Charles Kingsley, British author and clergyman, c 1860-1875.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Portrait photograph of Kingsley (1819-1875), set against a Jamaican landscape titled 'Blue Mountain Peak and Cane Fields'. An Anglican priest, Kingsley was a founding member of the Christian Socialist movement and a supporter of Darwin's (1809-1882) theory of evolution. He believed in trying to improve the lot of the poor, and one of his best known works, 'The Water Babies' (1863), describes the hard life of child chimney-sweeps. Other well-known works include 'Westward Ho!' and 'Hereward the Wake'. The Jamaican landscape is posibly a reference to the Morant Bay rebellion in 1865. The Governor of Jamaica, John Eyre (1815-1901) brutally suppresed a slave revolt, and Kingsley was one of his supporters. Charles Darwin was a critic of Eyre's brutality.