Books Should Be Free
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

Yeast: a Problem   By: (1819-1875)

Book cover

In Yeast: a Problem by Charles Kingsley, readers are introduced to a thought-provoking narrative set against the backdrop of societal and religious upheaval in mid-19th-century England. While Kingsley, best known for his novel The Water-Babies, explores a wide range of themes within this book, it is mainly focused on bringing attention to the moral and social issues plaguing Victorian Britain.

Kingsley's protagonist, Alton Locke, serves as a symbolic representation of the working-class struggles faced during this period. Through Alton's journey, the author sheds light on the harsh realities of poverty and the oppressive conditions that existed within the industrial world. Kingsley masterfully intertwines historical events, such as the Chartist Movement and the Irish Potato Famine, seamlessly blending them with intricate character development.

The author's writing style is captivating and offers a nuanced exploration of various ideologies prevalent during the time. Religious tensions between Christianity and secularism play a significant role in shaping the narrative, with Kingsley delving into the conflicts between traditional Anglicanism and emerging forms of religious thought. Through Alton's spiritual evolution, the novel also addresses the challenges of finding individual faith amidst a society torn between skepticism and dogma.

Aside from its exploration of complex societal issues, Yeast: a Problem also touches upon the delicate subject of gender roles and relationships. Kingsley confronts the limitations placed upon women by a male-dominated society, highlighting the suffocating effects of the Victorian-era "Angel in the House" ideal. The female characters within the novel are not mere plot devices; they possess their own agency and provide essential perspectives on the themes of class, religion, and love.

Although Kingsley's narrative can, at times, be dense and heavy with political and social commentary, it is also replete with moments of poetic beauty and insight. The language is evocative, transporting the reader to the gritty streets of London or the idyllic landscapes of the countryside. By juxtaposing these contrasting settings, the author vividly portrays the stark disparities within British society, underlining the urgency for change and reform.

Yeast: a Problem remains a relevant and thought-provoking novel, despite being over a century and a half old. Charles Kingsley's ability to address widespread social issues through a compelling narrative is commendable. This book serves as a valuable historical document, offering readers a glimpse into the struggles and aspirations of the working class during a significant period of British history. Whether studied as a piece of social commentary or enjoyed as a literary work, Yeast: a Problem is a powerful and enduring novel that invites reflection on the impact of societal unrest and the resilience of the human spirit.

First Page:

Transcribed by David Price, email



This book was written nearly twelve years ago; and so many things have changed since then, that it is hardly fair to send it into the world afresh, without some notice of the improvement if such there be which has taken place meanwhile in those southern counties of England, with which alone this book deals.

I believe that things are improved. Twelve years more of the new Poor Law have taught the labouring men greater self help and independence; I hope that those virtues may not be destroyed in them once more, by the boundless and indiscriminate almsgiving which has become the fashion of the day, in most parishes where there are resident gentry. If half the money which is now given away in different forms to the agricultural poor could be spent in making their dwellings fit for honest men to live in, then life, morals, and poor rates, would be saved to an immense amount. But as I do not see how to carry out such a plan, I have no right to complain of others for not seeing.

Meanwhile cottage improvement, and sanitary reform, throughout the country districts, are going on at a fearfully slow rate. Here and there high hearted landlords, like the Duke of Bedford, are doing their duty like men; but in general, the apathy of the educated classes is most disgraceful... Continue reading book >>

eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book

Popular Genres
More Genres
Paid Books