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 Old Rectory was the Kingsley’s home up to his death in 1875. Just fifty yards from St Mary’s it appears idyllic in this photograph which belies the chronic damp and cold they suffered there prompting them to escape for breaks away as often as they could.

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.

The clock is ticking

Countdown to the Charles Kingsley 200 festival

417Days 12Hours 42Minutes 19Seconds

The Charles Kingsley Society

The Committee  has  registered The Charles Kingsley Society as the formal name of the body that will run the  Charles Kingsley 200 Festival in 2019; and in addition other activities beyond the festival, so that there may be an enduring legacy, centred in Eversley, to celebrate his life and work.

Listed in Visit Hampshire

From Anthony Bateman

Many thanks for the update.  We have added a link to your website and some basic introductory content on Visit Hampshire website in our Famous People section

We’ll look to develop more content as your programme develops.  This can include specific events in our What’s On  when you have dates pinned down and more content on a specific page.

Andrew Bateman
Tourism Manager
Economy, Transport and Environment
Hampshire County Council

Dr Jonathan Conlin joins committee

Dr Jonathan Conlin BA Oxon MA PhD Cantab FRHistS FHA  has joined the committee to curate our planned series of Talks to be held during the festival.

Jon’s interest in Charles Kingsley led to his Hawarden workshop last July, where he gathered a   multinational group  academics  committed  to researching  the life of CK.

Jon is currently  a senior lecturer at Southampton University and a more detailed biography and list of published works can be found here.

Dr Conlin brings great insight and plenty of exciting ideas to our team and we are delighted that he has agreed to join the Charles Kingsley 200 project.

Peter Ormrod