Charles Kingsley, The Water Babies

Download PDF Add to Bookshelf Report an Error

One of the most popular children’s books of the Victorian era (1837-1901) and the first quarter of the twentieth century, Charles Kingsley’s

The Water-Babies: A Fairy-Tale for a Land-Baby

also captured the adult imagination with its exploration of natural science and Darwin’s recently-published theories on evolution. Yet, the book’s problematic statements on race and class, along with Kingsley’s patronizing and digressive style, diminished its reputation by the turn of the twenty-first century.

Publication History

Publication History

Charles Kingsley (1819-1875) first serialized The Water-babies for Macmillan's Magazine, August 1862 - March 1863. It was then published as a children’s book by Macmillan in May 1863, “one of the earliest books marketed for children about nine

2659 words

Citation: Swank, Kris. "The Water Babies". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 April 2021 [, accessed 13 April 2024.]

8099 The Water Babies 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.