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After being chased from the home of an upper-class young girl called Ellie, chimney-sweep Tom falls asleep and tumbles into a river. There he is transformed into a 'water-baby' and his adventures truly begin. Beneath the surface, he enters a magical world full of strange and wonderful creatures, where he must prove his moral worth in order to earn what he truly desires.
One of the most unusual children's books ever written, The Water-Babies, subtitled 'A Fairy Tale for a Land-Baby', was originally intended as a satire in support of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species, and explores many of the issues at the forefront of biologists' minds at the time. First published as a complete novel in 1863, Charles Kingsley's classic tale also explores ideas about religion, the Victorian education system and the working conditions of children and the poor.
With glorious black and white illustrations by W. Heath Robinson and an introduction by author and journalist Christina Hardyment. Designed to appeal to the book lover, the Macmillan Collector's Library is a series of beautiful gift editions of much loved classic titles. Macmillan Collector's Library are books to love and treasure.
About the Author
Charles Kingsley was born in Holne, Devon, in 1819. He was educated at Bristol Grammar School and Helston Grammar School, before moving on to King's College London and the University of Cambridge. After graduating in 1842, he pursued a career in the clergy and in 1859 was appointed chaplain to Queen Victoria. The following year he was appointed Regius Professor of Modern History at Cambridge, and became private tutor to the Prince of Wales in 1861. Kingsley resigned from Cambridge in 1869 and between 1870 and 1873 was canon of Chester cathedral. He was appointed canon of Westminster cathedral in 1873 and remained there until his death in 1875.
Sympathetic to the ideas of evolution, Kingsley was one of the first supporters of Darwin's On the Origin of Species (1859), and his concern for social reform was reflected in The Water-Babies (1863). Kingsley also wrote Westward Ho! (1855), for which the English town is named, a children's book about Greek mythology, The Heroes (1856), and several other historical novels.
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