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 Water-Babies

Water-Babies

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Kingsley, Charles
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A handsome new edition of Kingsley's extraordinary children's fantasy, published to mark the 150th anniversary of first publication of The Water-Babies. Conventionally regarded as a children's book in its many abridged and expurgated versions, this edition reprints the original first edition text and explores the multiple facets of The Water-Babies: social polemic, topical satire, moral fable, evolutionary tract, naturalist's handbook, and fairy tale. Introduction by Robert Douglas-Fairhurst explores the genesis and context of Kingsley's tale, its linguistic oddities and multiple genres, its delight in nature and scientific discovery mixed with romance and mythic symbolism. Reproduces the unabridged first-edition text, including the original illustrations and wood-engraved chapter initials. Explanatory notes provide a wealth of background information concerning contemporary figures, literature, and events alluded to in the text. Includes an appendix of textual changes between the story's first appearance in Macmillan's Magazine and in book form, and part of Kingsley's essay 'The Wonders of the Shore', in which he first wrote about the myriad creatures living underwater. Attractive gift edition with ribbon marker.

Brian Alderson has long been involved in the study of children's literature as editor, translator, lecturer, and exhibitions organizer. He takes a particular interest in bibliographic aspects, especially those related to the history of British and American publishing and illustration. Robert Douglas-Fairhurst is the author of Becoming Dickens (Harvard UP, 2011), winner of the 2011 Duff Cooper Prize, and he has edited editions of Dickens's Great Expectations, and A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Books and Henry Mayhew's London Labour and the London Poor for Oxford World's Classics. He writes regularly for publications including the Daily Telegraph, Guardian, TLS, and New Statesman.

Introduction Note on the Text Select Bibliography A Chronology of Charles Kingsley THE WATER-BABIES Appendix I: Textual Variants Appendix II: 'The Wonders of the Shore' Explanatory Notes

The Water-Babies (1863) is one of the strangest and most powerful children's books ever published. Written by an Anglican clergyman with an insatiable love of science, the story combines an uplifting moral about redemption with a crash course in evolutionary theory, and has an imaginative exuberance equalled only by Lewis Carroll. Young Tom is a chimney-sweeper's boy who one day falls into a river and drowns, only to be transformed into a water-baby. Through his encounters with friendly fish, curious lobsters, and characters such as Mrs Doasyouwouldbedoneby, he sloughs off his selfish nature and earns his just reward. Tom's comic adventures are constantly interrupted by Kingsley's sideswipes at contemporary issues such as child labour and the British education system, and they offer a rich satiric take on the great scientific debates of the day. The story's linguistic and narrative oddities make it an unclassifiable fantasy that is both a naturalist's handbook and an aquatic Pilgrim's Progress, and its vibrant symbolism also reveals some of Kingsley's more private obsessions regarding cleanliness and sanitation reform.This new edition reprints the original complete text and illustrations, and includes a lively introduction and notes that reveal the full richness of this bizarre but compelling fairy tale.

The Water-Babies (1863) is one of the strangest and most powerful children's books ever published. Written by an Anglican clergyman with an insatiable love of science, the story combines an uplifting moral about redemption with a crash course in evolutionary theory, and has an imaginative exuberance equalled only by Lewis Carroll. Young Tom is a chimney-sweeper's boy who one day falls into a river and drowns, only to be transformed into a water-baby. Through his encounters with friendly fish, curious lobsters, and characters such as Mrs Doasyouwouldbedoneby, he sloughs off his selfish nature and earns his just reward. Tom's comic adventures are constantly interrupted by Kingsley's sideswipes at contemporary issues such as child labour and the British education system, and they offer a rich satiric take on the great scientific debates of the day. The story's linguistic and narrative oddities make it an unclassifiable fantasy that is both a naturalist's handbook and an aquatic Pilgrim's Progress, and its vibrant symbolism also reveals some of Kingsley's more private obsessions regarding cleanliness and sanitation reform.This new edition reprints the original complete text and illustrations, and includes a lively introduction and notes that reveal the full richness of this bizarre but compelling fairy tale.

The Water-Babies is an extraordinary children's book that combines fantasy, satire, social comment, and evolutionary theory to create a fairy tale like no other. This attractive new edition reprints the original complete text and illustrations with a lively introduction and notes that reveal the full richness of Kingsley's exuberant story.