Kingsley on Froude’s History of England

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A scan of the entire January 1864 number of Macmillan’s Magazine, with Kingsley’s famous review of Froude’s History of England, Vols. vii. – viii. (211-224) is available from archive.org. The slander of Newman that lead to the writing of the Apologia is on page 217.

It is remarkably fitting that Kingsley’s controversy with Newman began with his review of a History of Tudor England. Oddly enough, the history in question was by J. A. Froude, the violently anti-Catholic younger brother of Newman’s friend Richard Hurrell Froude. Kingsley begins his review with fulsome praise for the newly awakened historical consciousness of his generation. He even praises the Oxford Movement for contributing to knowledge of history. (212) But the effect of the praise is short lived as the rest of the review is concerned with attacking the view of British history which the Oxford Movement – and especially converts from it to “Romanism” – had developed. He analyzes the reign of Queen Elisabeth, which he reads as the story of the shaking off of the evil influence of Catholicism. He closes with an appeal to remember that Elisabeth’s cause was “the cause of freedom and of truth, which has led these realms to glory,” and a warning against the anti-English attitude of “those who have lately joined, or are inclined to join, the Church of Rome,” and are teaching the young to prefer “the cause of tyranny and of lies,” which Elisabeth opposed. “After all,” he closes, “Victrix Causa Diis placuit. ” It was a thought dear to his heart: the successful cause is right! (224)

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