The Water-Babies (The World's Classics)

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9780192822383: The Water-Babies (The World's Classics)

The Water-Babies (1863) has claim to being the most peculiar book ever to achieve the status of a children's classic. The story follows Tom in his land-life as a climbing boy for a chimney sweep and in his after-life as a water-baby, where he gains redemption from selfishness as well as from drudgery. On top of this fantasy Kingsley grafts a series of digressions and comic asides, through which he comments on a range of contemporary issues.
This is the first edition to explore fully Kingsley's text, its variants, and its iconography, and to annotate the many references which enrich the story.

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From the Back Cover:

Among the most popular children’s books of the Victorian period, The Water-Babies continues to delight readers of all ages. It tells the story of a young boy named Tom, who escapes his harsh life as a chimney sweep by being transformed into a “water-baby.” His adventures underwater introduce him to strange animals, gentle fairies, and exotic seascapes, and Kingsley frequently digresses from the mythical narrative with his commentary on political and scientific topics. Many of Linley Sambourne’s remarkable illustrations from the 1886 edition are included in the text of the novel.

This Broadview edition reproduces the first edition of The Water-Babies, published in 1863. The appendices include a broad selection of other 19th-century children’s literature and excerpts from Kingsley’s essays on evolution, hygiene, and education.

About the Author:

CHARLES KINGSLEY (1819-1875), born in Devonshire, England, was a clergyman, novelist, and poet who began writing when he was five years old. He was much involved in the social reform movements of his time. His best-known works are Westward Ho! and the children's fantasy The Water-Babies.

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Kingsley, Charles
Published by Oxford University Press (1995)
ISBN 10: 0192822381 ISBN 13: 9780192822383
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ISBN 10: 0192822381 ISBN 13: 9780192822383
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