Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Kingsley, Henry

KINGSLEY, HENRY (1830–1876), novelist, third son of the Rev. Charles Kingsley, and younger brother of Charles Kingsley [q. v.] and George Henry Kingsley [q. v.], was born at Barnack, Northamptonshire, on 2 Jan. 1830. He was educated at King's College, London, and at Worcester College, Oxford, where he matriculated 6 March 1850. He left college in 1853 to go to the Australian goldfields with some fellow-students. After five years' desultory and unremunerative employment he returned to England, and soon afterwards made himself known by the spirited and successful novel, ‘Geoffrey Hamlyn,’ in which his Australian experience was turned to account. It was followed in 1861 by ‘Ravenshoe,’ which also made its mark, and afterwards by many others. In 1864 he married his second cousin, Sarah Maria Kingsley, and settled at Wargrave, near Henley-on-Thames. He was afterwards for eighteen months editor of the ‘Edinburgh Daily Review,’ an organ of the free church. During his editoreditorship the Franco-German war broke out, and Kingsley went out as correspondent for his paper. He was present at the battle of Sedan (1 Sept. 1870), and was the first Englishman to enter the town afterwards. After giving up the paper he settled for a time in London, and renewed his work as a novelist. He subsequently retired to the Attrees, Cuckfield, Sussex, where he died of a cancer in the tongue after some months' illness on 24 May 1876.

Kingsley's works are:

  1. ‘The Recollections of Geoffrey Hamlyn,’ 3 vols. 1859.
  2. ‘Ravenshoe,’ 3 vols. 1862.
  3. ‘Austin Elliott,’ 2 vols. 1863 (French translation by Daurand Forgues, 1866).
  4. ‘The Hillyars and Burtons: a Story of two Families,’ 3 vols. 1865.
  5. ‘Leighton Court: a Country House Story,’ 2 vols. 1866.
  6. ‘Silcote of Silcotes,’ 3 vols. 1867.
  7. ‘Mademoiselle Mathilde,’ 3 vols. 1868.
  8. ‘Stretton,’ 3 vols. 1869.
  9. ‘Old Margaret,’ 2 vols. 1871.
  10. ‘The Lost Child’ (illustrated by L. Frölich), 1871.
  11. ‘The Boy in Grey,’ 1871.
  12. ‘Hetty, and other Stories,’ 1871.
  13. ‘The Harveys,’ 2 vols. 1872.
  14. ‘Hornby Mills, and other Stories,’ 1872.
  15. ‘Valentin: a French Boy's Story of Sedan,’ 1872.
  16. ‘Reginald Hetherege,’ 3 vols. 1874.
  17. ‘Number Seventeen,’ 2 vols. 1875.
  18. ‘The Grange Garden: a Romance,’ 3 vols. 1876.
  19. ‘Fireside Studies,’ 2 vols. 1876.

He also edited the Globe edition of ‘Robinson Crusoe’ in 1868, with a biographical introduction, and published in 1869 ‘Tales of Old Travels re-narrated.’

[Information from Mrs. Henry Kingsley.]

L. S.