The Water Babies – Charles Kingsley 1874


  • Author: Charles Kingsley
  • Publisher: Macmillan & Co, London, 1874
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Condition: Good
  • Size: 8vo
  • Attributes: First Edition, Illustrated

First edition with new illustrations by Sir Noel Paton & Percival Skelton. Blue cloth, head/tail of spine frayed & sun faded. Binding tight, soiling to bottom of the spine. Binding tight, previous owner’s gift inscription on half-title page dated 1875. Numerous B/W illustrations by Sir Noel Paton & Percival Skelton. A Good or better copy of this early edition and well-loved book by Charles Kingsley.

After being chased from the upper-class home of a young girl called Ellie, chimney-sweep Tom falls asleep and falls 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 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.

Scroll to Top
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap