While Charles Kingsley’s novel

Alton Locke, Tailor and Poet: An Autobiography

(1850) is little-known to today’s readers, it still enjoys a reputation among scholars. The novel is included in anthologies and companions to Victorian literature as an example of the Condition-of-England novel. This genre, also known as the social problem novel, is linked to the plight of the working class and the ensuing political agitation during the 1830s and 1840s, of which the Chartist movement was the most prominent. The term “condition of England” was adapted from Thomas Carlyle’s work on


(1840). Other examples of this genre include Elizabeth Gaskell’s

Mary Barton

(1848) and Benjamin Disraeli’s

Sybil, or The Two Nations


Charles Kingsley’s social problem novel is addressed

2154 words

Citation: Wiedemann, Julia. "Alton Locke". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 13 July 2022 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=6750, accessed 29 May 2024.]

6750 Alton Locke 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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