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Visions and Revisions

Studies in Literature and Culture


Edited By Grzegorz Czemiel, Justyna Galant, Anna Kędra-Kardela, Aleksandra Kędzierska and Marta Komsta

Collected under the theme of Visions and Revisions, the papers included in this volume examine different aspects of literature and culture of the Anglophone world. The first part gathers articles dealing with poetry of such epochs as the seventeenth century, the Victorian era and the modern times. Part two focuses on prose works representing such conventions and modes as the romance, the Gothic novel, the condition of England novel, Victorian and neo-Victorian fiction, the science fiction novel and gay fiction. Part three concerns various aspects of British and American culture, including the new media, drama and journalism, and advertising. In its diversity the volume reflects the dynamics of change in literature and culture, enabling the readers to investigate the multifaceted canon.
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The Vision of Brotherhood of Man in Charles Kingsley’s Novel Alton Locke

← 122 | 123 →Aleksandra Krajewska


A true polymath, clergyman, scholar, poet, novelist, essayist, social activist and natural historian – not every Victorian man of letters was as farseeing and open-minded as Charles Kingsley. He was shaped by two sources: faith and knowledge. As a clergyman he strongly believed in the righteousness of God’s laws and as an academic he admired the achievements in the world of science and technology. As Alan Rauch argues, Kingsley did not perceive those disciplines as antithetical, on the contrary, for him they were “the evidence not only of the existence of God but of a man’s special place in the ‘creation’” (Rauch 1993, 197) and in the world. What characterized this talented man was his faith in human beings, in their abilities, skills and above all, their capability to do good. He was able to see that the times he was living in were revolutionary in many different fields and aspects of life, the academic disciplines were expanding, the standards of life, health and hygiene were rising and that the pace of life was increasing. Simultaneously, new opportunities arose for entrepreneurial individuals who sought fortune in new industries. However, during that era of change and progress, there was also a large group of underprivileged British citizens whose financial and professional situation was unstable – the working class. Kingsley, who was famous for his sympathy towards the poor, could not stay silent in the face of human misery; hence, to express his concern, in 1850 he published a novel entitled Alton Locke: Tailor...

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