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.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: Facts About the Creator of Sherlock Holmes

Here are some facts about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a Scottish writer and doctor, born in May 1859 in Edinburgh. He is best known for creating the world’s most famous fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes.

  • He studied medicine for several years at the University of Edinburgh. Doyle later worked as a doctor on a Greenland whaling ship and a surgeon on a ship sailing to West Africa.
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle started writing short stories in his late teens.
  • The first Sherlock Holmes story,  A Study in Scarlet, was published in an 1886 magazine.
  • Sherlock Holmes, was based on a professor at Doyle’s university, Joseph Bell.
  • Doyle also wrote other books and short stories, including 3 Professor Challenger novels.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

  • Arthur Conan Doyle was more successful as a writer than as a doctor. His first medical partnership was a failure and when he set up his own eye care practice, he had no patients.
  • Doyle was interested in spiritualism and was a member of the ‘Ghost Club’. He believed that a photograph of fairies was real, and that the magician Houdini had supernatural powers.
  • He was a skilled golfer, footballer and cricketer. He was captain of his local golf club, and played in 10 first class matches for Marylebone Cricket Club.
  • Doyle twice ran for Parliament, but lost both times. He received a Knighthood for his writings on the Boer War, and he also helped to free two wrongly convicted men from prison.
  • At age 55, Doyle was too old to fight in World War I, so instead, he formed a battalion of volunteers. He also predicted the war with Germany several years before the war started.
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle died from a heart attack in July, 1930 and is buried in Minstead, Hampshire. There is a statue of Sherlock Holmes near his birthplace in Edinburgh.

What next? Discover some facts about other famous Victorians.

Charles Dickens: Interesting Facts and Information

Here are some interesting facts about the Victorian writer, Charles Dickens, the author of many classic novels, including, David Copperfield, Oliver Twist and Great Expectations. Often described as the ‘quintessential Victorian author’, Dickens’s stories are enjoyed just as much today as they were by his nineteenth century readership.

  • Charles Dickens was born on 7th February 1812 in Portsmouth.

  • Charles Dickens came from a poor family, but he was lucky enough to attend school.
  • Unfortunately, after his father was jailed for having ‘bad debts’, Charles Dickens was forced to leave school and start work in a blacking factory (a boot polish factory). He worked there for three years. The conditions were very poor and Charles Dickens suffered from loneliness.
  • Dickens started to write as a journalist. He contributed articles to journals called The Mirror of Parliament and The True Sun.
  • In 1833 he was employed as the parliamentary reporter for The Morning Chronicle newspaper. He also started to produce a series of sketches. He called himself Boz when he published these.
  • In 1836 Charles Dickens married Catherine Hogarth. She was the daughter of one of his editors, George Hogarth.
  • Later in 1836, a story by Dickens, The Pickwick Papers was published as a serial. This proved to be very popular and Dickens started to become famous.
  • Charles Dickens went on to produce a massive amount of material during his lifetime. He published fifteen novels, wrote hundreds of short stories and non-fiction pieces, lectured and performed both in England and in the United States, wrote plays, wrote thousands of letters and edited two journals.
  • After having ten children together, Charles Dickens and Catherine Hogarth separated in 1858. Dickens then had a relationship with Ellen Ternan, an actress.
  • Dickens was interested in the paranormal. He was a member of The Ghost Club.
  • In 1865 Charles Dickens was involved in the Staplehurst Rail Crash. His was the only first class carriage to avoid running off the tracks. Apparently, Dickens helped many of the wounded passengers before rescuers arrived.
  •  Charles Dickens died on 9th June 1870. He suffered a stroke after completing a full day’s work on his novel in progress, Edwin Drood. He was buried in Poet’s Corner of Westminster Abbey.
  • Charles Dickens has appeared on the British £10 note.

Charles Dickens £10 note


The Novels of Charles Dickens

Here is a list of the novels written by Charles Dickens. Many of these were first published as a serial – the stories came out chapter by chapter (just like the episodes of a television series).

  • The Pickwick Papers
  • The Adventures of Oliver Twist
  • The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby
  • The Old Curiosity Shop
  • Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of Eighty
  • A Christmas Carol
  • The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit
  • The Chimes
  • The Cricket on the Hearth
  • The Battle of Life
  • Dombey and Son
  • The Haunted Man and the Ghost’s Bargain
  • David Copperfield
  • Bleak House
  • Hard Times: For These Times
  • Little Dorrit
  • A Tale of Two Cities
  • Great Expectations
  • Our Mutual Friend
  • The Mystery of Edwin Drood (never completed by Dickens)

Charles Dickens

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