Download The Water Babies fb2

by Charles Kingsley
Download The Water Babies fb2
Genre Fiction
  • Author:
    Charles Kingsley
  • ISBN:
  • ISBN13:
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  • Publisher:
    Penguin Books Ltd; 1st edition (October 1995)
  • Subcategory:
    Genre Fiction
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    1628 kb
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    1401 kb
  • DJVU format
    1964 kb
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First published in 1863, The Water Babies by Rev Charles Kingsley became a Victorian children's classic along . The Water Babies, A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby to give the book its complete title tells the story of Tom, a young orphan chimney-sweep in Victorian London.

First published in 1863, The Water Babies by Rev Charles Kingsley became a Victorian children's classic along with . Tom is apprenticed to the mean Mr Grimes, who employs such children to work in inhuman and often dangerous conditions, sweeping out the chimneys of large houses.

Illustrated by Jessie Willcox Smith. New York Dodd, Mead & Company Publishers. The writing of the book was the outcome of a gentle reminder, atbreakfast one spring morning, of an old promise, to the effect that asthe three elder children had their book- The Heroes -the baby, myyoungest brother, then four years old, 'must have hi. My father madeno answer, 'but got up at once and went to his study, locking the door,'and in an hour came back with the first chapter of The Water-Babies inhis hand. At this pace and with the same ease the whole book wascomposed.

The Water-Babies, A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby is a children's novel by Charles Kingsley. Written in 1862–63 as a serial for Macmillan's Magazine, it was first published in its entirety in 1863. It was written as part satire in support of Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species.

The Water Babies book. When I read that Charles Kingsley and Charles Darwin had been friends, I was so disappointed. Why? Why didn't dear Mr. D pull aside Mr. K and gently offer a sort of "I say old boy!

Every detail is absolutely stunning - leather binding, archival paper, typeset, and illustrations.

Charles Kingsley The Water-Babies. CHAPTER I. I heard a thousand blended notes, While in a grove I sate reclined; In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts Bring sad thoughts to the mind. That is a short name, and you have heard it before, so you will not have much trouble in remembering it. He lived in a great town in the North country, where there were plenty of chimneys to sweep, and plenty of money for Tom to earn and his master to spend. He could not read nor write, and did not care to do either; and he never washed himself, for there was no water up the court where he lived. He had never been taught to say his prayers.

Water-cresses, perhaps; or perhaps water-gruel, and water-milk; too many land-babies do so likewise. But we do not know what one-tenth of the water-things eat; so we are not answerable for the water-babies. And in the water-forest he saw the water-monkeys and water-squirrels (they had all six legs, though; everything almost has six legs in the water, except efts and water-babies); and nimbly enough they ran among the branches.

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Featured book article about The Water Babies by Charles Kingsley. The Water Babies, subtitled by its author as A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby, on closer examination has been seen as more than just a fairy tale by many. It can also be seen as a story rich in moral lessons and religious parallels. Written for his son Grenville, Charles Kingsley's popular fable was first serialised in MacMillan's Magazine on a monthly basis, from August 1862 through to March 1863. It was first published in book form in 1863 with two full page illustrations by J. Noel Paton. The Story: The book tells the story of Tom, a young chimney sweep, who is cruelly treated by his.

When Tom, an ill-treated little chimney-sweep, jumps into a clear, cool stream to clean himself, something fantastical happens; he is turned into a tiny water baby by the fairies, and he enters a strange, magical underwater world.

This book is 98% brilliant, and well worth reading more than once; but if you give it to a youngster to read, you'll definitely want to go over certain parts with him or her and explain that, as lovable and compassionate as Kingsley seems to have been overall, nobody's perfect.

Think Gulliver's Travels: a fantastical journey full of adventures and characters that all represent something in real life, thus conveying Kingsley's attitudes about child labor, the golden rule, profanity, life after death, treatment of the poor, English superiority, American arrogance (playful jabs), Roman Catholicism (irreverent pokes) and the Irish (more about that later).

The main character is a ten-year-old chimney sweep named Tom who works for an abusive master. While working at a nobleman's house, Tom climbs down the wrong chimney and finds himself in a lavishly furnished room where a beautiful - and very clean - girl is sleeping. On seeing himself in a mirror for the first time, he suddenly realizes how dirty he is, and starts to cry (and this sad scene may well cause the reader to do the same), waking the little girl and setting off a big ruckus. Thinking Tom is trying to rob them, the servants chase him, and he ends up wandering far from home. Delirious with fever, he decides to wash himself in a stream, where he "falls asleep," sheds his human body, and is turned into a water baby. He then goes on to have a series of fantastic adventures to complete his neglected moral education and prepare him for heaven.

Parts of the story are heartbreaking in ways children may not understand, which may be just as well. After Tom falls asleep in the water, Kingsley writes,

"Tom, when he woke, for of course he woke - children always wake after they have slept exactly as long as is good for them -"

There are many similar kinds of passages in which, by describing things as they ought to be, Kingsley expresses his deep sadness over the way they really are, and his longing for a world in which, among other things, no one ever overworks, beats or bullies children. If you have a heart, you will cry.

Because Kingsley sets himself up as a moral guide for children (his narrator assumes the reader is an upper class English boy), it's only fair to look not only at the quality of the story and writing, which are top-notch, but at the moral values he's trying to teach. Most of what he has to say is sensible by today's standards. Oh, how one wants to love him unreservedly! In many ways he was ahead of his time, passionately opposed to child labor, and to the harsh corporal punishment of children that was common in his day. He seems to have had a relatively compassionate vision of Heaven and Hell, in which people receive their just deserts but are never, ever beyond hope of redemption. At the same time, he never lets you forget he's an English gentleman, and likes giving advice on what hour to rise before a day spent hunting on one's extensive grounds, and warning readers against the terrible evil of poaching on another man's land.

Naturally he was a product of his times, and some political incorrectness is to be expected. He uses terms like "rich as a Jew," compares a seal's face to that of a bald "negro," likes taking little shots at the Welsh, Catholics, Americans, and so forth. For the most part it's the kind of thing you can roll your eyes at and continue to enjoy the story. But what he has to say about the Irish is different, and I'm surprised to hear it wasn't removed from the abridged version.

When I first read this book, I fell in love with Kingsley right away. He seemed, above all else, compassionate. That's why it was so disappointing when I came across the hateful anti-Irish sections. What an about-face! The Irish, or "Paddies," are described as untrustworthy, stupid, servile gorillas with "coarse lips" who bring about their own extinction by being too shiftless to care for themselves properly. In the end, there's only one gorilla left, and he's shot by a good Englishman. Mind you, this was written not twenty years after the potato famine had wiped out over a million Irish. Of course anyone who's done any reading on the subject knows why so many Irish relied on potatoes for their subsistence, and about the system that forced so many to live from hand to mouth. Apparently Kingsley's compassion did not extend even to Irish children, whose hunger-swollen bellies he describes almost mockingly, gloatingly. Whew! Very nasty stuff.

Conclusion: Buy it, read it with open eyes, enjoy it overall, tsk tsk over the bad parts, and forgive Kingsley for being an imperfect, well-meaning human being who lived in England in the 19th century.
I enjoyed the story as a child and just recently finished reading it again and it still enchants me. I do suggest that the book be read to a child as a bed time story so it can enjoyed to its fullest over a period of time and when the child has a question the story teller can stop and discuss the child's questions and concerns.
happy light
A fairly dull and didactic children's book, from memory. The author certainly didn't mind being unsubtle, in general, lambasting people of different races, religions, mindsets, nationalities, and even scientists.

A chimney sweep kid ends up in the river, and gets some fantastic lessons along the way. Very avoidable.