Charles Kingsley Society is now a registered charity

Extract from the Charity Commission communication




We are satisfied that CHARLES KINGSLEY SOCIETY is a charity and it has been entered onto the Register of Charities with the Registered Charity Number 1178866.

Our decision

The decision to register was based on our assessment of the information supplied during the application process and the declarations given in the trustee declaration form and we are satisfied that CHARLES KINGSLEY SOCIETY is established for charitable purposes only for the public benefit.


CK200 launch party

Sculptor Jim Poolman with guests at St Mary’s

Our irrepressible chairman, David Lister


Dr Jon Conlin with Denise Prentice
During the presentation held in the side chapel.
Guests admiring “The Sweep” by Jim Poolman, displayed temporarily outside the church gate

Towards the end of the evening, guests enjoyed a perfect view of the festival site.

Festival launch party

Festival launch party

 Tuesday  12 June at 7pm, St Mary’s, Eversley

All are welcome to our event to see what is planned for the CK200 festival next  14-15 June 2019
An opportunity to discuss ,  suggest and become involved  in  Eversley’s big event next year.

Free but tickets available here

Or call Sharon Elliott 07843 091950

Emma, Queen of the Sandwich Islands

This remarkable woman visited Kingsley at Eversley in 1865.  We hope to provide  a presentation about her during the festival and the common interests this very accomplished and progressive woman shared with Kingsley.

From a contemporary account:

“She was different from any of her contemporaries. Emma is Emma is Emma. There’s no one like her. A devout Christian who chose to be baptized in the Anglican church in adulthood, and a typically Victorian woman who wore widow’s weeds, gardened, drank tea, patronized charities and gave dinner parties, she yet remained quintessentially Hawaiian. She wrote exquisite chants of lament in Hawaiian, craved Hawaiian food when she was away from it, loved to fish, hike, ride and camp out (activities she kept up to the end of her life) and, throughout her life, took very seriously her role as a protector of the people’s welfare. In a way, she was a harbinger of things to come in terms of Hawaii’s multi-ethnic, multi-cultural society. You have to be impressed with her eclecticism — spiritually, emotionally and physically. She was kind of our first renaissance queen.”[3]

Scenes from Eversley

The Mount – a hillock opposite Kingsley’s home at The Old Rectory . The Giant Sequoia was brought back by Rose Kingsley as a fir cone from the United States and planted by her after her father’s death.


The Chimney Sweep

Jim Poolman in his studio completing his commissioned work for the Festival.

The scene is a fireplace framed by a surround of  beams reclaimed from old sailing barges as was the tradition.
A young sweep supports himself  as he retches onto a mound of soot which he has just dislodged.
The Chimney Sweep by Jim Poolman is a thought-provoking work with plenty of narrative as well as artistic depth. Material is steel, horseshoes, old bolts and nails sourced from local Hampshire farms. The texture comes from the  innovative application of a Mig welder.


To all my family, friends, colleagues and parishioners,

Very exciting news to report. I am to be in a play, a drama entitled #realCharlesKingsley, which will be presented during  my birthday celebrations next year  in Eversley.

The dramatic work will take the form of a one man show, wherein I shall discuss and (I hope) illuminate some of the very many ideas concerning me. It makes use of a novel device, viz. tweeting, which I am reliably informed will convey my conversations at lightning speed. You can follow me, I am advised,   here:


The Chester Society of Natural Science

Check out our new post in the library section – it is  an 1911 account of the history of, and Kingsley’s important involvement with, the Chester Society of Natural Science. As with everything he did, his huge energy and enthusiasm is evident as is the extraordinary range of his interests. We thank Dr Jane  Ford for this link. Jane has an interest in Lucas Malet and we may hear more about this later.
Peter Ormrod



Eversley’s forgotten feminist – Lucas Malet, aka Mary Kingsley

Lucas Malet was the pseudonym of Mary St Leger Kingsley, Charles Kingsley’s second daughter.  A successful and well-regarded author, her literary sales funded the building of “Keys” for her sister Rose Kingsley and the “Orchard”, her home in Eversley.

We are indebted to Dr Peter Covey-Crump who  has communicated  this interesting note regarding Mary Kingsley:

“May I suggest that you consider including something about CK’s younger daughter Mary St Leger Harrison, who, under the pseudonym of Lucas Malet, wrote best-selling novels. The profits of these enabled her to purchase The Keys and The Orchard in Eversley where she and her elder sister Rose lived. Her contemporary critics regarded her as the successor to George Eliot and described her as the equal of Thomas Hardy and Henry James. Indeed Thomas Hardy based Jude the Obscure on the main character in her book The Wages of Sin. Possibly her best book The History of Sir Richard Calmady is set in Eversley and the immediate surroundings, and Sir Richard’s mansion is based on Bramshill Park”.

Carissma – a modern grotesque A very remarkable book, deserving of critical analysis impossible within our limit ; brilliant, but not superficial ; well considered, but not elaborated ; constructed with the proverbial art that conceals, but yet allows itself to be enjoyed by readers to whom fine literary method is a keen pleasure.’— The World.


Lucas Malet was the pseudonym of Mary St Leger Kingsley (4 June 1852 — 1931), a Victorian novelist. Of her novels, The Wages of Sin (1891) and The History of Sir Richard Calmady (1901) were especially popular.[1] Malet scholar Talia Schaffer notes that she was “widely regarded as one of the premier writers of fiction in the English-speaking world”[2] at the height of her career, but her reputation declined by the end of her life and today she is rarely read or studied. At the height of her popularity she was “compared favourably to Thomas Hardy, and Henry James, with sales rivalling Rudyard Kipling.”Malet’s fin de siecle novels offer “detailed, sensitive investigations of the psychology of masochism, perverse desires, unconventional gender roles, and the body.”[4]

She is regarded by some present-day historians as being one of the founders of  feminist aesthetics and ideologies. (Peter Ormrod)

Jim Poolman – sculpture commissioned

Eversley’s native sculptor seated on one of his unique creations – the fan assisted rocking-chair made from recycled steel and horseshoes

Jim Poolman, a long-time resident of Eversley,  has agreed to undertake a commission for the 2019 Festival based on The Water-Babies. Materials are sourced from the local area and his previous works have often made use of horseshoes, sometimes many thousands, welded together to create strikingly original sculptures. The finished work will be ready for the June 2019 opening and be sited at a location where visitors and passers-by shall be able to enjoy it.