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HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. `In fact, the fairies had turned him into a water-baby. A water-baby? You never heard of a water-baby. Perhaps not. That is the very reason why this story was written.' Poor Tom is an orphan, employed by the underhand Grimes as a chimney sweep. While cleaning a chimney one day, Tom becomes lost and appears in Ellie's bedroom. She mistakes him for a thief and he flees in fright, down to the edge of a stream where he falls asleep. In his dreamlike world, he becomes a water baby, swimming with the other water babies and discovering an aquatic playground full of strange and wonderful characters.
Tom, a poor orphan, is employed by the villainous chimney-sweep, Grimes, to climb up inside flues to clear away the soot. While engaged in this dreadful task, he loses his way and emerges in the bedroom of Ellie, the young daughter of the house who mistakes him for a thief. He runs away, and, hot and bothered, he slips into a cooling stream, falls asleep, and becomes a Water Baby. In his new life, he meets all sorts of aquatic creatures, including an engaging old lobster, other water babies, and at last reaches St Branden's Isle where he encounters the fierce Mrs Bedonebyeasyoudid and the motherly Mrs Doasyouwouldbedoneby. After a long and arduous quest to the Other-end-of-Nowhere young Tom achieves his heart's desire.
The Water-Babies, A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby is a children's novel by the Reverend Charles Kingsley. Written in 1862-1863 as a serial for Macmillan's Magazine, it was first published in its entirety in 1863. The book was extremely popular during its day, and was a mainstay of children's literature through the 1920s.
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.
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.
'this is all a fairy tale...and, therefore, you are not to believe a word of it, even if it is true' The Water-Babies (1863) is one of the strangest and most powerful children's stories ever written. In describing the underwater adventures of Tom, a chimney-sweeper's boy who is transformed into a water-baby after he drowns, Charles Kingsley combined comic fantasy and moral fable to extraordinary effect. Tom's encounters with friendly fish, curious lobsters, and characters such as Mrs Doasyouwouldbedoneby are both an exciting fairy tale and a crash course in evolutionary theory. They also reflect the quirky imagination of one of the great Victorian eccentrics. Tom's 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. This edition reprints the original complete version of the story, and includes a lively introduction, detailed explanatory notes, and an appendix that reprints Kingsley's first attempt to describe the mysterious creatures that live under the sea.
When Tom, a young chimney sweep, falls into a river and drowns, he is transformed from a twelve-year-old boy who has known nothing but brutality and poverty into a 'water-baby'. In an underwater world surrounded by fairies, insects and water nymphs, he soon discovers a new life of adventure and excitement.
With a beautiful foiled cover and glorious inside illustrations by Mabel Lucie Attwell, this edition of Charles Kingsley's The Water-Babies, first published in 1863, is a truly special gift to treasure.
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