edward Eyre Defence Committe with Charles Dickens, Alfred Lord Tennyson and others.
  • Many of his books are influenced by his interest in history. The Heroes, published in 1856, was a book on Ancient  Greek mythology, and Hypatia, Hereward the Wake and Westward Ho!, were all historical novels.
  • He was a supporter of Charles Darwin and he was sent an early copy of On the Origin of Species.
  • One of his most well-known works was The Water-Babies, A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby.
  • A village near Bideford, Devon was named Westward Ho! after Chrales Kingsley’s novel in an attempt to attract tourists to the area. It is the only UK place name to include and exclamation mark.
  • An animated film of The Water Babies was released in 1978 starring James Mason and Bernard Cribbins. It has also been adapted for the stage and turned into a radio play.
  • His final novel was Hereward the Wake, a story about the passing of the Anglo-Saxon age and the Norman invasion of  England.
  • He published more than thirty volumes of work ranging from novels to poetry, from history to religious articles.
  • Charles Kingsley died on 23 January 1875.

What now? Learn more about other famous authors, or discover facts about other famous Victorians.